Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UF Study: Students Improve Reading Skills By Tutoring Younger Kids

Date:
October 26, 1999
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
High school students struggling with reading can improve their skills significantly over short periods of time by becoming tutors to younger students, a University of Florida study has found.

Writer: Kristin Harmel

Related Articles


Source: Jeannette Schiffbauer, Nancy Dean, (352) 392-1554

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- High school students struggling with reading can improve their skills significantly over short periods of time by becoming tutors to younger students, a University of Florida study has found.

In the seven-month span that students were tested last year, the tutors' reading comprehension grew as much as it would have in two years without the program, and their reading skills grew as much as they would have in a year and four months, the study shows. Their vocabulary skills and attitudes toward reading also improved.

"Learning to tutor younger children helps students with their own reading skills by allowing them to learn strategies in nonthreatening ways," said Jeanette Schiffbauer, a researcher and teacher at UF's P.K. Yonge Developmental School and one of the developers of the ongoing study.

"Everybody learns: the tutors, the students who are tutored and even the teachers," said Nancy Dean, also a P.K. Yonge teacher and researcher, who developed the program with Schiffbauer. "The tutors' attitudes have gotten better, too. They believe in themselves more than before."

The program, called Everyone Reads, currently is in its second full year at P.K. Yonge, where there are 52 student tutors, and its first year at Dunnellon High School in Marion County, where there are 30 tutors.

Students who scored lower than 300 on a scale of 100 to 500 on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, a statewide measure of reading skills and comprehension, were selected to participate in the program. To assess how much the students' reading abilities changed during the study, Dean and Schiffbauer administered the Gates-MacGinitie reading test in the fall, before the program began, and again in the spring. Student tutors' test scores improved significantly over that period of time.

While the program was being tested at P.K. Yonge, Dean and Schiffbauer trained 62 teachers from seven Florida school districts to implement the program. Teachers first refreshed their own tutoring skills, then learned to isolate reading problems and develop strategies to fight them. Eventually, those skills will be passed on to the high school students they teach.

High school students in the program are assigned to work with either kindergartnersand first-graders or sixth-graders. Tutors for the lower grades spend most of their time reading stories and talking about letters and words to the youngsters. Tutors assigned to work with sixth-graders create word games and develop lesson plans to explain more complex concepts such as prefixes, suffixes and syllables.

"These kids are learning the importance of taking things seriously and doing them carefully," Schiffbauer said. "It builds up their self-esteem and makes them feel like they have an important skill, which they do."

High school student tutors also receive training in the fundamentals of reading, such as phonics, oral techniques and comprehension strategies. When they are paired with younger students, they have a chance to develop those skills in a situation that provides less pressure than a classroom, Dean said.

"Programs like this give kids an opportunity to succeed themselves," said Margaret Monsour, the director of programs at the Washington, D.C.-based Reading is Fundamental, a broad-based reading organization that serves 3.75 million children nationwide. "Their reading skills are improved, and they are able to help the younger kids. Learning goes on at both levels." A similar program is in place at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Ariz., Monsour said.

The program's effectiveness is due in part to the way it teaches students to believe in themselves, Dean said.

"We live in a world that is so technology-driven, but what really endures is that human contact," she said. "When you see that little face smiling up at you and trusting you, it makes a very big difference."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "UF Study: Students Improve Reading Skills By Tutoring Younger Kids." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991025113634.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1999, October 26). UF Study: Students Improve Reading Skills By Tutoring Younger Kids. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991025113634.htm
University Of Florida. "UF Study: Students Improve Reading Skills By Tutoring Younger Kids." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991025113634.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins