What is Reading Intervention?

Reading intervention

Reading intervention is a specialized classroom environment that provides students with supplemental instruction to increase their grade level reading proficiency. It is a great way to help students who are struggling with reading.

Students are selected for Reading Intervention based on teacher recommendation and/or classroom performance data as well as standardized tests and district local assessments. Students receive supplemental literacy instruction in decoding, comprehension, writing, study skills and test taking strategies at their instructional level.


One of the key aims of reading intervention is to restore confidence in students who struggle with the task. This is achieved by encouraging small successes and providing positive praise. It is also important to encourage children to work at their own pace, as acquiring knowledge slowly can be more effective than learning quickly.

Teachers and reading specialists should work in a collaborative manner to collect data about the specific needs of students who are struggling. While classroom teachers may be able to identify some problems, a thorough assessment with diagnostic testing is often required to pinpoint learners’ exact difficulties.

Careful diagnosis helps inform interventions that target different elements of literacy instruction, including phonemic awareness, sound-symbol correspondence, and word analysis skills; reading fluency; vocabulary; and comprehension strategies. Intensive interventions typically involve direct teaching in small groups or individually. They are designed to supplement core instruction that takes place in the regular classroom. This can be accomplished by implementing reading intervention in addition to co-teaching or through pull-out instruction.


Reading intervention is supplemental instruction that accelerates growth toward grade level reading proficiency. Using an evidence-based approach, reading intervention programs help students who need it the most to catch up to their peers.

Strategies for successful reading intervention include a focus on reading comprehension. Students should be taught to preview text, connect with knowledge, use self-questioning and a variety of self-regulating reading practices to gain meaning from texts. Comprehension strategies are associated with high reading outcomes, and they should be incorporated into all levels of instruction.

Teachers should set clear and quantifiable goals for each student based on the science of reading and their individual needs. These goals should be aligned with college and career readiness standards.

When setting these goals, it is important to consider the student’s Present Level of Performance (PLOP). For example, a child might be reading at a second grade level, but has poor decoding skills. A PLOP goal could be “By November, my child will increase his or her reading fluency to a grade-level appropriate rate by reducing the number of errors made.” This goal is measurable and realistic.


Students who are at risk of reading problems need careful analysis of their learning profiles to determine the right kind of intervention for them. This analysis can be done through diagnostic testing that probes more deeply into the subskills of reading, such as decoding and phonics, or through progress monitoring assessments that are given frequently (as often as once per month or more) to measure student progress as they learn the skills.

These are called curriculum-based measures or criterion-referenced tests and can include reading inventories. They allow educators to compare student performance against a benchmark criterion that is based on predictive probabilities. This enables educators to quickly interpret scores and identify students who need help.

Educators should also use a variety of other types of assessments to monitor progress as they provide intervention. These are called progress monitoring assessments and include reading fluency, comprehension and phonics. These are different from formal, diagnostic assessments that are used to test for learning disabilities such as dyslexia.


Identifying students who need intervention and having the resources to provide it can be challenging in some schools. Although teacher recommendations can play a role, more reliable methods to identify reading difficulties include use of screening assessments or data analysis to determine whether a student has scores below a certain threshold.

Reading interventions usually focus on addressing the main elements needed to be successful in reading, such as phonemic awareness and decoding skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. They can also include fluency and word analysis strategies, such as breaking words down into their parts (prefixes, suffixes, and roots) to better understand their meaning.

Another important factor to remember when providing reading intervention is that students need to be encouraged and motivated to work on their weak areas. This can be done by providing positive feedback and allowing students to choose activities they are interested in. It is also important to be patient with students as they learn, as it takes time for them to build confidence in their skills.

What is Reading Intervention?
Scroll to top