Project I-READ: Improving Reading Efficiency and Decoding


Project I-READ will develop an intervention to improve reading skills for elementary students with or at risk for word-level reading disability (WLRD; i.e., dyslexia). Across a 4-year period, researchers will conduct a series of intervention studies to test a set of theoretically based instructional practices aimed at improving students’ word knowledge. Students in grades 2 through 4 with or at risk for WLRD/dyslexia will receive intervention. Instruction will specifically target students’ ability to efficiently connect word spellings to pronunciations and meanings, which may improve students’ ability to read words and text with greater fluency. The studies will also include usability and feasibility testing, and the project will culminate with a pilot trial of the developed intervention for improving outcomes for students with WLRD.

Project updates

Intervention Development and Studies

  • During the spring of 2021, two pilot studies were conducted virtually from February–March 2021 to investigate the effects of instruction and practice targeting: (a) complex (i.e., 3 or 4-letter) vs. simple (i.e., 2-letter) grapheme-phoneme correspondences and (b) standard (i.e., the most common) plus variable pronunciations for a given spelling pattern vs. standard pronunciations alone. Results of these studies were presented at the 2022 Pacific Coast Research Conference (see below), and a paper describing the results is currently in-progress.
  • Our Year 1 intervention was implemented from October 2021–February 2022 to investigate the effects of researcher-provided strategic word reading intervention vs. researcher-provided traditional word reading intervention. Data from this study are currently being analyzed, and results will be disseminated through conference presentations next year and in a publication.


  • Boucher, A.N., Clemens, N.H., Vaughn, S. (2022, February 17–19). Word reading interventions for individuals with word-level reading difficulties in grades 2-4 [Poster presentation]. Pacific Coast Research Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • Clemens, N.H. (2022, February). Project I-READ: Adapting an Experimental Study During an Uncontrolled Year. Presented at the Pacific Coast Research Conference, San Diego, CA.

Project I-READ is Recruiting for the 2022-2023 School Year!

Project I-READ is currently seeking school district partners for a 10-week intervention beginning in Fall 2022. This intervention may be helpful for students in second through fourth grades with WLRD/dyslexia.

Please contact Dr. Nathan Clemens for more information: