Reading Psychology (2008)

The Efficacy of Computer-Assisted Instruction for Advancing Literacy Skills in Kindergarten Children

Macaruso, P., & Walker, A. (2008). The efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for advancing literacy skills in kindergarten children. Reading Psychology, 29, 266–287.

This study examined the benefits of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) as a supplement to a phonics-based reading curriculum for kindergartners in an urban public school system. The CAI program provides systematic exercises in phonological awareness and letter-sound correspondences. Comparisons were made between children in classes receiving a sufficient amount of CAI support and children in matched classes taught by the same teacher but without CAI. The treatment and control groups did not differ on pretest measures of preliteracy skills. There were, however, significant differences between groups on posttest measures of phonological awareness skills particularly for students with the lowest pretest scores.

Key Findings 

  • Kindergartners using Lexia Reading 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.

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