The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of an early reading professional development program, the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI), on young English learners’ reading achievement. Specifically, this project aims to replicate how the TRI can improve teacher knowledge in both the foundation and the pedagogy of the teaching of reading, and, more importantly, to understand whether the TRI can improve student reading outcomes for young English learners. The TRI is designed to help teachers in kindergarten and first grade use a diagnostic reading instruction approach to implement individualized reading instruction for children in their classrooms who are struggling with learning how to read. The TRI has been developed and evaluated over the last 10 years and has preliminary effectiveness data from a series of small randomized clinical trials, with effect sizes ranging from .2 to .7 on student reading gains for both struggling and non-struggling readers. To date, the efficacy of the TRI on English learners’ reading achievement has not been studied.
A multi-site randomized controlled trial is being conducted where kindergarten and first grade teachers within each of twenty-four schools have been randomly assigned to treatment or control status. Three English learners will participate in the TRI within each classroom. Teachers in the treatment condition will participate in the TRI professional development program, and control teachers will not. Both teacher and student outcome data will be collected. The products of this study will include published reports of the effects of the TRI on K-1 English learners’ reading outcomes as well as teacher outcomes.