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Corrective Reading: A Systemwide Program To Improve Reading Performance for Incarcerated Adult Basic Education Students

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 28 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2003 Pages: 1-4,28,30
Gail Coulter; Eric Brookens
Date Published
October 2003
7 pages
This article reports on the components and effectiveness of the Corrective Reading program for Adult Basic Education (ABE) students statewide in facilities under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Corrections.
The Corrective Reading program was chosen to remedy reading difficulties for ABE students because it has been empirically compared with other reading programs, producing quantitative data that support its effectiveness in student achievement. Its effectiveness has been shown in a variety of settings with a variety of students, including students with behavior disorders, low cognitive skills, and illiteracy. The program is designed to accelerate reading performance from beginning reading to the eighth-grade level in approximately 18 months to 2 years based on one successful lesson per day for 5 days a week. The program focuses on two distinct areas or strands of teaching that address needs in the learning process of both beginning and problem readers. These areas are decoding and comprehension. Decoding pertains to phonemic awareness, letter/sound correspondence, phonic elements in isolation and then in word lists, connected text that is controlled, interspersed questions, and independent work. The comprehension strand is designed to teach concepts, vocabulary, and systems that are important for passing the GED. To determine the effectiveness of instruction under the Corrective Reading program of the Colorado Department of Corrections, a simple pretest/posttest design was used. Student progress was measured by using oral reading fluency, as determined by the number of correct words the students read within 1 minute. The findings support the effectiveness of the program with low-level readers, including those with learning disabilities. To date, no other adult reading approach has produced similar data and student gains. 2 figures, 2 tables, and 31 references