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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews recent United States policy and research on literacy instruction in the primary grades, kindergarten through fifth grade. Four topics are discussed: policy and seminal reports, decoding and multitiered systems of instruction, comprehension, and individualized or differentiated instruction. The research review focuses on typically developing students, students who have or are at risk for reading disabilities, and English Language Learners. Research indicates that multitiered systems of instruction show promise although they have focused primarily on decoding and not on comprehension. For comprehension, multicomponent strategies may be more effective than single strategy interventions. However, mixed results—with various studies on teaching students how to comprehend what they are reading showing positive, null, and negative effects—indicate more research is needed. Individualizing the instruction provided to students based on assessment results appears to improve decoding and comprehension outcomes. Future directions for policy and research are also discussed.

Keywords: reading, literacy, comprehension, instruction, intervention, decoding, meaning-focused instruction, fundamental skills, differentiated instruction, individualized instruction

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