Title

ABRACADABRA Aids Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Early Literacy in Australia: Evidence from a Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2013

Keywords

computer-based instruction, early literacy, phonological awareness, indigenous populations, randomized experiment

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.04.002

Abstract

In many western countries, identifiable populations of children read below age-expectations, and the need for effective interventions remains pressing. Indigenous populations across the globe tend to have reading outcomes lower than comparative general populations. This is a critical issue in Australia's Northern Territory where Indigenous students are far less likely to meet minimum reading standards. There is some evidence to suggest that computer-based instruction may be of particular benefit to struggling readers. To redress reading disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, a multisite single-blind randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of the ABRACADABRA web-based reading tool, http://abralite.concordia.ca, on reading, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness was conducted in Northern Territory, Australian primary schools with 164 intervention and 148 control (regular instruction) children. The total sample was 28% Indigenous. Results revealed that all intervention group students made significant gains in phonological awareness (d = .37) and phoneme-grapheme knowledge over control group peers (d = .37). Indigenous students gained significantly more per hour of instruction than non-Indigenous students in phonological awareness and early literacy skills. Results suggest that ABRACADABRA prevents lags in foundational literacy experienced by poor readers including Indigenous students.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

No

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Computers & Education, v. 67, p. 250-264