Replicability of sight word training and phonics training in poor readers

a randomised controlled trial

G. McArthur*, S. Kohnen, K. Jones, P. Eve, E. Banales, L. Larsen, A. Castles

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    17 Downloads (Pure)


    Given the importance of effective treatments for children with reading impairment, paired with growing concern about the lack of scientific replication in psychological science, the aim of this study was to replicate a quasi-randomised trial of sight word and phonics training using a randomised controlled trial (RCT) design. One group of poor readers (N = 41) did 8 weeks of phonics training (i.e., phonological decoding) and then 8 weeks of sight word training (i.e., whole-word recognition). A second group did the reverse order of training. Sight word and phonics training each had a large and significant valid treatment effect on trained irregular words and word reading fluency. In addition, combined sight word and phonics training had a moderate and significant valid treatment effect on nonword reading accuracy and fluency. These findings demonstrate the reliability of both phonics and sight word training in treating poor readers in an era where the importance of scientific reliability is under close scrutiny.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere922
    Pages (from-to)1-21
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Reading
    • Poor readers
    • Dyslexia
    • Sight words
    • Phonics
    • Randomised controlled trial

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