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Research Report

Timing and Intensity of Tutoring: A Closer Look at the Conditions for Effective Early Literacy Tutoring

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This article reports data from a longitudinal study of one-to-one tutoring for students at risk for reading disabilities. Participants were at-risk students who received phonics-based tutoring in first grade, students who were tutored in comprehension skills in second grade, and students tutored in both grades 1 and 2. At second-grade posttest, there were significant differences in word identification and word attack between students who were tutored in first grade only compared to students who were also tutored in second grade, favoring students who were tutored in first grade only. Overall, there were no advantages to a second year of tutoring. For students tutored in second grade only, there were no differences at second-grade posttest compared to controls. Schools may have selected students who did not respond to first-grade tutoring for continued tutoring in second grade. Findings are discussed in light of decisions schools make when using tutors to supplement reading instruction for students with reading difficulties.


Vadasy, P., Sanders, E., Jenkins, J. & Peyton, J. (2002). Timing and intensity of tutoring: A closer look at the conditions for effective early literacy tutoring. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 17, 227-241.