The effects of two English reading comprehension intervention programmes in a Hong Kong international school context

David William SORRELL

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Strong connections exist between readers’ vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2004). Informational texts (Duke, 2009) have been shown to support students with fictional text comprehension (Soalt, 2005) leading to higher reading achievement (Kletzien & Dreher, 2004). This thesis investigated the reading comprehension test score gains of international students after receiving two teaching interventions, one dedicated to vocabulary building and one to the reading of nonfiction texts. Reading comprehension gains were measured by the Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (asTTle) program and researcher-designed cloze fiction and nonfiction tests. The research design was quasi-experimental, subject to school-based limitations. The primary purpose was to determine whether either or both of the two interventions had any effect on reading comprehension. The intervention sessions were different in content. The fiction sessions used narrative content materials and focused on vocabulary items such as synonyms. The nonfiction sessions used non-narrative content materials and focused on the structure and layout of such texts. Test results were analysed using SPSS (Version 17). One-way and two-way ANOVAs, T-tests and repeated measures analyses were conducted to ascertain differences between the two intervention groups. Effect sizes were calculated and reported according to Cohen’s d. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • RANDAL, Holme , Supervisor
  • GAN, Zhengdong, Supervisor
Award date22 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Reading comprehension
  • Hong Kong
  • English language -- Study and teaching
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2013


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