A1 Journal article (refereed)
Assessing the effectiveness of a game‐based phonics intervention for first and second grade English language learners in India : A randomized controlled trial (2022)

Patel, P., Torppa, M., Aro, M., Richardson, U., & Lyytinen, H. (2022). Assessing the effectiveness of a game‐based phonics intervention for first and second grade English language learners in India : A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 38(1), 76-89. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcal.12592

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsPatel, Priyanka; Torppa, Minna; Aro, Mikko; Richardson, Ulla; Lyytinen, Heikki

Journal or seriesJournal of Computer Assisted Learning



Publication year2022

Publication date19/08/2021


Issue number1

Pages range76-89

Publisher John Wiley & Sons

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77449


In 2018, it was found that only a quarter of Grade 3 children in India were reading at grade level. A growing demand for English education has further limited children's literacy achievement. Despite a strong evidence base in favour of using systematic phonics for building English literacy skills, many teachers in India continue to use rote-methods of literacy instruction.

We aimed to examine the efficacy of GraphoLearn (GL) English Rime, a computer-assisted reading intervention, in improving the foundational literacy skills of 1st and 2nd grade students who were attending an English medium school in India.

A total of 136 students across 6 classrooms were randomly allocated to play either GL or a control math game over a 5-week intervention period. Students were pre- and post-tested on various English literacy skills using tasks built into the GL software as well as through oral and paper-based tasks.

Results and Conclusions
Students who played GL showed significantly greater and faster development on in-game measures of letter-sound knowledge, rime unit recognition, and word recognition as compared to students who did not play GL. In addition, GL resulted in greater effects on these measures for students with stronger English literacy skills prior to the start of the intervention. No differences were found between groups on the oral and paper-based tasks.

GL was able to quickly and effectively teach critical sub-skills for reading. However, a lack of effects on the out-of-game measures opens the door for further discussion on the successful implementation of such interventions.

Keywordsliteracyreadingcomputer-assisted learningeducational technologyEnglish languagechildren (age groups)educational methodsplaying (games and sports)

Free keywordseducational technology; English language learners; GraphoLearn; India; intervention; phonics

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 19:56