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Reading intervention
Response to intervention
Formative assessment
Multi-tiered system of support
Issue Date: 
Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Tan, C. S., O’Brien, B., & Lyna. (2020). A two-tiered approach to supporting pupils with reading difficulties in P3 mainstream classrooms (Report No. AFR 02/14 TCS). National Institute of Education (Singapore), Office of Education Research.
This study seeks to address the problem of providing additional support to pupils with reading difficulties by raising teacher competence in providing high quality reading instruction so that teachers can address the needs of struggling readers as early as possible. If classroom teachers assume active responsibility for delivering reading instruction consistently prior to referring pupils for psycho-educational assessment, struggling readers can be helped before their difficulties impede their learning.

Results of a pilot study conducted in 2013 by the principal investigator of the current proposed study using a Start-Up Grant (SUG) provide further insights into the current situation in school. A peer tutoring programme was modified from the Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) programme (Fuchs, Fuchs, Mathes, & Simmons, 1997 ) based on feedback from teachers. It was implemented in three classes using STELLAR (or Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading) materials in a pilot school. Findings from the study suggested that peer tutoring generally benefitted pupils who were able to read fairly independently. However, for pupils whose reading ability was significantly below that of their peers, another tier of support was needed. Based on the results of SUG study, a two-tiered approach was proposed as a framework to support pupils with reading difficulties. What is unique about the current study compared to other learning support programme available in schools in Singapore is the application of academic problem solving. The LSP and Reading Remediation Programme use a standard protocol approach. While the standard protocol approach is generally effective, the data-based decision making component of the academic problem solving allows teachers to provide interventions which are targeted to address individual students’ reading difficulties based on their progress monitoring data. Using academic problem solving, we were able to use progress monitoring data to determine students’ reading difficulties and the extent to which they were responding to interventions. Interventions which were targeted to address specific reading difficulties were then delivered and monitored.
Note: Restricted to NIE Staff.
Project number: 
AFR 02/14 TCS
Grant ID: 
Education Research Funding Programme (ERFP)
Funding Agency: 
Ministry of Education, Singapore
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