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Connect to Comprehension

Research-based Program

What we already know about teaching struggling readers from the National Reading Panel (2001, Updated 2010), NIH/NICHD, Florida Center for Reading Research:

  • Struggling readers need systematic, explicit instruction.
  • All components of reading should be taught, practiced, and reviewed on a daily basis.
  • Skill gaps exist and should be identified and remediated.
  • Supportive, scaffolded instruction should be provided whenever it is needed.

In “Essential Reading Strategies for Struggling Readers”, by Dr. Sharon Vaughn and others at the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading/Language Arts at the University of Texas (Vaughn, et al., 2001) the following specific recommendations are made:

  • decodable books for explicit teaching of word analysis and decoding strategies
  • decodable text to “reinforce and transfer the reading of words with particular patterns from isolated cards to connected text”
  • frequent review of high-frequency words
  • practice of phrases for fluency
  • pre-reading instruction as “important for all students but critical for those with reading difficulties and ELL’s….”
  • teaching comprehension strategies through modeling, discussing, and checking for understanding
  • introduction and frequent practice of new vocabulary words
  • consistent pairing of reading with writing to reinforce the reading/writing connection