Stevens-Austin-2021

Authors: Stevens, Elizabeth A., Christy Austin, Clint Moore, Nancy Scammacca, Alexis N. Boucher, and Sharon Vaughn.

Article: Current State of the Evidence: Examining the Effects of Orton-Gillingham Reading Interventions for Students With or at Risk for Word-Level Reading Disabilities.

Publication: Exceptional Children (Sage Journals). First Published February 22, 2021 | DOI: 10.1177/0014402921993406

Over the past decade, parent advocacy groups led a grassroots movement resulting in most states adopting dyslexia-specific legislation, with many states mandating the use of the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction. Orton-Gillingham is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive approach to reading for students with or at risk for word-level reading disabilities (WLRD). Evidence from a prior synthesis and What Works Clearinghouse reports yielded findings lacking support for the effectiveness of Orton-Gillingham interventions. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of Orton-Gillingham reading interventions on the reading outcomes of students with or at risk for WLRD. Findings suggested Orton-Gillingham reading interventions do not statistically significantly improve foundational skill outcomes (i.e., phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, spelling; effect size [ES] = 0.32; p = .24), although the mean ES was positive in favor of Orton-Gillingham-based approaches. Similarly, there were not significant differences for vocabulary and comprehension outcomes (ES = 0.14; p = .57) for students with or at risk for WLRD. More high-quality, rigorous research with larger samples of students with WLRD is needed to fully understand the effects of Orton-Gillingham interventions on the reading outcomes for this population.

Video Overview

Tagged as: og-overview, orton-gillingham, and outcomes

Citation:

Stevens, E. A., Austin, C., Moore, C., Scammacca, N., Boucher, A. N., & Vaughn, S. (2021). Current State of the Evidence: Examining the Effects of Orton-Gillingham Reading Interventions for Students With or at Risk for Word-Level Reading Disabilities. Exceptional Children. https://doi.org/10.1177/0014402921993406

Excerpts from Full Text / Notes:

Excerpts from Full Text (Summarizing Findings):

Is there Scientific Evidence to Support OG Instruction for Students with WLRD?

The major finding in Ritchey and Goeke’s review (2006) revealed the research was simply insufficient, in the number of studies conducted and study quality, to support OG instruction as an evidence-based practice. Nearly 15 years later, the results of this meta-analysis suggest OG interventions do not statistically significantly improve foundational skill outcomes nor vocabulary and reading comprehension outcomes for students with or at risk for WLRD over and above comparison condition instruction.
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[D]espite the continued widespread acceptance, use, and support for OG instruction, there is little evidence to date that these interventions significantly improve reading outcomes for students with or at risk for WLRD over and above comparison-group instruction.
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Implications for Future Research
The findings from this meta-analysis raise concerns about legislation mandating OG. The findings from this synthesis suggest “promise” but not confidence or evidence-based effects given the research findings currently available. Future intervention studies that utilize high quality research designs, sufficiently large samples, and report multiple dimensions of treatment fidelity will determine whether OG interventions positively impact the reading outcomes for students with or at risk for WLRD.
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The findings from this meta-analysis do not definitively prove that OG interventions are not impactful for students with dyslexia. In addition, we are not suggesting that other reading programs are more effective than OG. Instead, findings from this meta-analysis indicate that we do not yet know the answers to these questions. Current evidence suggests promise but not confidence that this approach significantly impacts reading outcomes for this population; furthermore, current evidence does not suggest confidence that this is the only approach to remediating word-reading difficulties for these students.

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