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A Randomized Controlled Trial Study of the ABRACADABRA Reading Intervention Program in Grade 1

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Journal of Educational Psychology Volume 101, Number 3, ISSN 0022-0663


This study reports a randomized controlled trial evaluation of a computer-based balanced literacy intervention, ABRACADABRA ( Children (N = 144) in Grade 1 were exposed either to computer activities for word analysis, text comprehension, and fluency, alongside shared stories (experimental groups), or to balanced literacy approaches delivered by their classroom teachers (control group). Two computer-based interventions--a phoneme-based synthetic phonics method and a rime-based analytic phonics method--were contrasted. Children were taught 4 times per week for 12 weeks in small groups. There were significant improvements in letter knowledge in the analytic phonics program and significant improvements in phonological awareness, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension at immediate posttest and in phonological awareness and reading fluency at a delayed posttest in the synthetic phonics program. Effect size analyses confirmed that both interventions had a significant impact on literacy at both posttests. (Contains 2 tables.)


Savage, R.S., Abrami, P., Hipps, G. & Deault, L. (2009). A Randomized Controlled Trial Study of the ABRACADABRA Reading Intervention Program in Grade 1. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(3), 590-604. Retrieved April 19, 2021 from .

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