Lexia stands as one of the most rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and respected reading programs in the world. In numerous studies published in peer-reviewed journals, Lexia has been found to accelerate the development of critical foundational literacy skills in the early grades. Lexia Strategies has also been shown to be effective in remediating struggling readers in middle and high school. The studies followed rigorous scientific standards, including the use of control groups, pre-testing/post-testing, standardized and norm-referenced reading tests, and stringent statistical data analysis. To learn more, please download Lexia's research overview (PDF).
Building Early Literacy Skills
The three studies that follow were published in Reading Psychology and show that Lexia improves early literacy skills when used in conjunction with classroom reading instruction. The studies were conducted in an urban Massachusetts school district.
Kindergartners using Lexia significantly outperformed students in the control group on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test®, Level PR (Pre-Reading), which measures phonological awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and listening comprehension. Group differences were more pronounced for low performers. [Macaruso, P., & Walker, A. (2008). The efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for advancing literacy skills in kindergarten children. Reading Psychology, 29, 266–287.]
In a subsequent Kindergarten study, focusing on low performers, students using Lexia made significantly greater gains than a control group on the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE™), Level K. The test measures phonological awareness, early literacy skills, letter-sound correspondence, listening comprehension, and word reading. Group differences were notable for the word reading subtest. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for the development of early literacy skills in young children. Reading Psychology, 32, 172–196.]
Preschool students using Lexia made significantly greater gains than the control group on the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE) Level P, used to assess phonological awareness, visual skills, conceptual knowledge, and listening comprehension. The greatest gains were made in phonological awareness. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for the development of early literacy skills in young children. Reading Psychology, 32, 172–196.]
Supporting English Language Learners
This study, published in 2011 in the Bilingual Research Journal, demonstrates that Lexia supports English Language Learners (ELL students) in acquiring foundational literacy skills. The study was conducted in Kindergarten classes using a bilingual education model in a rural Texas district, where all students received reading instruction based on a core, phonics-based curriculum.
Students who used the Lexia program in addition to core reading instruction showed greater gains than a control group in overall reading, phonological awareness, and word reading. The Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE), Level K, was used as the reading measure. [Macaruso, P., & Walker, A. (2011). Benefits of computer-assisted instruction to support reading acquisition in English Language Learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 34, 301–315.]
Closing the Gap
Lexia supports literacy gains among at-risk elementary students, as documented in a study published in 2006 in the Journal of Research in Reading. The study followed first graders in an urban school district in Massachusetts, where Lexia was used to supplement a core, phonics-based reading program.
Title I students in the Lexia group made significantly greater gains than Title I students in a control group on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Level BR (Beginning Reading), which measures letter-sound correspondences for consonants and vowels, and basic story words. Moreover, Title I students in the Lexia group closed the performance gap when compared at post-test to non-Title I students in the Lexia group. [Macaruso, P., Hook, P.E., & McCabe, R. (2006). The efficacy of computer-based supplementary phonics programs for advancing reading skills in at-risk elementary students. Journal of Research in Reading, 29, 162–172.]
Helping Adolescent Readers Advance
A study published in 2009 in the European Journal of Special Needs Education shows the effectiveness of Lexia beyond the elementary level. This study tracked the performance of sixth- and seventh-grade remedial reading students in a Utah school district, where Lexia Strategies supplemented intense phonics-based reading instruction.
Students in the Lexia group made significant gains relative to a control group on the Word Attack subtest, from the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Achievement. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2009). Benefits of computer-assisted instruction for struggling readers in middle school. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 24, 103–113.]
Reviewed Favorably by the National Center on Response to Intervention
Lexia has been reviewed favorably by the National Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI) and by the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) as an effective instructional intervention. NCRTI is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The Center’s mission is to provide technical assistance to states and districts and build the capacity of states to assist districts in implementing proven models for RTI.
What Works Clearinghouse Comparison of Lexia with other Reading Software Programs
Lexia is 1 of only 10 out of 171 programs in seven years to meet evidence standards as defined by What Works Clearninghouse (WWC) and show positive or potentially positive effects in at least two of the four beginning reading skills (alphabetics, comprehension, fluency, and general reading achievement). Based on the studies reviewed by WWC, Lexia was found to have potentially positive effects on alphabetics and reading comprehension, and showed statistically significant effects in general reading achievement for subgroups of at-risk students.
View the comparison chart to see how the WWC's favorable review of Lexia compares to other products.
Florida Center for Reading Research
The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) categorized Lexia in 2008 as a "Comprehensive Reading Program" able to address the needs of students in a wide range of grades and skills levels. Lexia was deemed appropriate in more categories than any other program within the FCRR review framework.
Intelligent Branching: “Once a student is placed at the appropriate level and activity based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s needs, a recursive branching system that is built into the Lexia software automatically directs a student to the needed level of activity difficulty, depending on the student’s response.” – Florida Center for Reading Research
Student Experience: “Students are given support throughout the activities with cues offered when needed and additional lessons provided when they experience difficulty.” – Florida Center for Reading Research