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2018 Reading, Literacy & Learning Virtual Conference

T5 - The Impact of Reading Aloud to Dogs: Evidence From a Randomized-Control Study

Oct 25, 2018 10:00am ‐ Oct 25, 2018 11:00am

Standard: $20.00


The use of therapeutic animals to reduce anxiety and increase engagement is becoming more prevalent. This session highlights the outcomes of a randomized-control research study held during a remedial, specialized summer program. The research compared the on-task behaviors of struggling readers who read aloud to dogs compared to those who read aloud independently. Findings suggest significant increases in on-task behaviors among the students paired with dogs. Implications for instruction where animals cannot be present are also discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • RESEARCH: Examine research findings and implications for practice relevant to students with dyslexia and other language learning disabilities.
  • SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL: Examine social/emotional issues and implications for practice for individuals with dyslexia and related language learning disabilities.
  • TEACHING/INSTRUCTION/INTERVENTION: Examine the conditions under which teachers can learn and apply understandings of language and literacy to more effective instruction of “at risk” students.

Disclosure: Melissa Orkin has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


  • Melissa Orkin, Ph.D., Program Director, Center for Reading and Language Research, Tufts University

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