Reading research to practice: Evaluating the translation of a Canadian evidence-based intervention program in India.

Reading research to practice: Evaluating the translation of a Canadian evidence-based intervention program in India.

First Author: Maria De Palma -- The Hospital for Sick Children
Additional authors/chairs: 
Maureen W. Lovett; Uma Kulkarni; Sushama Nagarkar
Keywords: Reading disability, Reading outcomes, Teacher training, Intervention studies, English Language Learners (ELL)
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose:
In India, there is little intervention for children with reading disabilities. In collaboration with the Dr. Anjali Morris Foundation (AMF), a resource center for LD students in Pune, India, we evaluated the response of 175 Indian struggling readers to Empower Reading, an evidence-based reading intervention in a feasibility study.

Method:
Eighteen Pune teachers from AMF and English-medium schools were trained to implement the 110-lesson program through ten days of workshops over a school year by an Empower Trainer from Canada. Remote coaching sessions via videoconferencing and onsite visits were conducted to support quality implementation. The program was delivered to groups of children and adolescents (3 to 8 per group) identified for participation using standardized reading measures. All students attended English-medium schools but were English Language Learners. Pre-, mid-, and post- program outcomes were assessed with experimental and standardized (WJ-III) measures.

Results:
Outcomes for 175 children demonstrate statistically significant pretest-posttest improvement in raw scores (all p’s < .01; repeated measures effect sizes .40 - .80) on WJ-III word identification, word attack, and reading fluency sub-tests. By post-testing, students improved by an average of 25 test words on an experimental measure of multi-syllabic word reading. Improvements were observed for children with low English proficiency skills and those from very low SES backgrounds.

Conclusions:
These positive results establish the feasibility of exporting the present research-based reading intervention to low- and middle-income countries where English is a main language of instruction. These results lay the groundwork for conducting a controlled efficacy trial.