The Latino population is the largest minority group in the United States, making up 16.3% of the total population. As the Latino population of the US grows, the Latino student population within schools across the nation is also growing, accounting for 10.5% of the student population. While the Latino student population continues to grow, there is evidence that this group is not achieving academically at the same rate as other groups. Latino statistics in Utah showed a similar situation within public schools. Fifty-one percent of Latino fourth graders were reading below the expected levels, compared to 22% for Caucasian students. Latino student dropout rates were higher than other groups at 28%, compared to 13% for African American students and 7% for Caucasian students. Students who fail to learn to read are more likely to fail in school. One reason why Latinos graduate at a lower rate is that Latino literacy rates in the U.S. and Utah are lower than other groups. An effective literacy program was needed to assist Latino elementary school students in literacy. Latinos in Action (LIA), a secondary school tutoring program, trained Latino secondary students as tutors for Latino elementary school students. Students' progress was tracked using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) measure. LIA tutored ELL students' ORF progress was compared to the ORF scores of ELL students who did not receive LIA tutoring, ELL students in Spanish dual-immersion instruction who did not receive LIA tutoring, and native English speakers who did not receive LIA tutoring or dual-immersion instruction. Results showed that LIA tutoring was not statistically more or less effective that general instruction on dual-immersion instruction for improving ORF scores for ELL students. Larger sample sizes are needed to increase the validity of this study.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Latino, literacy, tutoring, reading fluency, Spanish dual immersion, English language learner