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Inattention and Response to the ABRACADABRA Web-Based Literacy Intervention

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Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness Volume 2, Number 3, ISSN 1934-5747


Inattention is often associated with reduced response to reading intervention. This study explored attention as a predictor of individual variation in response to a free-access Web-based literacy intervention, ABRACADABRA ( in typical Grade 1 children. A randomized control design was used to contrast two interventions, a phoneme-based Synthetic and a rime-based Analytic Phonics approach, against a regular classroom control condition. Attention measured by parent ratings and a sustained attention task, was correlated with reading. Attention also predicted growth in blending and reading comprehension for students receiving only regular classroom teaching. However, in the most successful intervention, Synthetic Phonics, attention no longer predicted reading outcome. An omnibus analysis of effect sizes that combined all attention measures across all areas of literacy attainment improved by ABRCADABRA confirmed that there were significant differences between the regular classroom teaching control and the synthetic phonics intervention: Attention predicted significantly more variance in attainment in the control condition. These results suggest that the computer-based literacy intervention, ABRACADABRA, can influence the associations between literacy and attention and may support students at risk of reading and attention difficulties. (Contains 3 tables.)


Deault, L., Savage, R. & Abrami, P. (2009). Inattention and Response to the ABRACADABRA Web-Based Literacy Intervention. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 2(3), 250-286. Retrieved February 17, 2019 from .

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