Over a quarter of 8th-grade students and more than one-third of 4th graders do not read well enough to understand important concepts and acquire new knowledge from grade-level text. For students with learning disabilities, the numbers are more troubling. This article describes features of evidence-based instruction for students who continue to struggle with reading in late elementary, middle, and high school. Recommendations are organized into 5 areas that are critical to the reading improvement of older struggling readers: (1) word study, (2) fluency, (3) vocabulary, (4) comprehension, and (5) motivation. Much of the content in this article reflects our efforts with the Special Education and Reading Strands at the National Center on Instruction, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Two reports, both available at http://www.centeroninstruction.org/, have particular relevance — Interventions for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Meta-Analysis with Implications for Practice and Academic Literacy Instruction for Adolescents: A Guidance Document from the Center on Instruction.
Roberts, G., Torgesen, J. K., Boardman, A., & Scammacca, N. (2008). Evidence-based strategies for reading instruction of older students with LD or at risk for LD. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 44, 439–454.