The Effects of Word Recognition and Comprehension Skills and Strategies Implemented with Explicit, Systematic, Balanced-Literacy Instruction

Susan E. Kieffer


The purpose of this case study was to answer the question, “Does a tier three intervention plan using a balanced-literacy format and consistent implementation of phonological awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension activities improve literacy for English language learners (ELLs) with specific learning disability (SLD)?” The participant was a male, ELL-SLD fourth grade student who attended an urban parochial school. The duration of the intervention was one ninety minute session per week over a ten week period. The results showed moderate improvement in his ability to decode words and comprehend below level texts. The greatest gain was in his word attack and word comprehension, indicating the student's ability to apply phonic and structural analysis skills, use analogies, and read vocabulary to comprehend words.