In a world evolving at an unprecedented pace, the educational narrative is also transforming. It is more important than ever that educators explore innovative educational interventions to elevate reading proficiency in all students. Such vital interventions can redefine teaching and empower students to navigate a dynamic future through the transformative power of literacy.

For decades, many reading assessments and evaluations have focused on remediation, where students must repeat the same material until they can satisfy the requirements. In contrast to this approach, educators are finding success in developing fresh interventions to help students connect with reading — a process sometimes described as “teaching up.”

Eastern Michigan University’s online Master of Arts in Reading program prepares education professionals to apply modern educational interventions that improve learners’ reading abilities and help them succeed in other areas of life.

Tools to Enhance Reading

Educators looking for tools to address the needs of struggling readers must understand the fundamentals of developing interventions. According to a new report from Reading Rockets,

planning effective reading interventions requires careful consideration. Fundamental elements to include while outlining reading interventions include:

  • Assessments: Conduct thorough assessments to identify individual students’ strengths and weaknesses in reading.
  • Data analysis: Analyze assessment data to pinpoint specific areas of difficulty, whether related to phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension or other aspects of literacy.
  • Setting clear goals: Establish measurable and achievable goals for each student based on assessment results.
  • Individualized instruction: Tailor interventions to the individual needs of each student.
  • Evidence-based practices: Base interventions on research-supported, evidence-based instructional methods.

By incorporating these fundamental elements into the planning process, educators can design and implement effective reading interventions that address the unique needs of each student and contribute to improved literacy outcomes.

Reading Comprehension Is Critical

Reading comprehension is two skills combined. Readers must master word reading and language comprehension to understand the text. According to an article titled Reading Interventions for Students Struggling to Read, mastering word reading and language comprehension do not always happen simultaneously. While some students might be able to decode words on a page, comprehending their meaning eludes them. Conversely, some can grasp the narrative when reading aloud but struggle to decipher the phrases on the pages independently.

Due to the critical role of reading comprehension in early childhood education, educators should be attentive to early reading intervention. This is crucial because it can significantly influence reading fluency in the future.

Evaluating Readers

Science underlies the art of reading, and teachers should possess confidence in their literacy instruction to effectively support their students. Teaching reading skills encompasses various approaches, including regular instruction and targeted intervention. While certain skills and strategies may intersect, reading interventions typically target more specialized goals.

Literacy specialists use various components to evaluate and assess individuals’ literacy skills. These components and suggestions offered in this practice guide for teachers — provide a comprehensive understanding of a person’s reading and writing abilities. Essential elements of literacy evaluation used by specialists include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, comprehension strategies, writing mechanics and critical-thinking skills.

Literacy specialists often use a combination of formal assessments, informal observations, interviews and portfolio assessments to gather information about an individual’s literacy skills across these components. This comprehensive evaluation helps educators tailor instructional approaches to meet the specific needs of learners and provide targeted interventions when necessary.

Reading Intervention Impacts

A government review of recent reading intervention research indicate the following: generally favorable impacts of reading intervention on upper elementary students; modest and nonsignificant effects on standardized foundational reading outcomes; and modest yet significant effects on standardized comprehension outcomes.

The review suggests that multi-component interventions exhibit the potential to enhance both foundational and comprehension reading outcomes. Moreover, interventions conducted in very small groups offer an effective approach to intensifying instruction and improving comprehension outcomes.

Educators interested in tailoring lessons to suit struggling readers will benefit from pursuing an online Master of Arts in Reading. Eastern Michigan University’s program expands students’ awareness of various reading practices, digital literacy strategies, teaching models and instructional strategies tailored for learners in the 21st century.

Learn more about Eastern Michigan University’s online Master of Arts in Reading program.