What is Reading Intervention?

Reading intervention

Reading intervention is the process of helping a student who has trouble reading. Students who require this help are usually recommended to a specialist by their regular teacher.

Teaching reading comprehension strategies is an effective way to improve students’ skills. This includes monitoring their understanding during reading, reviewing difficult concepts after a passage and encoding key details into long-term memory.

Individualized Instruction

In reading intervention, individualized instruction refers to the tailoring of lessons and classroom learning activities based on students’ individual skills and needs. Individualized instruction is a component of several different approaches to teaching and improving literacy skills, including multisensory techniques, explicit systematic instruction, and phonics-based strategies.

Typically, teachers use a combination of flexible grouping and individualized instruction to meet the needs of all students in their class. Flexible grouping focuses on groups that are closely matched by abilities, allowing students to move within the group as needed. Individualized instruction focuses on the student’s specific reading skills and needs, with teachers using computer-generated suggestions to aid planning and professional development.

Two key goals of the Reading Recovery approach are acceleration of each child’s literacy learning and identification of those students who need ongoing specialist evaluation and intervention. Reading Recovery lessons are taught one-to-one, and the one-on-one interaction allows for the collection of rich diagnostic information that benefits students and teachers.


Reading intervention provides extra individualized attention and support to students who are struggling with their reading skills. These students are often identified by their teachers or reading specialist as needing supplemental instruction outside of their classroom. They are often also identified by standardized tests, district local assessments and individual screenings.

This intervention approach focuses on teaching reading strategies that improve word recognition, phonics and comprehension. Students are taught how to decode words by sounding them out and combining or blending the sounds with written spelling patterns, or graphemes.

Young children must master phonics — the mapping of speech sounds to alphabet letters and symbols — before they can become accomplished readers. Reading interventions include a variety of phonics activities that help students hone their spelling skills, sort words by syllables, and read multisyllabic words. One of the most important phonics skills is learning to differentiate between long and short vowel sounds. This takes time to master because the differences are subtle.

Reading Comprehension

Comprehension is an essential reading skill if students are to learn from the text they read and if they are to enjoy what they read. However, comprehension is difficult to teach and it takes time to develop.

One reading intervention that focuses on comprehension is Lexia Core 5. This computer-based program provides instruction in phonics, decoding and word reading; reading fluency; and reading comprehension from pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5. The program uses web-based and offline materials to support student learning.

School boards determine which interventions to use, in what grades and how to select students for the program. Many schools have several commercial programs and a number of board-developed reading interventions. The inquiry heard that school boards need more direction from the Ministry on which programs to use and how to implement them in their schools, especially how to make sure they are evidence-based. This will help them maximize the effectiveness of their program and provide savings based on economies of scale.


Vocabulary is one of the most important pillars of reading intervention. Research demonstrates that students with strong vocabulary skills have more advanced reading comprehension abilities than their peers who do not.

Children who grow up in literate homes often come to school with oral vocabularies that are many times larger than their classmates. This gap increases with each grade level and is one reason why vocabulary instruction is crucial in Reading intervention.

While most of the time, students learn vocabulary by simply reading and talking about texts, some vocabulary must be directly taught. This is especially true for difficult words that are not found in students’ everyday experiences and that may be unfamiliar to them (i.e., Tier 2 words).

One of the most effective and engaging ways to teach vocabulary is by using flashcards. To make it fun, have your students draw an image for each word on the front and then write the definition on the back. This activity will keep your students engaged and motivated to continue building their vocabulary.

What is Reading Intervention?
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