Classroom Reading Instruction for All Students

  • Barbara R. FoormanEmail author
  • Jeanne Wanzek


How well students respond to reading instruction in the classroom is instrumental in determining their academic outcomes. This chapter explains why this first tier of instruction in the classroom is at a critical juncture with the adoption of rigorous college and career readiness standards (e.g., the common core state standards in English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects; ELA CCSS for short). First, the ELA CCSS is overviewed and the key constructs of academic language, text complexity, and perspective taking are discussed. Second, the research-based practices in primary-grade reading instruction for teaching academic language skills, providing explicit instruction in the alphabetic skills, teaching word analysis skills, and ensuring daily practice in text reading with and without feedback in order to build accuracy, fluency, and comprehension are reviewed. Third, the research-based practices for content-area tier 1 reading instruction in the secondary grades are discussed. Specifically, the chapter focuses on providing explicit vocabulary and comprehension instruction, ensuring opportunities for extended discussion of text, and increasing student motivation and engagement in literacy learning. The authors conclude with a table summarizing best practices for tier 1 reading instruction.


Reading Comprehension Reading Instruction Common Core State Standard Academic Language Vocabulary Instruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, the US Department of Education, through sub awards to two grants: (1) a sub award to Florida State University (FSU) from Grant R305F100005 to the Educational Testing Service as part of the Reading for Understanding Initiative and (2) a sub award to FSU from Grant R305F100013 to the University of Texas at Austin. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute, the US Department of Education, the Educational Testing Service, The University of Texas at Austin, or The Florida State University.


  1. ACT. (2006). Reading between the lines: What the ACT reveals about college readiness in reading. Iowa City: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Alfassi, M. (2004). Reading to learn: Effects of combined strategy instruction on high school students. Journal of Educational Research, 97, 171–184. doi:10.3200/JOER.97.4.171–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Almasi, J. F. (2003). Teaching strategic processes in reading. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  4. American Educational Research Association. (Winter, 2009). Ensuring early literacy success. Research Points, 6(1), 1–4.
  5. Applebee, A., Langer, J., Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. (2003). Discussion-based approaches to developing understanding: Classroom instruction and student performance in middle and high school English. American Education Research Journal, 40, 685–730. doi:10.3102/00028312040003685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Apthorp, H. S. (2006). Effects of a supplemental vocabulary program in third-grade reading/language arts. Journal of Educational Research, 100(2), 67–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Apthorp, H., Randel, B., Cherasaro, T., Clark, T., McKeown, M., & Beck, I. (2012). Effects of a supplemental vocabulary program on word knowledge and passage comprehension. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 5(2), 160–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Armbruster, B. B., Anderson, T. H., & Meyer, J. (1991). Improving content area reading using instructional graphics. Reading Research Quarterly, 26(4), 393–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baker, S. K., Simmons, D. C., & Kame’enui, E. J. (1998). Vocabulary acquisition: Research bases. In D. C. Simmons & E. J. Kame’enui (Eds.), What reading research tells us about children with diverse learning needs: Bases and basics (pp. 183–217). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Beck, I. L., & McKeown, M. G. (2007). Increasing young children’s oral vocabulary repertories through rich and focused instruction. Elementary School Journal, 107, 251–271. doi:10.1086/511706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Omanson, R. C. (1987). The effects and uses of diverse vocabulary instructional techniques. In M. G. McKeown & M. E. Curtis (Eds.), The nature of vocabulary acquisition (pp. 147–163). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Biancarosa, G., & Snow, C. (2006). Reading next: A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy: A report to the Carnegie Corporation of NewYork (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.Google Scholar
  13. Biemiller, A. (2001). Teaching vocabulary: Early, direct, and sequential. The American Educator, 25(1), 24–28.Google Scholar
  14. Biemiller, A., & Boote, C. (2006). An effective method for building vocabulary in primary grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 44–62. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.98.1.44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Blachowicz, C. L. Z., Fisher, P. J. L., Ogle, D., & Watts-Taffe, S. (2006). Vocabulary: Questions from the classroom. Reading Research Quarterly, 41(4), 524–539. doi:10.1598/RRQ.41.4.5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Block, C. C. (1993). Strategy instruction in a literature-based reading program. Elementary School Journal, 94, 139–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Carlisle, J. F., & Stone, C. A. (2005). Exploring the role of morphemes in word reading. Reading Research Quarterly, 40, 428–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Carnegie Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy. (2010). Time to act: An agenda for advancing adolescent literacy for college and career success. New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York.Google Scholar
  19. Chomsky, N., & Halle, M. (1968). The sound pattern of English. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  20. Coyne, M. D., Simmons, D. C., Kame’Enui, E. J., & Stoolmiller, M. (2004a). Teaching vocabulary during shared storybook readings: An examination of differential effects. Exceptionality, 12(3), 145–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Coyne, M. D., Kame’Enui, E. J., Simmons, D. C., & Harn, B. A. (2004b). Beginning reading intervention as inoculation or insulin: First-grade reading performance of strong responders to kindergarten intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37(2), 90–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Coyne, M., McCoach, D., Loftus, S., Zipoli, R., & Kapp, S. (2009). Direct vocabulary instruction in kindergarten: Teaching for breadth versus depth. Elementary School Journal, 110, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cromley, J. G., & Azevedo, R. (2007). Testing and refining the direct and inferential mediation model of reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(2), 311–325. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.99.2.311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cunningham, A. E., & Stanovich, K. E. (1997). Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later. Developmental Psychology, 33, 934–945. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.33.6.934.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Denton, C. A., Kethley, C., Nimon, K., Kurz, T. B., Mathes, P. G., Shih, M., & Swanson, E. A. (2010). Effectiveness of a supplemental early reading intervention scaled up in multiple schools. Exceptional Children, 76(4), 394–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dole, J. A., Brown, K. J., & Trathen, W. (1996). The effects of strategy instruction on the comprehension performance of at-risk students. Reading Research Quarterly, 31, 62–88. doi:10.1598/RRQ.31.1.4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Durkin, D. (1978–1979). What classroom observations reveal about reading comprehension instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 14, 481–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Edmonds, M. S., Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Reutebuch, C., Cable, A., Tackett, K. K., & Schnakenberg, J. W. (2009). A synthesis of reading interventions and effects on reading comprehension outcomes for older struggling readers. Review of Educational Research, 79, 262–300. doi:10.3102/0034654308325998.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Elleman, A. M., Lindo, E. J., Morphy, P., & Compton, D. L. (2009). Instruction on passage-level comprehension of school-age children: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 2, 1–44. doi:10.1080/19345740802539200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Foorman, B. R., & Connor, C. (2011). Primary reading. In M. Kamil, P. D. Pearson, & E. Moje (Eds.), Handbook on reading research (Vol. 4, pp. 136–156). New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  31. Foorman, B. R., Francis, D. J., Fletcher, J. M., Schatschneider, C., & Mehta, P. (1998). The role of instruction in learning to read: Preventing reading failure in at-risk children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 37–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Foorman, B., Breier, J., & Fletcher, J. (2003a). Interventions aimed at improving reading success: An evidence-based approach. Developmental Neuropsychology, 24(2–3), 613–639.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Foorman, B., Seals, L., Anthony, J., & Pollard-Durodola, S. (2003b). Vocabulary enrichment program for third and fourth grade African American students: Description, implementation, and impact. In B. Foorman (Ed.), Preventing and remediating reading difficulties: Bringing science to scale (pp. 419–441). Austin: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  34. Foorman, B. R., Francis, D. J., Davidson, K., Harm, M., & Griffin, J. (2004). Variability in text features in six grade 1 basal reading programs. Scientific Studies in Reading, 8(2), 167–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Foorman, B. R., Petscher, Y., Lefsky, E., & Toste, J. (2010). Reading first in Florida: Five years of improvement. Journal of Research on Literacy, 42, 71–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Foorman, B., Petscher, Y., & Bishop, M. D. (2012). The incremental variance of morphological knowledge to reading comprehension in grades 3–10 beyond prior reading comprehension, spelling, and text reading efficiency. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 792–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gamse, B., Jacob, R., Horst, M., Boulay, B., & Unlu, F. (2008). Reading First impact study final report (NCEE 2009-4038). Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Evaluation & Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences. (U.S. Department of Education).Google Scholar
  38. Gibson, E., & Levin, H. (1975). The psychology of reading. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  39. Goodson, B., Wolf, A., Bell, S., Turner, H., & Finney, P. (2011). Effectiveness of a program to accelerate vocabulary development in kindergarten (VOCAB): First grade follow-up impact report and exploratory analyses of kindergarten impacts (NCEE 2012-4009). Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Evaluation & Regional Assistance, IES. (U.S. Department of Education).Google Scholar
  40. Graves, M. F., Cooke, C. L., & Laberge, M. J. (1983). Effects of previewing short stories. Reading Research Quarterly, 18, 262–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Guthrie, J. T., Wigfield, A., Barbosa, P., Perencevich, K. C., Taboada, A., Davis, M. H., et al. (2004). Increasing reading comprehension and engagement through concept-oriented reading instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 403–423. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.96.3.403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Guthrie, J. T., Wigfield, A., Metsala, J. L., & Cox, K. E. (1999). Motivational and cognitive predictors of text comprehension and reading amount. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3(3), 231–256. doi:10.1207/s1532799xssr0303_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Guthrie, J. T., Wigfield, A., & VonSecker, C. (2000). Effects of integrated instruction on motivation and strategy use in reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(2), 331–341. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.92.2.331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Harmon, J., Hedrick, W. B., & Wood, K. D. (2005). Research on vocabulary instruction in the content areas: Implications for struggling readers. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 21, 261–280. doi:10.1080/10573560590949377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hart, B., & Risley, T. (1995). Meaningful differences. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  46. Hart, B., & Risley, T. (1999). The social world of children learning to talk. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  47. Heller, R., & Greenleaf, C. L. (2007). Literacy instruction in the content areas: Getting to the core of middle and high school improvement. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.Google Scholar
  48. Justice, L., Meier, J., & Walpole, S. (2005). Learning new words from storybooks: An efficacy study with at-risk kindergartners. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 36(1), 17–32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Kamil, M. L., Borman, G. D., Dole, J., Kral, C. C., Salinger, T., & Torgesen, J. (2008). Improving adolescent literacy: Effective classroom and intervention practices: A practice guide (NCEE #2008-4027). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences. (U.S. Department of Education.
  50. Kim, A., Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J., & Wei, S. (2004). A synthesis of research on graphic organizers and their effect on reading comprehension for students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37, 105–118.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Klingner, J. K., Vaughn, S., & Schumm, J. S. (1998a). Collaborative strategic reading during social studies in heterogeneous fourth-grade classrooms. The Elementary School Journal, 99, 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Klingner, J. K., Vaughn, S., Hughes, S. T., Schumm, J. S., & Elbaum, B. (1998b). Outcomes for students with and without learning disabilities in inclusive classrooms. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 13, 153–161.Google Scholar
  53. Lee, C. D., & Spratley, A. (2010) Reading in the disciplines: The challenges of adolescent literacy. New York: Carnegie Corporation.Google Scholar
  54. Lever, R., & Sénéchal, M. (2011). Discussing stories: On how dialogic reading intervention improves kindergartners’ oral narrative construction. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 108, 1–24.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Lysynchuk, L. M., Pressley, M., & Vye, N. J. (1990). Reciprocal teaching improves standardized reading-comprehension performance in poor comprehenders. The Elementary School Journal, 90, 469–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mastropieri, M. A., Scruggs, T. E., Bakken, J. P., & Whedon, C. (1996a). Reading comprehension: A synthesis of research in learning disabilities. In T. E. Scruggs & M. A. Mastropieri (Eds.), Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (Vol. 10, Part B, pp. 201–223). Greenwich: JAI Press. doi:10.1177/0741932509355988.Google Scholar
  57. Mathes, P. G., Denton, C. A., Fletcher, J. M., Anthony, J. L., Francis, D. J., & Schatschneider, C. (2005). The effects of theoretically different instruction and student characteristics on the skills of struggling readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 40(2), 148–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Michaels, S., O’Connor, M. C., Hall, M. W., & Resnick, L. (2002). Accountable talk: Classroom conversation that works (3 CD-ROM set). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  59. Murphy, P. K., Wilkinson, I. A. G., Soter, A. O., Hennessey, M. N., & Alexander, J. F. (2009) Examining the effects of classroom discussion on students’ comprehension of text: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 740–764. doi:10.1037/a0015576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Nagy, W. E., & Scott, J. A. (2000). Vocabulary process. In M. L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 3, pp. 269–284). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  61. National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). National assessment of educational progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  62. National Governors Association & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2012). Supplemental information for appendix a of the common core standards for English language arts & literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Washington DC: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers.
  63. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  64. National Reading Panel. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel: Reports of the subgroups. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health.Google Scholar
  65. National Research Council (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. In C. E. Snow, M. S. Burns, & P. Griffin (Eds.), Committee on the prevention of reading difficulties in young children, committee on behavioral and social science and education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  66. Nelson, J., Perfetti, C., Liben, D., Liben, M. (2012). Measures of text difficulty: Testing their predictive value for grade levels and student performance. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.
  67. Nunes, T., Bryant, P., & Barros, R. (2012). The development of word recognition and its significance for comprehension and fluency. Journal of Educational Psychology. doi:10.1037/a0027412.Google Scholar
  68. O’Connor, R. E., White, A., & Swanson, H. L. (2007). Repeated reading versus continuous reading: Influences on reading fluency and comprehension. Exceptional Children, 74(1), 31–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. O’Connor, R. E., Swanson, H. L., & Geraghty, C. (2010). Improvement in reading rate under independent and difficult text levels: Influences on word and comprehension skills. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2011). Education at a glance 2011: OECD indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi:10.1787/eag-2011-en.Google Scholar
  71. Palincsar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction, 1, 117–175. doi:10.1207/s1532690xci0102_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Perfetti, C. A., Landi, N., & Oakhill, J. (2005). The acquisition of reading comprehension skill. In M. Snowling & C. Hulme (Eds.), The science of reading (pp. 227–247). Oxford: Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9780470757642.ch13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Porter, A., McMaken, J., Hwang, J., & Yang, R. (2011). Common core standards: The new U.S. intended curriculum. Educational Researcher, 40(3), 103–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Pressley, M. (1998). Reading instruction that works: The case for balanced teaching. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  75. Pressley, M. (2004). The need for research on secondary literacy education. In T. L. Jetton & J. A. Dole (Eds.), Adolescent literacy research and practice (pp. 415–432). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  76. Rayner, K., Foorman, B. R., Perfetti, C. A., Pesetsky, D., & Seidenberg, M. S. (2001). How psychological science informs the teaching of reading. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 2(2), 31–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. Scanlon, D., Anderson, K., & Sweeney, J. (2010). Early interventions for reading difficulties: The interactive strategies approach. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  78. Scott, J. A., Jamieson-Noel, D., & Asselin, M. (2003). Vocabulary instruction throughout the day in twenty-three Canadian upper-elementary classrooms. The Elementary School Journal, 103, 269–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Shanahan, T., & Shanahan, C. (2008). Teaching disciplinary literacy to adolescents: Rethinking content area literacy. Harvard Educational Review, 78(1), 40–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Simmons, D., Kame’enui, E., Harn, B., Coyne, M., Edwards, L., & Thomas, C. (2007). The effects of instructional emphasis and specificity on early reading and vocabulary development of kindergarten children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40, 331–347.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Simmons, D., Coyne, M., Kwok, O., McDonagh, S., Harn, B., & Kame-ennui, E. (2008). Indexing response to intervention: A longitudinal study of reading risk from kindergarten through third grade. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 158–173.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Snow, C. E. (2002). Reading for understanding: Toward a research and development program in reading comprehension. Santa Monica: RAND.Google Scholar
  83. Snow, C., Porche, M. V., Tabors, P., & Harris, S. (2007). Is literacy enough? Pathways to academic success for adolescents. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  84. Stahl, S. A., & Fairbanks, M. M. (2006). The effects of vocabulary instruction. In K. A. D. Stahl & M. C. McKenna (Eds.), Reading research at work: Foundations of effective practice (pp. 226–261). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  85. Stanback, M. (1992). Syllable and rime patterns for teaching reading: Analysis of a frequency-based vocabulary of 17,602 words. Annals of Dyslexia, 42(1), 196–221.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  86. Swanson, H. L. (1999). Experimental intervention research on students with learning disabilities: A meta-analysis of treatment outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 68, 277–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Swanson, H. L., & Hsieh, C. (2009). Reading disabilities in adults: A selective meta-analysis of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 79, 1362–1390. doi:10.3102/0034654309350931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Swanson, E. A., Wanzek, J., McCulley, L., Stillman-Spisak, S., Vaughn, S., Summon, D., Fogarty, M., & Hairrell, A. (in press). Literacy and text reading in middle and high school social studies and English language arts classrooms. Reading and Writing Quarterly.Google Scholar
  89. Taylor, B. M., Pearson, P. D., Peterson, D. S., & Rodriguez, M. C. (2005). The CIERA school change framework: An evidence-based approach to professional development and school reading improvement. Reading Research Quarterly, 40(1), 40–69. doi:10.1598/RRQ.40.1.3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Torgesen, J. K., Houston, D. D., Rissman, L. M., Decker, S. M., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., & Lesaux, N. (2007). Academic literacy instruction for adolescents: A guidance document from the Center on Instruction. Portsmouth: RMC Corporation, Center on Instruction.Google Scholar
  91. Twyman, T., McCleery, J., & Tindal, G. (2006). Using concepts to frame history content. Journal of Experimental Education, 74, 331–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wigfield, A., Guthrie, J. T., Perencevich, K. C., Taboada, A., Lutz Klauda, S., McRae, A., & Barbosa, P. (2008). Role of reading engagement in mediating effects of reading comprehension instruction on reading outcomes. Psychology in Schools, 45(5), 432–445. doi:10.1002/pits.20307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Williams, J. P., Brooke, S., Lauer, K., Hall, K., & Pollini, S. (2009). Embedding reading comprehension training in content-area instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(1), 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Ziegler, J. C., Stone, G. O., & Jacobs, A. M. (1997). Whatʼs the pronunciation for -OUGH and the spelling for/u/? A database for computing feedforward and feedback inconsistency in English. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 29, 600–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida Center for Reading ResearchFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations