The effects of tutoring on the reading performance of at -risk first-grade students

Ruby Gale Aycock Bell, Fayetteville State University


Tutoring is an intermediate intervention strategy designed to help at-risk children become successful readers. “At risk” refers to children who fail to meet the norms at various developmental stages, are predisposed to becoming illiterate, and are unlikely to graduate from high school due to several risk factors. Among those risk factors are low achievement, grade retention, behavior problems, poor attendance and low socioeconomic status. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to show that tutoring, when used as an early Interventional strategy, would increase the reading performance of a select group of at-risk children and (2) to determine, by means of teacher evaluation, if tutoring was effective by assessing qualitative behavioral differences in those children receiving tutoring. Intervention measures utilizing tutoring were discussed. At-risk students in grade one were assessed using the Test of Early Reading Ability, second edition, to determine if adequate progress in reading was being made. Students in the study received tutoring for six months. Independent variables in the study were ethnicity, gender, age, lunch status, academic reading level, and tutoring. The dependent variables included pre-test scores, and post-test scores. Data were analyzed using an ANOVA. The study consisted of 206 first grade students of which 50 were randomly selected for tutoring. The findings indicated that there were no significant differences in reading performance between male and female subjects. However, the data did suggest that reading performance increased for both African-American and White first grade students who were tutored. The results suggest that tutoring is a beneficial strategy for working with at-risk low performing children. Future studies should focus on developing effective programs utilizing the tutoring model as a component to increase the reading performance of at-risk first grade students.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Elementary education|Preschool education

Recommended Citation

Bell, Ruby Gale Aycock, "The effects of tutoring on the reading performance of at -risk first-grade students" (1997). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI3027002.