Using an interactive singing software program: A comparative study of struggling middle school readers

Software that teaches users to sing in tune and in rhythm while providing real-time pitch tracking was used in a study of struggling middle school readers. The software, Carry-a-Tune (CAT) was originally developed to improve singing; however, since it involves a repeated reading format, we used it to determine its effect on comprehension and reading achievement. Twenty-four at-risk students in grades 7 and 8 utilized the software program for 30 minutes, three times a week for 9 weeks. A matched control group of 24 students had a different reading experience during the same time period. The mean pretest instructional reading level for both groups was fourth grade. The mean instructional level scores for the treatment group improved significantly (7 months during the 9-week study). The matched control group students did not experience gains. Sustainability data from assessment 4 months after the study's conclusion indicated treatment students gained another 6 months. This placed them solidly in mid-fifth grade for instructional reading level. The control students, again, evidenced no significant gains.

Biggs, M., Homan, S., Dedrick, R., Minick, V., & Rasinski, T.
Reading Psychology, 29(3),195-213.
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Grade Level: 
middle school
IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
major-other health impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
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