The effects of four instructional strategies on English learners' English reading comprehension: A meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • This meta-analysis includes experimental and quasi-experimental studies of reading interventions for English learners (ELs) coupled with four specific instructional strategies. The purposes of this meta-analysis were two-fold: (1) to identify the effects of the four instructional strategies (i.e. scaffolding, graphic organizers, interactive read aloud, and leveled questions) on ELs reading comprehension; and (2) to evaluate the combined effect of these four strategies when used together on ELs reading comprehension. In addition to considering that different studies might have varying effect sizes on ELs reading comprehension, we also conducted moderator analyses to explore potential moderators that might affect the variation between selected studies. Our moderators were school level, intervention duration, language learning context, and sample size. After an extensive search of research literature, 23 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria of this meta-analysis study with a total of 2,284 participants. Mean effect sizes among these studies ranged from .05 to 2.23, depending on instructional strategies. These studies were associated with increased reading comprehension across varied school levels, methodological features, and settings. Our findings showed that each of the four instructional strategies is beneficial for ELs reading comprehension. We also found an additional potential benefit on ELs reading comprehension when these four instructional strategies are used together throughout a lesson. Our findings also revealed that intervention duration was the only significant moderator, suggesting that the longer the treatment is, the greater the impact will be on ELs comprehension.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, J., Tong, F., Irby, B. J., Lara-Alecio, R., & Rivera, H.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Li, Jui-Teng||Tong, Fuhui||Irby, Beverly J||Lara-Alecio, Rafael||Rivera, Hector

publication date

  • March 2021