Building writing skills: impact of a three-tiered intervention model on preventing writing difficulties among kindergarten and elementary cycle 1 students from disadvantaged backgrounds

Maximizing reading and writing success in disadvantaged areas? Mission possible!

Reading and writing skills are closely associated with school persistence and success. Indeed, in 2011-2012, 64.2% of school dropouts did not meet language requirements, and 33% were from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, the first school years are critical in this regard, because difficulty in reading at the age of 7 is a warning sign of risk, at the end of elementary school, of dropping out of high school later on.

Reading and writing skills are closely associated with school persistence and success.

The results obtained in a study conducted by researchers from Université du Québec à Montréal indicate that it is possible to significantly increase the success of early reading and writing learning in disadvantaged areas, by carefully orchestrating the implementation of the RTI three-tier model. The findings confirm that the use of effective teaching practices by the teacher (Tier 1) is essential for successful early literacy learning. The added value of remedial interventions offered in Tiers 2 and 3 is also demonstrated.

The study's results call for some adjustments, including a renewal of teaching and special education training and practices to ensure closer alignment between scientific knowledge and the decisional and intervention environments. They also provide guidance for schools wishing to implement the three-tier Response to Intervention (RTI) model.

Main researcher

Line Laplante, Université du Québec à Montréal


Research report


Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: August 2016