Reading Recovery has not changed as a result of new research on reading. There
has been resistance to integrating the findings of independent, scientifically based reading
research into their program and making it more cost effective. A common finding in
research on Reading Recovery is that those students who do not respond are weak in
phonological awareness (Snow et al., 1998). Research by New Zealand researchers
Iverson and Tunmer (1993), in which explicit phonics component was added to a
standard Reading Recovery intervention, reduced the time required to complete the
program by about 30%. Morris, Tyner, and Perney (2000) found that a reading program
constructed like Reading Recovery with the addition of an explicit component addressing
spelling-to-sound patterns was highly effective, even with those students most at risk.
Over time, however, as students proceeded through grades there was a wash out effect
that occurred. Continued support that deals with more complex English orthography (i.e.
the Romance [Latin, French] and Greek layers) and comprehension strategies (e.g.
inference, questioning, monitoring and comprehension) is required.
Multiple methods used together tend to strengthen the inferences or the
conclusions that one can draw when studying things scientifically. Literacy intervention
must be considered in terms of available resources, including financial, instructional,
cultural, timing and time required. It is imperative to assess the existing external factors
or characteristics before simply adding an intervention. Characteristics of students who
are at risk must be taken into consideration.
Homan, P. (2002) An 8 year Longitudinal Analysis of Reading Recovery (1993-2000): Assessment, Technology, and Information Services. The Sioux Falls School District. Sioux Falls, SD.