This descriptive study documents the effects of response-to-intervention type practices in four first-grade classrooms of English learners (ELs) from 11 native languages in three schools in a large urban school district in southern California. Observations and interviews in four classrooms across two consecutive years were compared to first-grade gains in oral reading fluency (N = 111). Reading fluency data were examined in relation to ratings of literacy practices, including the degree to which Tier 1 alone or Tier 1 plus Tier 2-type instruction was implemented. The correlation between classroom ratings on the English Learners Classroom Observation Instrument (ELCOI) and gain from pre- to posttest in first grade on oral reading fluency was moderately strong in both Year 1 (r = .61) and Year 2 (r = .57). The correlation between Cluster II teacher ratings and ORF gains was strong in both Year 1 (r = .75) and Year 2 (r = .70), suggesting a strong relationship between Tier 2-type literacy practices and end-of-first-grade oral reading fluency. Results indicated a strong correlation (r = -.81) between the number of students below DIBELS benchmark thresholds at the end of first grade and the teacher rating on the amount of instruction provided for low performers. Followup data at the end of third grade in oral reading fluency and comprehension indicate moderate correlations to first-grade scores (N = 51). Patterns of practice among first-grade teachers and patterns among ELs who were ultimately labeled as having learning disabilities are discussed. Educational implications and recommendations for future research are also presented.
Response to Intervention