Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

Matthew K. Burns

Third Advisor

Barbara A. Reid

Abstract

Problem. Some students are failing to develop acceptable reading skills; however, instructional time allocated to reading fluency can increase reading comprehension. The purpose of this study was to compare students who received repeated reading with pairs of students in a large-group setting with those who did not in terms of reading fluency, rates of reading fluency growth, and reading comprehension for students at risk for reading failure in a school in a Midwestern mid-sized city.

Method. An experimental pretest-posttest with control group design was used with grade level stratified (2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade) intervention (N = 27) and control (N = 30) groups. All students were at risk for reading failure based onDynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Oral Reading Fluency (DORF). Socioeconomic data indicated 82% of the school's students were eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. The students were homogenously paired and engaged in repeated reading in a large group using fiction and nonfiction stories at their instructional level. The study consisted of 32 sessions, 15 minutes per day, 3 to 4 days per week, over 7 weeks. The three dependent variables were pre- and posttest performance on the DORF, DORF progressing monitoring slope, and the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE).

Results. The ANCOVA result for DORF was nonsignificant, F (1, 54) = .40, p = .529, partial = .01. The omnibus test of the 2 × 3 ANCOVA for DORF progress monitoring slope was nonsignificant, F (2, 47) = 2.49, p = .094, partial η >2 = .10, indicating no significant interaction between the treatment condition and grade level. There was no significant main effect for grade level, F (2, 47) = .294, p = .746, partial η 2 = .01, but a significant main effect for condition was found, F (1, 47) = 7.80, p = .008, partial η2 = .14, Cohen's d = 0.72. Students in the intervention group had a statistically significant steeper slope for rates of reading fluency growth, along with a medium to large effect size. The ANCOVA for GRADE was nonsignificant, F (1, 52) = 3.34, p = .074, partial η2 = .06.

Conclusions. The theory of automaticity as applied to reading development was supported by the results. Repeated reading with pairs of students in a large-group setting was an effective intervention for rates of reading fluency growth (slope) for students at risk for reading failure; however, significant results were not found on pre- and posttests for fluency and comprehension. The short length of the study and sensitivity of the comprehension measure may not have allowed sufficient opportunity to detect changes in difference between the groups in these areas. This study demonstrated that one adult was able to facilitate the development of reading fluency with a classroom of students who were below standard.

Subject Area

Reading--Ability testing, Reading--Research, Developmental reading, Group reading

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