The primary objective of this study is to improve decoding skills and reading comprehension in young students identified to be at risk for reading disorders.
Children’s reading skills is vital to their long-term success in education and later employment. There are compelling reasons for the individual and society to intervene early when reading disorders are suspected. An understanding of causal mechanisms is essential if teachers are to ensure that children’s reading difficulties are identified early, and timely interventions are put in place.
The intervention is designed to improve reading comprehension through targeting oral language, word decoding and its precursors in young students who are identified to be at risk for dyslexia and/or reading comprehension disorder. The sessions focus on improving letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and vocabulary, reception of grammar and narrative skills.
The intervention to be evaluated is designed to improve reading comprehension through targeting oral language, word decoding and its precursors. The programme is taught over a period of 25 weeks in daily 45-min sessions. The order of the component in each session is fixed. This design is deliberately selected to quickly accustom the children to the session structure and to the expectations that would be placed on them, which in turn hopefully will maximise their engagement with the activities. The present programme is carefully structured with a balance of the different components across the weeks. The first week is spent introducing the children to the routine and materials, whereas the remaining weeks are divided into three-week topic blocks, each concentrating on a specific topic area that reflects the curriculum for their Grade/Year. All sessions are delivered by schoolteachers who has received prior training.
The study is a two-arm cluster randomized trial with group as the unit of randomisation. The two arms are (1) a programme to improve decoding skills and language comprehension and (2) ‘business as usual’. Both the intervention group and the control group include children that are identified to be at risk for either dyslexia or readings comprehension disorder.
The children are assessed at the onset of the intervention (pretest), immediately after (posttest 1) and after 6-12 months (posttest 2) to examine if the intervention group has made significantly larger improvements than the control group.