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Title: An evaluation of a volunteer tutoring programme to improve reading ability in children learning English as an additional language : a randomised controlled trial
Author: Fox, Naoimh Helen Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 9145
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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Many children experience challenges with learning English as an additional language (EAL) which include; understanding the meaning of words decoding words, reading accuracy and fluency. Research suggests that phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge are the two best predictors of success in learning to read, particularly for a beginner reader of English. Evidence suggests that one:to-one tutoring programmes implemented by volunteer students improve the reading ability of struggling readers. This thesis outlines the design and first ReT evaluation of a one-to-one volunteer tutoring programme aimed to improve the reading and concentration abilities of children aged 5-8 years learning EAL. This evidence-based tutoring programme adopted promising approaches for developing reading in both monolingual and EAL children and was implemented by volunteer undergraduate students over 12 weeks. Eighty-two EAL children with reading difficulties were recruited and individually randomised into either an intervention or control group. An outcome evaluation found no strong evidence that the tutoring programme had an impact across the reading ability and concentration outcomes which may indicate that a manualised approach is unsuitable for all EAL children. Exploratory analysis found no significant effects for gender but significant effects for dosage when reading words accurately and fluently. A process evaluation identified some issues with implementation and fidelity of the programme, attrition and a range of abilities within the sample. This study emphasised the benefits of utilising a mixed-method design in order to explore the full effects of a tutoring programme. Future trials should consider recruiting a larger sample of children and screening to identify the lowest achievers. Moreover, longer intervention programmes that compare different types of volunteer tutors and different lengths of interventions may be useful to assess suitable tutors and the ideal length of one-to-one tutoring programmes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available