Individual Differences in Gains from Computer-Assisted Remedial Reading
Two hundred second- to fifth-grade students (aged approximately 7 to 11 years) spent 29 hours in a computer-assisted remedial reading program that compared benefits from accurate, speech-supported reading in context, with and without explicit phonological training. Children in the “accurate-reading-in-context” condition spent 22 individualized computer hours reading stories and 7 small-group hours learning comprehension strategies. Children in the “phonological-analysis” condition learned phonological strategies in 7 small-group hours, and divided their computer time between phonological exercises and story reading. Phonologically trained children gained more in phonological skills and untimed word reading; children with more contextual reading gained more in time-limited word reading. Lower level readers gained more, and benefited more from phonological training, than higher level readers. In follow-up testing, most children maintained or improved their levels, but not their rates, of training gains. Phonologically trained children scored higher on phonological decoding, but children in both conditions scored equivalently on word reading.