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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Reading programs for specific groups


  • Influence: Reading programs for specific groups
  • Domain: Curricula
  • Sub-Domain: Reading, writing and the arts
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Potential to considerably accelerate
  • Influence Definition: Reading programs for targeted groups in need of additional scaffolding in literacy such as students who are; ELL, behaviorally challenged, children from developing countries, or struggling in a variety of ways.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 10
  • Number of studies: 367
  • Number of students: 4,725
  • Number of effects: 1,016
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.82
  • Robustness index: 4


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Behavioral Disorders Benner, Nelson, Ralston & Mooney USA A meta-analysis of the effects of reading instruction on the reading skills of students with or at risk of behavioral disorders 2010 Reading instruction for LD students 24 187 35 1.13
Educational Psychology Review Hall, Roberts, Cho, McCulley, Carroll, & Vaughn USA Reading instruction for English learners in the middle grades: A meta-analysis 2017 Reading for English learners 11 0 11 0.35
Journal of Research in Reading Melby-Lervag & Lervag Norway Cross-linguistic transfer of oral language, decoding, phonological awareness and reading comprehension: A meta-analysis of the correlational evidence 2011 Cross-linguistic transfer on reading skills 26 2,755 26 0.32
Journal of Learning Disabilities Ludwig, Guo, & Georgiou Canada Are reading interventions for English Language Learners Effective? A meta-analysis. 2019 Reading programs on ELL students 26 0 26 0.90
Dissertation Jones USA Meta-analysis of reading interventions for students with learning and emotional disabilities. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of North Texas 2005 Interventions with emotional disturbed students 74 0 74 2.59
Reading Research Quarterly Neitzel, Lake, Pellegrini, & Slavin USA NA synthesis of quantitative research on programs for struggling readers in elementary schools. 2021 Programs for struggling readers 51 0 65 0.23
Journal of Learning Disabilities Scammacca, Roberts, Vaughn, & Stuebing USA A meta-analysis of interventions for struggling readers in grades 4–12: 1980–2011 2015 Interventions with struggling readers on comprehension 12 0 82 0.21
Reading and Writing Swanson USA The impact of tier 1 reading instruction on reading outcomes for students in grades 4–12: A meta-analysis. 2017 Tier 1 Reading instruction 25 0 70 0.09
Review of Educational Research McEwan USA Improving learning in primary schools of developing countries: A meta-analysis of randomized experiments 2015 Interventions in developing countries 77 0 466 0.07
Learning Disability Quarterly O'Shaughnessy & Swanson USA Do immediate memory deficits in students with learning disabilities in reading reflect a developmental lag or deficit?: A selective meta-analysis of the literature 1998 Normal vs. LD on memory processing of information 41 1,783 161 0.61
TOTAL/AVERAGE 367 4,725 1,016 0.65
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