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Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a one-to-three small-group tutoring model taught by literacy specialists to struggling readers in grades K-2. Sessions are 30 minutes each day for about 16-18 weeks. The content focuses on oral language, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Lessons alternate between “independent level” texts and more challenging “instructional level” texts, which students may also take back to their classrooms or homes.

Program Outcomes

LLI has been evaluated in two qualifying studies. In one, in rural and suburban Georgia and New York, students were randomly assigned to LLI or control conditions. Across 5 DIBELS scales, the average effect size was +0.17, with significant differences on Non-Word Fluency and Oral Reading Fluency. In a second study in Denver, there were very positive outcomes on the DRA2 in kindergarten but not in first or second grade, for a significant but small meaningful effect size of +0.10. Averaging the two studies, the effect size was +0.13.

Staffing Requirements

One certified teacher to work with 3 students at a time, conducting up to 6 groups per day.

Professional Development/Training

LLI Interventionists are recommended to have formal 3-day LLI training from Heinemann Publishing, which consists of receive 2 days of in-person training, followed by one day of on-site coaching throughout the year.


No technology requirement.