Intervention: Failure Free Reading
Failure Free Reading is a language development program designed to improve
vocabulary, fluency, word recognition, and reading comprehension for
kindergarten through grade 12 students who score in the bottom 15% on
standardized tests and who have not responded to conventional beginning
reading instruction. The three key dimensions of the program are repeated
exposure to text, predictable sentence structures, and story concepts that
require minimal prior knowledge. The program combines systematic,
scripted teacher instruction, talking software, workbook exercises, and
independent reading activities. The program is delivered through small
group or individual instruction.
One study of Failure Free Reading met the What Works Clearinghouse
(WWC) evidence standards. This study included 93 students from third
grade in Pennsylvania.
The WWC considers the extent of evidence for Failure Free Reading to
be small for alphabetics, fluency, and comprehension. No studies that met
WWC evidence standards with or without reservations addressed general
Failure Free Reading was found to have no discernible effects on alphabetics
and fluency, and potentially positive effects on comprehension.
1 The descriptive information for this program was obtained from publicly
available sources: the program's website
downloaded April, 2007) and the research literature
(Torgesen et al., 2006). The WWC requests developers to review
the program description sections for accuracy from their perspective.
Further verification of the accuracy of the descriptive information for this
program is beyond the scope of this review.
2 The evidence presented in this report is based on available research.
Findings and conclusions may change as new research becomes available.
3 These numbers show the average and range of student-level improvement
indices for all findings in the study.
Teachers, Parents and Administrators:
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