Published Aug 31, 2021

Hui Gu

Jijun Yao  

Ping Bai

Longjun Zhou

Alan C.K. Cheung

Philip C. Abrami


ABRACADABRA (abbreviated as ABRA) is a software developed by Concordia University in Canada that focuses on natural spelling and aims to improve English reading ability. This research is based on 129 first graders, 213 second graders, and 275 third graders in the elementary school of Lianyungang Ganyu Huajie Bilingual School. We carried out a one-semester pre-and post-test and quasi-natural experimental research design to explore the effect of ABRA on students of different grades. The study results showed that ABRA improved students’ abilities in all grades to varying degrees, but the impact of the first graders got the most significant. The results of classroom observations and interviews with teachers showed that teachers needed to apply systematic teaching strategies and the control of class attention play a key role in it. To improve students’ English ability, teachers need to effectively improve their ability to apply information technology, especially in English class. Particularly in low-grade classrooms, attention should be paid to the management of class discipline to maintain its efficiency.


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English Learning, E-Learning Software (ABRA), English Teaching, Elementary School, Experimental Research

Supporting Agencies

This study was supported by Nanjing Normal University’s horizontal project “High-quality school construction based on evidence-based education research” (S11060A41805). This article was also funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institution (PAPD).

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How to Cite
Gu, H., Yao, J., Bai, P., Zhou, L., Cheung, A. C., & Abrami, P. C. (2021). Does Abracadabra Help Improve the English Reading Ability of Chinese Elementary School Students? A Quasi-Natural Experimental Study . Science Insights Education Frontiers, 9(2), 1221–1240. https://doi.org/10.15354/sief.21.or041
Original Article

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