Literacy Interventions and Video Self Modeling

            The national reading panel has identified five topic areas in which children need to master skills to become proficient in reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. VSM interventions can provide supports for all of these discrete skills that students need to practice and master. In addition to providing extra support for students who a) are not fluent readers, b) don’t understand what they read and c) whose oral language and vocabulary skills are poor, VSM benefit students who:

1.     have difficulty remembering sounds

2.     have difficulty tracking

3.     have attention problems

4.     who lack confidence

5.     need extra practice with a skill

            The reading processes described at the beginning of this article are part of a literacy intervention called ACE Reading, a strategy that combines tutoring and video self modeling. In ACE Reading, a tutor (or teacher) coaches a student on components of reading – such as fluency, comprehension and vocabulary - and creates VSM videos of the student practicing target skills within the reading processes. A goal of the ACE Reading intervention is to help children gain confidence in their reading and to develop oral literacy skills.

            ACE Reading is based on a series of steps designed to help struggling readers at an elementary school level. Several studies of ACE reading interventions have shown gains for students with disabilities and for English language learners who are struggling with reading. These interventions have been effective in increasing phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, reading fluency and comprehension. The program has been effective with students with delayed reading skills requiring more intensive instruction in general and special education settings as well as English language learners (Hitchcock, Dowrick & Prater, 2003)

Several studies have shown that video self modeling along with tutoring can have positive outcomes for students’ literacy.

Hitchcock, Prater, & Dowrick (2004) describe a multicomponent intervention in which two independent variables, tutoring and video self modeling, were combined with reading fluency and reading comprehension instructional strategies. The first graders in their single subject study showed gains in reading fluency and comprehension during and after the intervention. The greatest rate of increase in oral reading fluency for the students occurred during the video self modeling phase of this intervention.

Dowrick, Kim-Rupnow and Power (2006) found that the first grade struggling readers in their study of video feedforward for reading made significant improvements in reading fluency, especially in the intervention condition where tutoring and video feedforward were combined.

Greenburg, Buggey and Bond’s (2002) study showed that third grade students made impressive gains in an intervention that combined repeated reading and video feedforward. In addition, the students’ perceptions of their capability to read improved. The authors noted that struggling readers are painfully aware of their challenges at this age and having positive models of their ability to read may have translated into reading improvement.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).