"Listening to myself": Improving oracy and literacy among children who fall behind

In this paper we report on the effect of a programme based on a view that reading problems are associated with the inability of the learner to deal with speech at the level of individual speech sounds even though they may be fully competent in the production and perception of oral language. We investigated the effect of a self-voice feedback intervention programme on the word recognition abilities of pupils who were experiencing reading delay. Our sample was made up of 159 pupils aged 6-13 years, whose reading age was at least one year behind their chronological age, drawn from seven schools in England. We used a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design with experimental and control groups using between-subjects (randomly assigned) and within-subjects (those waiting-in-line as controls before entering an intervention group) analysis. We found that those in the intervention condition made significantly greater gains in their word recognition abilities than their counterparts in control conditions or than they themselves had made prior to entering the intervention condition. We concluded that whilst the success of the programme suggests that pupils who display reading delay problems can have their word recognition abilities improved by an intense self-voice feedback intervention, at least in the short term, further work is necessary to investigate how the intervention works procedurally and the longevity of its effect.

Macleod, F., Macmillan, P., & Norwich, B.
Early Child Development and Care, Vol. 177 (6-7), 633-644.
Related Research
Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
early elementary
intermediate elementary
middle school
IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
Instructional Support: 
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
National Reading Panel Standards: 
English Language Arts: 
Reading: Foundational Skills
Reading: Informational Text
Reading: Literature