The Effects of Cross-Age Tutoring on the Reading Ability of First and Second Grade Students

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Anderberg, Rachel
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Middle Tennessee State University
The positive effect of early intervention upon the reading abilities of struggling students has been well documented by research. Unfortunately, the current economic situation has eliminated the positions of many interventionists serving in school districts across the country. Cross-age tutoring has been implemented in many places as a replacement when adult tutors are not available. This study utilized six highly trained and supervised high school students to provide structured reading tutoring to 13 first and second grade students who were performing below benchmark on reading assessments. Tutoring focused upon the word reading aspect of reading instruction, including both decoding and sight word instruction using a structured, systematic phonics curriculum. Tutoring was provided during the school day for 30 minutes three times a week for a total of nine weeks. Post intervention comparison to a control group using ANCOVA, with pretest as the covariate, found significant positive effects of tutoring upon the outcome measures of both word attack and word identification, though not for reading comprehension. In addition to examining tutee outcomes, tutor fidelity was assessed to ensure precise implementation. Surveys and interviews were also conducted with all participants (i.e., teachers, tutors, and tutees) and a majority of responses were positive, indicating approval with the intervention. Participant suggestions are also discussed as well as possibilities for future research.
Cross-Age Tutoring, Decoding, Early Intervention