ul 3.18.13

ul 3.18.13

Descubriendo La Lectura


"El programa de Descubriendo La Lectura es excelente. Gracias a este mi hija no llora cuando tiene que hacer sus tareas y ahorita le encanta leer libros. Muchas Gracias!"

"Descubriendo La Lectura is an excellent intervention. Thanks to her participation in Descubriendo la Lectura, my daughter no longer cries when she has to do her homework and she now loves reading books.  Thank you!"

- Parent of an Illinois Descubriendo La Lectura student

Descubriendo la Lectura: Basic Facts


The goal of Descubriendo la Lectura (DLL) is to dramatically reduce the number of bilingual first-grade students who have extreme difficulty learning to read and write in bilingual classrooms and to reduce the cost of these learners to educational systems.


Descubriendo la Lectura is a reconstruction of Reading Recovery for Spanish-speaking children. It is a highly effective short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for low-achieving first graders in first-grade classrooms.


DLL serves the lowest-achieving first graders who are receiving classroom instruction in Spanish.


Individual students receive a half-hour lesson each school day for 12 to 20 weeks with a specially trained DLL teacher. As soon as students can read within the average reading performance of their class and demonstrate that they can continue to achieve, their lessons are discontinued, and new students begin individual instruction.


There are two positive outcomes for DLL students:

  • Outcomes are comparable to outcomes for Reading Recovery students. Approximately 75% of students with a complete DLL intervention reach grade-level expectations.
  • The few students who are still having difficulty after a complete DLL intervention are referred for further evaluation. They may be candidates for longer-term interventions.

Professional Development

Teachers and teacher leaders must be certified bilingual educators with experience in a primary bilingual education classroom. Although the theoretical principles that underlie Reading Recovery are the same for DLL, procedural and training issues differ because English and Spanish function differently as languages. Therefore, if candidates initially are trained in Reading Recovery in English, they must receive an additional year of training to serve Spanish-speaking students. If the teachers or teacher leaders are initially trained in Spanish, they must receive an additional year of training to serve English-speaking students.

A Follow-Up Study

In 1997, a national study of former DLL students in Grades 2 and 3 conducted by Escamilla, Loera, Ruiz, and Rodríguez revealed that Descubriendo la Lectura had positive impact on Spanish-speaking students.

  • 92% of second graders and 93% of third graders who completed their series of lessons met or exceeded the average band on Spanish text reading.
  • 75% of second graders who completed their series of lessons, and 79% of third graders who completed their lessons, met or exceeded the average band on the standardized Spanish reading measure (SABE-2 and SABE-3).

For more detailed information, see the


Escamilla, K., Loera, M., Ruiz, O., & Rodríguez, Y. (1998). An examination of sustaining effects in Descubriendo La Lectura programs. Literacy Teaching and Learning: An International Journal of Early Reading and Writing, 3(2), 59-81.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

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