An intervention study to prevent ‘summer reading loss’ in a socioeconomically disadvantaged area with second language learners
Summer reading loss is a documented reality for many students. Research has established differences in the contribution of summer reading activity between children from families with different economic status. In this study, 120 students in Grade 2 and 115 students in Grade 3 from a socioeconomically vulnerable area participated in a summer reading intervention. In addition, a control group from the same schools comprised of 106 students from Grade 2 and 94 students from Grade 3. Almost 90% of the participating students did not have Swedish as their native language. The participants were tested on reading skills, including word decoding, nonsense-word reading, word comprehension and reading comprehension, before and after the summer vacation. The intervention was planned together with teachers from three participant schools and leisure centers. Before the summer holiday the schools arranged reading weeks and library visits. The students were encouraged to read at home during the vacation and record the number of books read on a digital platform. The results showed that the largest effect sizes between groups (intervention and control) were observed for word decoding in Grade 2 and word comprehension in Grade 3 where the intervention group improved more than the control group. If summer learning loss can be avoided or limited, the treatment can be considered worth implementing.
Copyright (c) 2019 Linda Fälth, Thomas Nordström, Ulrika Andersson, Stefan Gustafson
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