Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation examined the efficacy of using minimally trained college undergraduates to tutor third- through fifth-grade students with reading difficulties. Tutors receiving four hours of training in scripted reading program based on the principles of Direct Instruction and emphasizing explicit instruction in phonological awareness and decoding. Thirty-six students from two elementary schools in a large southeastern city in the United States were selected and randomly assigned to treatment (tutoring) or contrast (non-tutoring) conditions. Treatment students received an average of fourteen and a half hours of tutoring over a twelve-week period. Data indicated that university students with minimal training successfully implemented the scripted tutoring package with experimenter feedback. Although, significant differences were only found for word identification, the treatment students out gained the contrast students on all measures. Effect sizes were moderate to strong. In addition, separate data for regular and special education students indicated statistically significant differences on two measures on two measures of fluency (correct words per minute read) for regular education treatment students over regular education control students. The efficacy of using minimally trained adult tutors to supplement classroom reading instruction for students with reading difficulties is also discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Jill H. Allor

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Education Commons