Same Spelling, Different Meaning: An EF-Based Homograph Reading Intervention for Struggling Readers

Rachel Schiff, Shani Levy-Shimon, Lior Oanunu Shashoua, Ayelet Sasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of a multi-component homograph processing intervention complemented by Executive Function (EF) skills on the performance of struggling readers. The researchers focused on measuring improvements in literacy, metalinguistic abilities, cognitive/EF skills acquired during the intervention, and additional reading-related outcomes. The study involved 115 Hebrew-speaking third graders who were divided randomly into three groups: the multi-component homograph processing combined with EF skills (MCHP + EF) group, the MCHP group, and the business-as-usual control (BAU) group. The intervention consisted of 18 sessions organized into six modules, each focusing on a different type of homograph and each containing eight instructional phases. The results demonstrated that the MCHP + EF group exhibited statistically significant improvements across all measures, surpassing the achievements of both the MCHP and BAU groups. Our results regarding the superiority of the MCHP + EF group compared to the MCHP and controls were further supported by the contribution of improvement in homographic awareness along with improvement in morphological awareness and cognitive flexibility to reading comprehension improvement. Overall, this study highlights the benefits of teaching reading using homograph-based instruction combined with EF skills as foundational support for struggling readers.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalReading and Writing Quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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