The ability to read fluently is associated with positive outcomes in school and adulthood. Low reading achievement is thus a critical issue—a remarkably pervasive problem among students in certain demographic groups, and one that persists in spite of an ever-expanding knowledge base of effective instructional approaches and interventions. One possible factor may be that struggling readers are not doing or receiving “enough of what works”—specifically, that the dose of effective strategies has been insufficient to develop reading proficiency. Research supports that quantity and quality of practice are important to developing fluency in a practiced skill such as reading (Bryan & Harter, 1897; Chase & Simon, 1973; Ericsson, Krampe, Tesch-Romer, 1993; Geary, 1995; Williams & Hodges, 2005). Related to this notion, two additional factors, (1) time spent away from school (e.g., summer break) when students may not have access to literacy activities and (2) student responses and behaviors during reading instruction or intervention, may influence the development and maintenance of reading fluency This study examined the effects on oral reading fluency of a repeated reading intervention implemented during a short (four-week) summer program with students whose reading was accurate but slow. Also examined was the degree to which student input variables related to treatment implementation (i.e., accuracy, minutes of intervention attended, number of 1 min readings completed, number of words read, and student engagement) predicted changes in oral reading fluency. Participants included 79 students in second and third grades who were at or below the 50% percentile for reading rate according to grade level norms, but able to read passages with at least 93% accuracy. Students were randomly assigned to an intervention group that received core literacy instruction delivered by their summer school teacher and a supplementary repeated reading intervention implemented four times per week, or a control group that received core literacy instruction only. Overall, the repeated reading intervention increased oral reading fluency more than core instruction alone. Post hoc analysis also indicated that the intervention was more effective for relatively high-level readers (26-50th percentile) than for low-level readers (0-25th percentile). Additionally, the cumulative number of words read correctly across all intervention sessions attended was the only significant predictor of posttest oral reading fluency. Results of this study were contextualized within existing research on reading fluency intervention and treatment implementation. Implications for practice were discussed along with limitations of the study and directions for future research.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2015. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Jennifer McComas. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 191 pages.
Examining Effects of a Repeated Reading Intervention and Predictive Effects of Student Inputs.
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