Reviews of Read Naturally

Well-designed studies that implement Read Naturally interventions with fidelity consistently demonstrate the effectiveness of the Read Naturally Strategy.

In three reviews posted by the NCII, study authors found Read Naturally showed statistically significant effects for comprehension, fluency, rate, and accuracy

MCA scores for the Read Naturally group and a control group

The Heistad study showed an effect size for reading comprehension of .38 on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA). 

pointer Learn more about the Heistad study

Fluency results for the Read Naturally group and a control group

The Christ & Davie study showed effect sizes of .66 for fluency with the Grey Oral Reading Test–Fourth Edition: Fluency (GORT 4: Fluency) and .66 for accuracy with the GORT 4: Accuracy. 

pointer Learn more about the Christ & Davie study

Gains in accuracy, rate, and fluency for the Read Naturally group and a control group

The Tucker & Jones study showed effect sizes of .51 for rate with the GORT 4: Rate, .87 for accuracy with the GORT 4: Accuracy, and .75 for fluency with the GORT 4: Fluency. 

pointer Learn more about the Tucker & Jones study

For More Information

pointer University Study of Read Naturally Gets High Rating from NCII

Other helpful reviews: Florida Center for Reading Research and the University of Oregon

The NCII pays attention to study purpose, design, and implementation. In Read Naturally's experience, the NCII, as well as the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) and the University of Oregon, produce accurate and helpful reviews of programs.

pointer FCRR and U of Oregon Give Read Naturally Highest Ratings

Unfortunately, not all evaluators take into account the stated purpose of a study and may post reviews of studies that were not intended to evaluate the program. As a result, they provide educators with misleading information.

pointer Chart comparing the criteria used by evaluators of reading programs

Flaws in some studies reviewed by WWC

On the one hand, a review of the Christ & Davie study by What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) concluded that the study showed a "statistically significant positive effect" for fluency, and the WWC review of the Heistad study showed positive effects for comprehension.

pointer WWC’s report on Read Naturally: Positive effects on general reading achievement

But in other cases, the WWC has posted evaluations of Read Naturally that are based on studies that did not use or evaluate the Read Naturally strategy properly. In each case, the study authors clearly state that using their study as an evaluation of Read Naturally would be a misapplication of the data, and that WWC should not post these studies:

Hancock Study Not Intended to Evaluate Read Naturally

"While I used Read Naturally materials, I did NOT fully implement the Read Naturally strategy and my study was NOT intended to evaluate the Read Naturally strategy."
– Carrie Hancock, Study Author

pointer Summary analysis of Hancock study

Kemp Study Evaluated Sustained Silent Reading, Not Read Naturally

"My study was a study of sustained silent reading and the purpose was not to evaluate Read Naturally."
– Susan Kemp, Study Author

pointer Summary analysis of the Kemp study

WWC Underestimates Read Naturally Fluency Gains in Arvans Study

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) includes the Arvans (2010) study in its intervention report for Read Naturally programs. In this report, WWC asserts that the Read Naturally group in the Arvans study does not demonstrate significant gains in oral reading fluency. However, an analysis of the Arvans study reveals that the Read Naturally group’s fluency gains were quite significant.

pointer Summary analysis of the Arvans study


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