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6 Characteristics of Effective Intervention

When readers struggle, small-group intervention is critical. Reading difficulties are preventable with effective intervention systems. To ensure students are given the boost they need for literacy success, follow these six guidelines for effective intervention.


Interventions must have flexible entry and exit points so that individual needs may be accommodated. In an intensive, highly-effective program like Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI), students can make accelerated progress.


Lessons must be supplemental to good classroom instruction; it is the combination of classroom instruction and intensive small-group intervention that leads to success.


Frequent lessons are best so that readers can gain and sustain momentum and acceleration is made possible. LLI is taught 5 days a week, every week.


Fountas and Pinnell recommend a teacher-student ratio of 1:3 for grades K-2 and 1:4 for grades 3-12.


Teachers of struggling readers and writers should be exceptionally skilled in systematic observation, in the assessment of reading behaviors, and in teaching for the range of strategic actions that proficient readers use.


Teamwork is critical among all who have a role in supporting struggling readers. When classroom and intervention teachers are working toward the same goals, students can make accelerated progress. LLI is built on the firm foundation of The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum—a roadmap for teachers to create a shared vision of learning.

Read about the foundation for the development of this intervention system:

Read the LLI K-2 Research Base

Read the LLI 3-12 Research Base

And view all the research for Leveled Literacy Intervention:

View the research for Leveled Literacy Intervention


~ The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team



Stanovich, K.E. (1986). Matthew effects in reading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, 21, 360-406.

Goldenberg, C.N. (1994). Promoting early literacy among Spanish-speaking children: Lessons from two studies. In E.H. Hiebert & B.M. Taylor (Eds.), Getting Ready Right from the Start: Effective Early Literacy Interventions. Needham, MA. Allyn & Bacon.

Hiebert, E.H. & B.M. Taylor (1994). Early literacy interventions: Answers and issues. In E.H. Hiebert & B.M. Taylor (Eds.), Getting Ready Right from the Start: Effective Early Literacy Interventions. Needham, MA. Allyn & Bacon.

Clay, M.M. (2001). Change Over Time in Children’s Literacy Development. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Schmidt, M.C., Askew, B.J., Fountas, I.C., Lyons, C.A. & Pinnell, G.S. (2005). Changing Futures: The Influence of Reading Recovery in the United States. Worthington, OH: Reading Recovery Council of North America.

What Works Clearinghouse http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/

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Topics: Intervention, Featured Posts, Home

Thu, Feb 6, '20

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