Lexia Core5 Reading® is not just research based – it is RESEARCH PROVEN!
Lexia stands as one of the most rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and respected reading programs in the world. In numerous studies published in peer-reviewed journals, Lexia Reading has been found to accelerate the development of critical fundamental literacy skills for primary aged students. Lexia PowerUp Literacy has also been shown to provide effective remediation for struggling readers in years 7 and above.
These studies followed rigorous scientific standards, including the use of control groups, pre-testing/post-testing, standardised and norm-referenced reading tests, and stringent statistical data analysis. To learn more, please download Lexia's research overview (PDF).
“A strong reading program should be backed up by true efficacy data which is found only in studies published in peer-reviewed journals. A successful reading program must have a specific scope and sequence, provide extensive cumulative practice, and integrate new content with previously learned content. Lexia Reading does all of this.”
– Dr. Patricia G. Mathes, Ph.D, Professor of Literacy and Language Learning, and Director, Institute of Reading Research for Southern Methodist University
THE BLENDED LEARNING APPROACH
This study, published in 2015 in Computers in the Schools, demonstrates the benefits of a blended learning approach to reading instruction using Lexia Reading Core5 for first- and second-grade students (NZ years 2-3) from a low-income urban school in western Massachusetts. The blended learning approach combines digital technology with teacher-led instruction designed to strengthen reading skills.
- Students in the Core5 group showed significantly greater gains on a standardised reading assessment compared to control students who received the same classroom instruction without Core5. The greatest discrepancy between groups occurred in reading comprehension. It was found that the largest reading gains occurred for low-performing ESOL students in the Core5 group. At post-test, these students performed at the level of non-ESOL students in the control group. The Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE™), Levels 1 and 2, was used as the reading measure. [Schechter, R., Macaruso, P., Kazakoff, E.R., & Brooke, E. (2015). Exploration of a blended learning approach to reading instruction for low SES students in early elementary grades. Computers in the Schools, 32, 183–200.]
SUPPORTING ESOL LEARNERS
This study, published in 2011 in the Bilingual Research Journal, demonstrates that Lexia supports ESOL Learners in acquiring foundational literacy skills. The study was conducted in Kindergarten (NZ Year 1) classes using a bilingual education model in a rural Texas district, where all students received reading instruction based on a core, phonics-based curriculum.
- Students who used the Lexia program in addition to core reading instruction showed greater gains than a control group in overall reading, phonological awareness, and word reading. The Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE), Level K, was used as the reading measure. [Macaruso, P., & Walker, A. (2011). Benefits of computer-assisted instruction to support reading acquisition in ESOL Learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 34, 301–315.]
CLOSING THE GAP
Lexia supports literacy gains among at-risk primary school students, as documented in a study published in 2006 in the Journal of Research in Reading. The study followed first graders (NZ Year 2) in an urban school district in Massachusetts, where Lexia was used to supplement a core, phonics-based reading program.
- Title I students in the Lexia group made significantly greater gains than Title I students in a control group on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Level BR (Beginning Reading), which measures letter-sound correspondences for consonants and vowels, and basic story words. Moreover, Title I students in the Lexia group closed the performance gap when compared at post-test to non-Title I students in the Lexia group. [Macaruso, P., Hook, P.E., & McCabe, R. (2006). The efficacy of computer-based supplementary phonics programs for advancing reading skills in at-risk elementary students. Journal of Research in Reading, 29, 162–172.]
HELPING ADOLESCENT READERS ADVANCE
A study published in 2009 in the European Journal of Special Needs Education shows the effectiveness of Lexia beyond the elementary level. This study tracked the performance of sixth- and seventh-grade (NZ Year 7-8) remedial reading students in a Utah school district, where Lexia’s Strategies for Older Students supplemented intense phonics-based reading instruction.
- Students in the Lexia group made significant gains relative to a control group on the Word Attack subtest, from the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Achievement. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2009). Benefits of computer-assisted instruction for struggling readers in middle school. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 24, 103–113.]
BUILDING EARLY LITERACY SKILLS
The three studies that follow were published in Reading Psychology and show that Lexia improves early literacy skills when used in conjunction with classroom reading instruction. The studies were conducted in an urban Massachusetts school district.
- Kindergartners (NZ Year 1 students) using Lexia significantly outperformed students in the control group on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test®, Level PR (Pre-Reading), which measures phonological awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and listening comprehension. Group differences were more pronounced for low performers. [Macaruso, P., & Walker, A. (2008). The efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for advancing literacy skills in kindergarten children. Reading Psychology, 29, 266–287.]
- In a subsequent Kindergarten (NZ Year 1) study, focusing on low performers, students using Lexia made significantly greater gains than a control group on the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE™), Level K. The test measures phonological awareness, early literacy skills, letter-sound correspondence, listening comprehension, and word reading. Group differences were notable for the word reading subtest. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for the development of early literacy skills in young children. Reading Psychology, 32, 172–196.]
- Preschool students using Lexia made significantly greater gains than the control group on the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE) Level P, used to assess phonological awareness, visual skills, conceptual knowledge, and listening comprehension. The greatest gains were made in phonological awareness. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for the development of early literacy skills in young children. Reading Psychology, 32, 172–196.]
COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION:
Successful Only with Proper Implementation
The article "Computer Assisted Instruction: Successful Only with Proper Implementation" (Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 2007), highlights the importance of strong implementation of computer-based instruction to support reading gains and discusses how to address implementation challenges in classroom settings.
The article highlights three key challenges to effective implementation:
- The first challenge is for the school systems to provide sufficient technical support to run the software programs.
- The second is to ensure that the software programs are integrated properly into the reading curriculum. But even if these two challenges are met, the efficacy of the software hinges on meeting a third challenge, which is establishing sufficient use of the software programs by the students.
- This third challenge is the focus of this article and will be discussed in the context of two research studies—one with a high-use pattern and the second with weaker use.
FLORIDA CENTER FOR READING RESEARCH
The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) categorised Lexia in 2008 as a “Comprehensive Reading Program” able to address the needs of students in a wide range of grades and skills levels. Lexia was deemed appropriate in more categories than any other program within the FCRR review framework.
- Intelligent Branching: “Once a student is placed at the appropriate level and activity based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s needs, a recursive branching system that is built into the Lexia software automatically directs a student to the needed level of activity difficulty, depending on the student’s response.” – Florida Center for Reading Research
- Student Experience: “Students are given support throughout the activities with cues offered when needed and additional lessons provided when they experience difficulty.” – Florida Center for Reading Research