Purpose. The King-Devick Reading Acceleration Program (RAP) is an eye movement training program aimed at improving reading performance for grade school students. King-Devick RAP was implemented in the fall season in the first grade curriculum in order to evaluate its effectiveness on reading performance.
Methods. In this randomized, controlled, cross-over design, study participants (n=134, 76 males) were allocated into treatment and control groups in a three-to-one ratio and underwent eighteen, 20-minute training sessions over six weeks utilizing King-Devick Reading Acceleration Program Software. The treatment group read aloud single, randomized numerical targets zero through nine that were presented in a left to right direction. The control group read aloud single, randomized numeric targets, positioned in the center of the screen which did not change position. The speed of presentation was gradually increased over time as the subject progressed through training. Pre- and post-treatment reading assessments were performed, including the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Third Edition (WIAT) Reading Fluency and Comprehension Tests and the King-Devick Test.
Results. The treatment group improved significantly compared with the control group in reading fluency (14% vs 11%, p = 0.015) and reading comprehension (12% vs 5%, p < 0.001). The high needs student subgroup was analyzed as a separate group and consisted of students with an Individualized Educational Plan, enrolled in reading assistance programs, or were English-Language Learners. The high-needs student group (n=25) significantly improved in pre- to post-treatment assessments in both reading fluency (14%, p < 0.001) and comprehension (10%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion. The K-D RAP program significantly improved reading fluency and comprehension over the course of six weeks of in-school training. This study further supports teaching the physical act of reading in the early education curriculum.