What is Reading Intervention?

Reading intervention is the process of providing supplemental reading instruction to students in addition to their regular classroom curriculum. Students are selected for reading intervention based on teacher recommendation, classroom performance and district local assessments including standardized tests.

Poor readers with word recognition difficulties often over rely on textual cues to identify unknown words and reduce the likelihood of transforming sight words into sound words (Pressley, 1998). Teaching phonological awareness and rhyming skills helps children better understand the sounds of letters.


Students receive instruction in decoding, reading comprehension, writing and study skills that dovetails with class curricula at their instructional level. They also read self-selected books for homework each night.

Students enrolled in Reading intervention typically take a universal screener in the fall that gives them information about where they are on a progression of skills. They then get diagnostic assessments that give teachers the information they need to reteach and strengthen specific skills. Then, the teacher provides ongoing formative assessments and interventions that move students quickly through the progression of skills.

Children need to become automatic at recognizing words so that they can focus their cognitive energies on understanding text. The underlying skills for this are phonological awareness, phonics and decoding. These are taught using Heggerty phonemic awareness practice, Sound Partners that teaches letter sounds in a systematic way and progresses through blending syllables, recognizing spelling patterns and multisyllable words. Orton-Gillingham is another phonics method that focuses on multisensory, direct, explicit, and explicit language teaching.


Reading fluency is an important component of a student’s literacy skills. It allows readers to process words more quickly and automatically, which frees cognitive resources for interpretation. Fluency also supports comprehension as it increases the number of words a reader can decode and recognize in a short amount of text.

A student’s reading fluency is best developed through repetitive reading. Repeated reading is especially effective for students who are experiencing difficulty with word decoding or reading accuracy. It is recommended that the teacher provide students with a variety of texts to practice reading each day.

A number of studies have compared the effectiveness of different methods of repetition in improving reading fluency. Some studies have used a cue to read for fluency or comprehension and other studies have used a set criterion such as a specific oral reading rate. Studies using a criterion have generally found more consistent positive effects than those that use a cue to read.


Reading comprehension involves integrating what you read with your own knowledge and experiences. It includes understanding the text or audio, answering questions about it, having an emotional reaction and thinking about it.

When you read for comprehension, it’s important to give students time to respond. Oftentimes, teachers ask a question and call on one student right away, but this takes time from other students. To help students engage, try to wait at least 7 seconds before calling on someone.

Teaching comprehension skills can be difficult, but there are many ways to support student success. One way is to break down large assignments into smaller ones that are easier for students to manage. Also, it’s helpful to give students explicit instruction about strategies they can use to improve their comprehension. This is called metacognition. For example, teaching students to underline or highlight words they are unfamiliar with can help them identify their own confusion about the text.


Vocabulary is the set of words that a person knows and uses to convey meaning. Vocabulary has been shown to correlate with reading comprehension, and in some cases accounts for a large portion of unique variance in reading comprehension after other factors such as chronological age, nonverbal IQ and word-level reading are controlled.

Students who struggle with reading often have poor vocabulary knowledge. This is because poor readers have difficulty suppressing irrelevant information from their short term memory, which limits their ability to understand texts. In addition, these students have difficulty recognizing words and decoding them accurately, which further limits their comprehension capacity.

In order to close the gap for students who struggle with vocabulary, teachers need to find ways to help them learn new words. One way to do this is by using vocabulary teaching strategies that are fun and engaging for the students. For example, students can be given sticky notes and asked to label vocabulary words on them. Then they can walk around the room and stick them on objects that apply to those words.

What is Reading Intervention?
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