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Reading grades studied

K – 1

Sound Partners — English Learners

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Sound Partners is a 1-1 tutoring program that uses paraprofessionals as tutors. Students receive tutoring 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week, for 18-20 weeks. The tutoring is somewhat different in kindergarten and first grade but at both grade levels it focuses on phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, and oral reading practice using decodable texts.

Program Outcomes

Two studies evaluated Sound Partners with English learners. One involved kindergartners and one first graders. Effect sizes were significantly positive compared to controls at both grade levels. The effect size across Woodcock and CTOPP measures was +0.60 for kindergartners, +0.15 for first graders. Follow-up studies found that these outcomes were still seen two years later, on Word Reading and Comprehension. The positive outcomes qualify Sound Partners for the ESSA “Strong” category, and for the “Solid Outcomes” rating (effect size of at least +0.20 over at least two studies).

Staffing Requirements

A local trainer (reading specialist, teacher, or special education teacher) will train the local tutors (educational assistants and paraeducators).

In most research studies and in most local adoptions, paraeducators are trained to implement Sound Partner lessons.

Professional Development/Training

The Voyager Sopris Learning website provides a training manual and training videos. The videos consist of a training session led by a lead research trainer and clips of the trainer using main lessons with a student.


Internet access for training materials