Research on the Effectiveness of Leveled Literacy Intervention

By Gay & Irene at April 15, 2010 07:43
Filed Under: Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI), Research, Field Studies

With the limited funding available for purchasing classroom materials today, more and more teachers and educational administrators are relying on research to help guide them to the best programs to invest in.

Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention was developed over a five-year period during which it was implemented in 70 districts in 15 states. You can refer to the Research Base document for more information. During the development of LLI, a field study was conducted at sites around the United States to assess the LLI framework. Please refer to the field study for more information about the research connected with the development of LLI. Additionally, the student data from three of the sites that participated in the field study (Newark OH, Boston MA and Manchester NH) was analyzed for a pilot research project that examined student progress. Please refer to the pilot study, for the results from this study.

"I am interested in finding out more about any research that has been done demonstrating LLI effectiveness. Are you aware of any independent research that has been done with LLI?"

In the 2009-2010 school year, an independent LLI Efficacy Study is being conducted in two low-performing U.S. school districts. The LLI Efficacy Study is being conducted in the 2009-2010 school year by an independent research group, the Center for Research in Education Policy (CREP) at the University of Memphis. This study will involve two U.S. school districts and will examine the impact of LLI instruction on struggling readers. A control group will allow the researchers to assess what the LLI uniquely contributes to student growth. An evaluation of year 1 of the LLI Efficacy Study is currently available from the CREP. A final report will be published in late 2010 and will be available through Heinemann.

"Will there be a request to the What Works Clearinghouse to have your research studies of this program reviewed. It would be helpful to districts wanting to implement LLI if there was a positive review of LLI research available?"

Although What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has not yet approved LLI, an LLI Data Collection project is also underway to look at progress of students in schools that have implemented LLI. Many districts have volunteered to participate and the data coming in is very exciting.


4/15/2010 3:34:11 PM #

I work in Dalton Public Schools and was one of the first literacy coordinators that implemented Literacy Collaborative in our district 6-7 years ago! I am now back in the classroom implementing what I taught teachers to do. Boy, has the classroom changed while I was a literacy coordinator. I am planning on writing my dissertation on the effectiveness of LLI with our 2nd grade readers who are participating in LLI. I will focus on the ELL population and the poverty level students. If anyone has any studies or suggestions for literature review, please let me know! I begin this journey in May and am scheduled to be completed in August 2011.



Kelli | Reply

4/19/2010 5:56:53 AM #

Hi Kelli,
Using LLI to support ELL populations is certainly a topic worthy of more discussion. The best place to post this question is probably the Fountas & Pinnell forum section hosted by Heinemann Publishing. Through the F&P forum you may be able to connect with other people using LLI in the classroom and research community. This link will take you to the F&P forum thread on supporting ELL populations with LLI:

Best of luck!
-Fountas & Pinnell Team

Foutnas & Pinnell Team | Reply

5/3/2010 6:32:10 AM #

We have purchased both levels of the LLi program as well as the assessments. We have seen growth with the program though we have only used it with nine students this year to see if buying the other levels would support our students.  The data showed great growth and we purchases both the green and blue levels.  A few questions we saw the text gradient does this mean though the program say 1st second we could use it for our fourth and fifth grade.(if yes how would a program like that look like, starting at there benchmark level , 3:1 ratio etc.. Also,on the grade equivalence chart does Basal Level mean most core curriculum reading groups.We have many teacher asking us how do they align to our core MMH Treasures. We do not use DAR, Rigby or any of the other listed programs.  

kathy | Reply

5/4/2010 5:40:48 AM #

Hi Kathy,

The first part of your question is a bit unclear, but it sounds like you're asking if the LLI Blue System can be used beyond Grade 2?  The answer is partly yes--the books were written with second graders in mind however there has been some success with students reading below Level N in Grade 3.  Beyond that, the subject matter of the books is probably too young to be of interest to older students.  Fountas & Pinnell are working on a new product to extend LLI through grade 8 but that is at least two years away from being published.  In the meantime, the authors would recommend you apply the LLI lesson structure to leveled books from your classroom or school library for your older students. On the grade equivalence chart Basal Level does usually refer to most core curriculum reading groups - as you indicated. There is no direct alignment to Treasures or other programs at this time, but that is something we are looking into.

Here is a grade-level equivalence chart for the F&P Guided Reading levels. It is correlated with Basal, Reading Recovery, Rigby, and DRA:

We hope this helps!
-Fountas & Pinnell Team

Foutnas & Pinnell Team | Reply

Add comment

  Country flag

Click to change captcha
  • Comment
  • Preview