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Effectiveness of Read-Aloud Instruction on Reading and Math Outcomes: Evidence from Northern Nigeria

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Read-Aloud, Reading, Mathematics, Early Grade

This paper evaluates the net causal effects of Read-Aloud (RA) story lessons on reading and math learning outcomes in 199 second grade classrooms in northern Nigeria. We employ a cluster-randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of two types of RAs. The first type uses local language stories, accompanied by vocabulary instruction and comprehension questions. The second follows the same structure, but is math-themed and includes a set of math exercises. The treatments are delivered to students in the treatment schools for 35 minutes weekly over the duration of the school year. The findings of this paper suggest that regular RAs are effective in improving reading outcomes, whereas math-themed RAs improve math-related outcomes. We estimate that the regular RA lessons increase oral reading fluency by 3.12 correct words per minute and improves the literacy rate by 11 percent. Math RAs improve listening comprehension, missing number identification, and math word problem scores by 8.8, 18, and 21 percent, respectively.

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