A Reading Strategy for Content-Area Teachers

Parallel Reading Intervention


By Matthew Glavach, Ph.D.


Difficulty in learning to read has prolonged consequences.  Students with poor reading skills are locked into underachievement patterns that persist and become greater each year.  In middle school and high school, poor reading skills are barriers to academic success.  The resulting embarrassment and repeated failure take an emotional toll. Students feel alienated and demoralized and are at risk of failing and dropping out of school. Even when students remain in school, poor reading skills take a toll on students and their teachers.

Reading researcher and “ Adolescent Struggling Readers: Removing the Barriers to Success” author Matthew Glavach, Ph.D., found that when struggling readers’ focus is on multisyllable words there are many advantages, even when the words are above their tested reading levels. He published a study on his high school struggling readers which showed that when focusing on multisyllable words organized by suffixes and consistent endings, words such as information, education, communication, and cooperation, struggling readers made exceptional reading progress and most succeeded in content-area classes (science, history, biology, and English) because the words were from their textbooks and taught in a brain efficient way.

This issue of NASET’s Practical Teacher reviews the author’s reading strategy, which he calls parallel reading intervention, and gives examples and research support.  Content-area teachers use the strategy based on words derived from their own content-area textbooks. United States History teachers can use the words presented in the article and add words from their own textbooks.

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