The Effects of a Structured Parent Tutoring Program on Students' Reading Fluency

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Loving, Michele Lynn
Rosenfield, Sylvia
This study examined the effectiveness of a brief parent tutoring intervention on the reading fluency of four second-grade students. The students were all below grade level readers, participating in a structured reading intervention with the school's reading specialist. A structured home program was developed to complement the school-based intervention, using the same classroom reading materials. The home program included: modeling and feedback, repeated readings, error correction, and praise and incentives. Parents were trained to use the strategies with their children, and implemented the procedures in their homes for three to four weeks. Parents taped all tutoring sessions. A review of the audiotapes, tutoring logs and checklists, as well as weekly telephone and/or e-mail contact with parents, served to monitor program implementation. The dependent variable was oral reading fluency, as measured by words read correctly per minute and an overall score on a 12-point fluency rating scale. A multiple baseline across participants design was used and results were analyzed using visual inspection and percentage of non-overlapping data points. Although some students showed improvement in reading fluency from baseline to intervention, results could not be attributed to the parent tutoring due to variability in baseline and intervention performance. Generalization to untutored passages at school and in peer-expected books was assessed, and a follow-up measure was completed with each participant approximately six to eight weeks after the intervention period. A measure of treatment integrity indicated high implementation of the program components by all parents. Exit interviews were completed with each student and parent participant, as well as the classroom teachers. Data collected from parent ratings and exit interviews indicated high acceptability of the intervention. Results of this study were discussed in terms of the feasibility of parents implementing a home tutoring intervention for reading, recommended modifications to the program, implications for generalization to classroom performance, and future research considerations. Limitations to the study included ethnicity and number of participants, training of raters for reliability, and the time of the school year the tutoring program was implemented.