A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

[Education Consumer Guide]

Number 3

December 1992

Reading Recovery

WHAT IS IT? Reading Recovery is an early intervention program to help low-achieving 6-year-olds learn to read. Originally developed by New Zealand educator and psychologist Marie M. Clay, Reading Recovery provides an alternative to traditional reading practices for educationally disadvantaged and learning-disabled students (Lyons, 1991).

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS? There are three main components: The Diagnostic Survey, the Tutoring Session, and Teacher Training. The examiner administers the survey to each child and uses the results when working with each child individually. The tutoring session includes: reading known stories, reading a story that was read one time the previous day, writing a story, working with a cut-up sentence, and reading a small new book. The teacher systematically records what the child is doing, and these observations form the basis for the next lesson. Lastly and most importantly, in a year-long intensive course, teachers are trained in Reading Recovery procedures and in the theories and practices of effective reading instruction.

WHAT ARE THE SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE PROGRAM? Children who are among the lowest achievers in reading within a class are selected to receive 30 minutes of daily one-on-one instruction for a period of up to 20 weeks. Reading Recovery instruction has the following characteristics:

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS? Most children who complete the Reading Recovery program can perform within the average achievement range and do not need remedial help again. These children continue to make progress in their regular classroom instruction and in inde- pendent reading (Gaffney, 1991).

WHY DOES THE PROGRAM WORK? Professor Michael Opitz (1991) gives nine reasons why he believes that Reading Recovery is successful, including the following:

WHERE HAS THIS PROGRAM SHOWN RESULTS? The National Diffusion Network (NDN) of the U.S. Department of Education selected Reading Recovery for special recognition and dissemination. To date, the program has been implemented in 38 states, the District of Columbia, four Canadian provinces, Australia, England, and New Zealand (Reading Recovery Directory, 1992-1993).

Where can I get more information?

Carol Lyons
The Ohio State University
Reading Recovery Program
200 Ramseyer Hall
29 West Woodruff Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1177
(614) 292-7807

Billie Askew
Texas Woman's University
College of Education and Human Ecology
P.O. Box 23029
Denton, TX 76204-3029
(818) 898-2227

Gilbert N. Garcia
National Diffusion Network
U.S. Department of Education, OERI
555 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20208-5573
(202) 219-2161

ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills
Indiana University
Smith Research Center, Suite 150
Bloomington, IN 47408-2698
(812) 855-5847


Allen, Debra G.
"A Literacy Program Improvement Plan for Low-Achieving First Graders Using Reading Recovery Strategies." Ed.D. Practicum, Nova University, 1991. ERIC Number ED 329945.

Clay, Marie M.
"Reading Recovery in the United States: Its Successes and Challenges." Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA, April 1990. ERIC Number ED 320125.

Gaffney, Janet S.
"Getting Started in a School System." Reading Horizons, 1991, 31(5), pp. 373-383.

Hill, L.B. and Hale, M.G.
"Reading Recovery: Questions Classroom Teachers Ask." The Reading Teacher, 1991, 44, pp. 480-483.

Lyons, Carol A.
"Reading Recovery: A Viable Prevention of Learning Disability." Reading Horizons, 1991, 31(5), pp. 384-408.

National Diffusion Network.
Reading Recovery 1984-1989, No. 4. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH: 1989.

Ohio State University
Reading Recovery Directory, 1992-1993. Columbus, OH: 1992.

Opitz, Michael F.
"Hypothesizing about Reading Recovery." Reading Horizons, 1991, 31(5), pp. 409-420.

by Robert L. Thomas

This is the third Education Research CONSUMER GUIDE--a new series published for teachers, parents, and others interested in current education themes.

OR 93-3058
ED/OERI 92-38
Editor: Margery Martin

This Education Research Consumer Guide is produced by the Office of Research, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) of the U.S. Department of Education.
Lamar Alexander, Secretary of Education
Diane Ratvitch, Assistant Secretary, OERI
Francie Alexander, Deputy Assistant Secretary, OERI
Milton Goldberg, Director, Office of Research


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