Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Reading and Language Arts


Benita A. Blachman


Early reading intervention, English language learners, phonics, phonological awareness

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


A growing body of research has shown that interventions originally developed to help monolingual students with early reading skills offer the type of instruction necessary and effective for English language learners as well. While the research on effective early reading interventions for English language learners is expanding, the majority of the research focuses on students whose native language is Spanish. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of a supplemental reading program that emphasizes phoneme awareness and phonics with small groups of both native English-speakers and ELLs whose first language is not Spanish. This study utilized a multiple-baseline-across-participants design to investigate the effects of the intervention. Analyses included gain score analysis from pretest to posttest, descriptive and visual analysis of nonsense word probe data, and four different non-overlap indices. Findings indicate that small reading groups composed of ELLs from a variety of non-Spanish language backgrounds and native English-speakers benefitted from the code-oriented intervention, reinforcing the use of evidence-based instruction and more inclusive grouping practices for instruction. When disaggregated by language status, both ELLs and native English-speakers benefitted from the supplemental reading instruction. No consistent pattern was seen for the ELLs between pretreatment receptive vocabulary and gain scores. Educational implications and areas for future research are discussed.


Open Access