Tutoring with Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing

Updated: Feb 09, 2018
Evidence Rating:
Suggestive Tier


  • Program:

    A program for at-risk readers in grades K-2.

  • Evaluation Methods:

    A well-conducted randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a total sample of 90 kindergarten students in the Lindamood tutoring and control groups.

  • Key Findings:

    Sizable positive impacts on reading ability at the 2.5 year follow-up (i.e., end of 2nd grade).

  • Other:

    Limitations in the evidence include the fact that this was a small RCT, and the effect on the most important reading measure – comprehension – approached but did not reach statistical significance. A replication RCT would be valuable to hopefully confirm these positive findings and establish whether they generalize to other schools and districts.

Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing is a curriculum for K-2 students with poor phonological processing (e.g., letter naming, and awareness of the sounds within words). The curriculum provides intense instruction in word-level skills — including building awareness of the sounds within words (”phonemic awareness”) and letter-sound correspondences — to enable students to “decode” individual words. After the children demonstrate mastery in decoding words, they begin reading text that is readily decodable, followed by oral reading of regular books with tutors focusing on comprehension skills.

In the version of this program that was rigorously evaluated, students were provided one-on-one tutoring using Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing, in four 20-minute sessions per week for 2.5 years beginning in the second semester of kindergarten. Two of the sessions were conducted by a certified reading teacher and two by a teacher’s aide who followed the teacher’s written instructions. The teachers received 18 hours of training prior to the program, and three hours of in-service training bi-weekly during the program. Their tutoring sessions were periodically videotaped and reviewed by project consultants to identify areas for improvement. The aides were provided less extensive training.

The cost of the Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing manual and initial 18-hour training is $707 per teacher (2017 dollars). Additional costs include (i) the teachers’ time spent tutoring (about one hour per student per week); (ii) the aides’ time tutoring (also an hour per student per week); (iii) the bi-weekly in-service training of teachers; and (iv) the training of aides. Click here for the curriculum’s website.

To see our full evidence summary:
Download PDF


Torgesen, Joseph, Richard Wagner, Carol Rashotte, Elaine Rose, Patricia Lindamood, Tim Conway, & Cyndi Garvan (1999). “Preventing reading failure in young children with phonological processing disabilities: Group and individual responses to instruction.” Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 579-593. Click here for a link to this study.