Academic Master

Education

The Effects of Repeated Reading On The Reading Fluency And Reading Comprehension Of Special Education Students

Question 1:

Research and select an issue, topic, or problem of your choice related to a contemporary problem in your area or specialization, then respond.

Introduction

Reading is defined as the ability to make meaning from print (Leipzig, 2015). Critical components of reading include being able to identify words, understand words that are read, and make meaning of what has been read from the text, achieving reading fluency. Reading is an important and critical educational skill because it is needed in every academic subject (Wanzek& Robert, 2012). A key element in education is reading proficiency(The National Reading Panel, 2000). Reading fluency is the ability to read accurately, quickly, effortlessly, and with the appropriate expression and meaning (Rasinski, 2003). Reading fluency is composed of three components, which include automaticity in word recognition, accuracy in decoding, and rapid reading rates (Kuhn &Stal, 2003). The National Reading Panel (2000) identified reading fluency as a key ingredient in successful reading instruction. Reading fluency is important because it affects students reading efficiency and comprehension.

Reading comprehension is the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written languge (McKenna & Robinson, 2008). Reading requires readers to accomplish two critical tasks. Readers must decode words and comprehend the text. Readers who spend a considerable amount of time decoding words compromise their comprehension because they are not able to devote a sufficient amount of their attention to making sense of the text (Rasinski, 2003). For students to comprehend, there are four skills they must possess (Paul, 2006). For comprehension to take place, readers must be able to decode words in the passage. Students must be able to hold information in their working memory to process it. Thirdly, students must have adequate vocabulary and grammar skills to interpret the text. Lastly, students must be able to access higher order thinking skills to process the text. If a child experiences difficulty in either area, a child may have trouble with reading comprehension. According to LeBerge and Samuels (1974), poor readers have difficulties with fluency because visual information is transformed and processed until the reader can comprehend what is being read. Effective and fluent readers can decode words and comprehend what has been read. For educators to increase reading fluency and comprehension educators must understand the link between fluency and comprehension and seek ways to engage students.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress in Reading states that there is a strong relationship between reading fluency and reading comprehension (Pinnell et al.,1995). Fluency can form a bridge to reading comprehension (Pikulski& Chard, 2005). Pikulski& Chard (2005), state that fluency is necessary for achievement because it depends on comprehension. If a reader continuously stops to decode words, there is a chance that the reader will not recall what was read (Pikulski& Chard, 2005). As students can read fluently, they can comprehend text. The National Assessment of Education revealed that students who are not fluent readers scored low on a comprehension test.

Researchers have found several strategies that may increase students’ fluency and comprehension (Abadiano& Turner, 2006). The strategies are adult modeling, choral reading, tape-assisted reading, partner reading, reader’s theater, repeated reading, and fluency drills. The focus of this research paper will be to investigate the effects of repeated reading on reading fluency and reading comprehension of special education students.

Reading skills are acquired in elementary grades and used throughout middle and high school and life to acquire knowledge. According to findings of the National Reading Panel (NRP), 44% of the nation’s fourth-grade students were not able to read fluently (Pinnell et al., 1995). As the United States of America moves forward globally, there is an increasing need for children in the nation to excel in reading skills to compete. Teachers have been mandated by No Child Left Behind (2001) to be accountable for all students learning, ensuring that all students can read, read fluently, and comprehend what they have read. Accountability for adequate yearly progress (AYP) includes all students with and without disabilities.

Repeated Reading Strategy for High School Research:

Different strategies have been used by the high schools to enhance the repeated reading skills in their students. Repeated reading is the way which enhances the fluency of reading of students. Thus to improve the fluency, it is essential to increase the efficacy of the repeated reading of the student (Kyne, 2012). For that purpose, a strategy was proposed by the Jade and his fellows in 2010. According to their strategy, exposure to the printing stuff is very important to enhance repeated reading. The more the student will have exposure to the printing stuff, the more he will be able to perform well in his reading capabilities. It means that by increasing the exposure to the printing stuff, the student can enhance his repeated reading ability and the fluency in reading as well. According to Jade’s strategy, the students of high school must be encouraged to read either a full paragraph or wide range of material from different sources. The more the student will read, the more his efficacy of repeated reading will increase (Wexler, Vaughn, & Roberts, 2010, pp. 2-10).

Teachers of the high school also play a vital role in encouraging the students to enhance the fluency in reading. It is observed that the students, who struggle hard to improve their fluency by continues reading, experience positive benefits in their reading skills and fluency in reading (Driggs, 2013). Kostewicz also proclaimed that continues reading of different passages enhances the fluency of the students. According to him, when the students read the passage first time then they can never read it fluently but when teachers encourage the students to read the passages of their choice or the passage from the course, then the students gradually become fluent in reading the passage. This means that repeated reading is the method by which the students can have better command on the fluency of language and reading (Kostewicz, 2012, p. 61).

Of all students in the U.S. with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), 80 to 90 % have a reading disability that stemmed from the phonological component of language (Goikoetxea, 2012). The definition of SLD was determined by the legislation from IDEA (2004) and reads as:
“Children with specific learning disabilities have a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. Such disorders include perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia” (Goikoetxea, 2012, p. 3).

Due to the over-identification of students placed in special education, specifically students with SLD, Congress passed an amendment which established a research-based intervention method that could be used to identify regular education students at-risk for failing and classified students with LD who need more concentrated instruction (Steinberg, 2013). Repeated readings are a proven intervention strategy for students in elementary and middle grades with learning disabilities (Scheriff, Russell, 2012). Repeated reading is defined as a meaningful reading of passages several times until an identified level of fluency is attained (Samuels, 1979).

For students with learning disabilities, it is challenging to acquire reading skills fluently even after they have reached high school. The need for students with learning disabilities to read fluently has been pushed to the forefront of reading skills due to recent laws. Teachers are encouraged to use the best possible strategies when teaching students to read fluently and for comprehension. Direct and explicit instruction is required to reach these students. This study extends previous research about the effects that repeated readings may have on high school students with learning disabilities who do not read fluently. This study aims to show that significant growth in reading fluency and comprehension will take place among high school students with learning disabilities when the repeating reading strategy is implemented in juxtaposition with teacher supports and the ability of a student to practice immediately. Previous studies have concluded that lower and middle-grade students made a considerable improvement in reading when using this strategy (Scheriff, 2012 &Russell, 2012). Therefore, to determine if higher grade-level students with disabilities can improve reading fluency and comprehension, the repeated reading strategy will be implemented in this research.

The next section of this paper will provide the background of the study, the problem statement, the purpose statement, the delimitations and limitations, the significance of the research, and assumptions. Additionally, it will include definitions of the terms that will be relevant to this study.

Background to the Study

Since past few years, the major approaches towards the reading instruction have been the topic of research. In such research different approaches and strategies of reading, instruction has been discussed for not only the children but also for the students of high school. It is considered that the fluency in reading plays a vital role in the success of the student because the more fluent he will read the earlier he will get the meanings of the printed stuff. Different traditional and nontraditional approaches have been used as a reading instruction. Some of the schools just focus on the traditional instructions, such as reading the content, getting the concept, and problem-solving. However, the nontraditional approaches towards reading instructions are more beneficial to get better results (Harris, 2015).

The main two approaches towards the reading instructions are considered as Phonics and Whole Language. Phonics instructions help the students to pronounce the words accurately. Usually, the students become unable to read the passage fluently because they cannot speak pronunciations of the words. With the right phonics classes, the teacher guides the students about the pronunciations of the words and thus students read the words correctly and fluently. Also, the repeated reading helps the students to improve their pronunciation of words and the fluency as well.

The teachers also play a vital role in making students able to have fluency in their reading. To enhance the students’ skills, teachers use different approaches such as flesh cards, workbook exercises, decodable texts, made up of letters and sound combination. These approaches are used for the children. However, for the high school students, teachers use unseen comprehensions, novel reading, and continue passage reading of different literature from different sources.

Recognizing a need for students with disabilities to acquire reading skills and to be able to read fluently, the researcher began researching for different strategies that were proven to assist this group of students. Further studies concerning reading fluency and the ability to practice reading skills orally lead to the repeated reading strategy used for elementary students and later for middle-grade students with and without disabilities. However, there are limited studies conducted with high school students who continued to struggle with fluency and comprehension (Russell, 2012). This lead to a gap in Russell’s (2012) research on repeated reading as an effective means for the acquisition of reading fluency and comprehension.

Strickland, Boon, & Spencer (2013) evaluated 19 studies of published literature from years 2001 to 2011 in which the repeated reading strategy was used for elementary students with learning disabilities to acquire adequate reading skills. One of the studies combined the fundamental intervention of repeated reading with oral feedback, which yielded a positive increase in students’ reading fluency (Strickland, Boon, & Spencer, 2013). The students not only increased fluency but were able to sustain the gains over time (Strickland et al., 2013). Additional studies utilized repeated reading as part of a reading program; however, when these studies are compared to or used in conjunction with repeated reading, these strategies failed to yield comparable or significant gains (Strickland et al., 2013).

As a means to improving reading fluency and comprehension, research employing repeated reading continued with students in middle grades who had learning disabilities. In a recent study, Russell’s (2012) participants that used repeated reading showed significant improvements in reading rate when students used instructional level passages that transferred over to grade level passages. Within the implementation of the strategy, Russell (2012) also incorporated the procedure of teacher feedback with an immediate opportunity to practice the correct word, making major improvements in oral reading fluency.

Oral reading fluency (ORF) was used throughout the 1960s as a part of the reading curriculum of U.S. schools and later discarded when instruction became literature-based instead of the phonics-approached (Fuchs et al., 2001). LaBerge and Samuels (1974) rejuvenated the emphasis on fluency with their studies. Removed again, ORF was re-introduced by the NRP as a fundamental component of reading in U.S. schools (Rasinski et al., 2005). Fuchs, Fuchs, and Maxwell (1988) found that ORF was used as a tool to measure fluency and comprehension in reading passages and answering questions. Oral reading fluency was contemplated as a link that helped with word recognition and comprehension because it permitted students to focus on the text instead of decoding words. Kuhn and Stahl (2003) claimed that research needs to signify the part of ORF in comprehension due to its correlation. Their reasoning is that reading requires two interdependent tasks, recognizing words while concurrently making meaning of those words. To become an efficient reader, Nes Ferrara (2005) described the means of fluent oral reading as the aptitude to understand more parts of the meaning of a word while using syntax to assist in helping to learn the new word. This practice develops readers who are fluent and who display automaticity in word recognition, develop beneficial word strategies; utilize self-correction skills, possess adequate comprehension skills, and read with expression.

Relationship between Reading Methods

Different approaches are used to enhance the reading skill, such as repeated reading, fluency, and comprehension. In this section the relationship between repeated reading, fluency and comprehension will be discussed. Repeated reading is an approach in which the student is encouraged to read the literature many times and to increase the exposure to the literature. The more the student will read the literature the more he will become better in reading. Fluency is an important reading skill which helps the children to comprehend the reading passage. The more fluent reading helps the children to understand the passage early and with great command. However, the comprehension means to understand that what is written in the printed form. These three approaches are interrelated to each other. The more the student will repeat reading the more fluent his reading becomes. Similarly, the more the fluent reading will be, it will be easier for the student to comprehend the literature (Cotter, 2012).

Problem Statement

In 2006, more than half of the nation’s elementary, middle, and high school students are reading below the proficient level (Abadiano& Turner, 2006). More than eight million students in grades 4-12 read below grade level (National Center for Education Statistics, 2005). The inability to read proficiently correlates with behavior problems, truancy, and all too often dropping out of school. In fact, every school day in America, 3,000 students drop out of school, the majority of whom are poor readers (Scholastic, 2006). Reading fluency is an issue in many schools in America (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosps& Jenkins, 2001). The inability to read affects a student’s ability to comprehend what has been read, to solve problems, think critically, write papers, organize ideas, and think creatively.

Students who struggle with reading fluency have a difficult time comprehending the text. Students who struggle with comprehension may not be able to understand the text because it may be above their current reading level or the student may lack the prior knowledge to make the connection between the texts. To effectively address concerns of reading fluency and reading comprehension teachers may use effective strategies to meet the needs of their students. With evidence of students reading below grade level, the question is, “How can teachers help students become fluent and comprehensive readers?”

The Nation’s Report Card, examined in 2011, indicated that 33 % of all fourth-grade students and 24% of the nation’s eight grade students are still reading below basic reading level skills for reading proficiently at their grade level (Strickland, Boon, & Spencer, 2013). Students with disabilities’ scores are two times lower for elementary students and three times as much for eight grade students (Strickland, Boon, & Spencer, 2013). The results of the reports concluded that many students with and without disabilities still cannot read on grade level within elementary schools with a domino effect that continued to middle school and extended into high school.

Wexler, Vaughn, Roberts, and Denton (2010) reported that students who practiced repeated reading while being provided with corrective feedback made improvements in their reading rates, but the report did not specify reading accuracy or comprehension. This was discovered when Wexler, Vaughn, Edmonds, &Reutebuch, (2008) reviewed studies of readers ranging from grades 6 to 12 in their synthesis of 19 studies in which only six empirical researches were included. Earlier studies conducted by Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler (2002) with elementary readers suggested that repeated reading and peer-pairing is recorded and practiced often. However, limited knowledge exists about older students with LD and the effects of repeated reading. Therefore, it is recommended that high school students with LD receive intense intervention instruction that includes vocabulary recognition and strategies to increase content understanding (Wexler et al., 2010).

As students continue to struggle in classes due to their reading deficits, states are implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in which high school students are required to use higher order thinking and reasoning skills (Bulgren, Graner, & Deshler, 2013). General and special education teachers face challenges when attempting to respond to the needs of these students. Moreover, it is a necessity that teachers acquire new strategies and additional support to help teach these skills. For example, CCSS students in middle grades are required to distinguish between facts and opinions in a text; however, when the students reach grades 9 and ten the student is asked to assess the extent of the author’s claim (Bulgren et al., 2013). This task is impossible if students do not have the skills to read and understand the text. Therefore, this study will be beneficial as the repeated reading strategy will be implemented to determine if it is an effective strategy for increasing fluency and comprehension among high school students with learning disabilities.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this quasi-experimental study will be to determine the effects that the repeated reading strategy will have on immediate corrections made by the teacher in the event of an incorrectly pronounced word. This strategy will help students with learning disabilities registered in grades nine and ten improve reading fluency and comprehension indicated by a pre- and post-tests. The research will be conducted in an urban school district with a student enrollment of 1,200 plus students located in North Georgia, right outside of a large metropolitan city.

Presently, a limited amount of research exists concerning the struggles of high school students with learning disabilities and their reading skills (Russell, 2012; Scheriff, 2012). ORF is proven as a significant entity to the reading curricula and the notion that fluency is an important part of reading but not essential for comprehension, this study purports that fluency will generate better comprehension when paired with repeated readings. Therrien (2004) recommended that future studies concentrating on repeated readings center on instructional components and the effects on the total reading accomplishment.

This research will focus on three variables, an independent variable (repeated reading with initial teacher feedback and immediate student practice) and two dependent variables (reading rates and reading comprehension). The independent variable will make a significant difference independent variables when the intervention strategy, repeated reading, is implemented correctly.

The benefits of this study include the fact that struggling readers may feel confident in their ability to read fluently and comprehend what they are reading when implementing correctly. Reading fluency and reading comprehension may also increase student test scores. With an increase in test scores, students and teachers will both have a sense of accomplishment. This will be an effective study because reading fluency and comprehension are important for students’ educational and personal lives.

Research Question

This research study seeks to answer the following questions:

Will there be a significant difference between the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback that is immediately followed by independent student practice and the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit repeated reading instruction?

Will there be a significant difference between the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback and immediately followed by independent student practice and the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who did not receive explicit repeated reading instruction?

Limitations and Delimitations

The research is of great importance because it is a complete teacher guide to increase the automaticity, fluency, and comprehension in the students. However there are some limitations to the research. The major limitation is that the research’ sample size is limited and this study can be done only in the specific area of community. To conclude something it is required to have an adequate same of students with learning disabilities. Moreover all students must meet the criteria for having a deficit in reading fluency and comprehension.

  1. The researcher must account for changes throughout the study. Possible changes include teachers relocating or changes in the curriculum by the school. However, it is assumed that the teachers and curriculum will be in place for the duration of the research.
  2. The researcher will not use grade level texts but will use reading level texts to show growth in reading rates and comprehension from baseline reading scores.
  3. The location of this study may be a factor, as it will take place at a high school in the southeastern United States.

Significance of the Research

Research indicates that there is a correlation between reading fluency and comprehension. There are many resources that teachers can use to help students read fluently and build comprehension. The significance of this study is found in its potential to provide a better understanding of the relationship between reading fluency and comprehension and its potential to better assist struggling readers in the classroom. Reading is an important part of all academic subjects and is a necessity for student success. This study will also assist teachers with understanding and work with special education students. The results of this study could be utilized in the general education setting and special education classroom settings.

This study is also significant because it will allow teachers of high school students to use a reading strategy that will assist high school students with learning disabilities in the improvement of reading fluency and comprehension. The repeated reading strategy with teacher feedback and immediate student practice has proven to be an effective methodology when used on elementary and middle grades students (Schiffer, 2012; Russell, 2012). The gap in the literature from the previous research states that limited studies exist that are conducted on high school students with learning disabilities in using the repeated reading strategy (Russell, 2012; Wexler et al., 2010). By focusing on high school students who receive the reading intervention, this study will show significant improvement in high school students reading and comprehension skills.

The National Reading Panel (NRP) conducted studies for the federal government about the success of students reading in America (Pinnell et al., 1995). The emphasis of reading fluency (rate) over the past decades has influenced the federal government to continue to seek empirical research models that will assist teachers with improving reading scores (Kuhn, Schwanenflugel, &Meisinger, 2010). The NRP (NICHD, 2000) determined that teachers who used repeated reading with scaffolding had a positive effect on reading accomplishment (Scheriff, 2012).

Assumptions

This research depends on the following assumptions:

  1. It is assumed that high school students with LD will use repeated reading as implemented by teachers and show growth. Often, students do not participate in reading aloud when they do not possess adequate reading skills.
  2. Teachers will implement the reading strategy correctly. This assumption is necessary because it is not possible to regulate what teachers do in the academic setting. However, the researcher assumes that the examiner will scaffold as necessary when providing feedback.
  3. The researcher assumes the quasi-experimental methodology is best because the research will not require random sampling.

Definition of Terms

The terms distinctive to this research are as follows:

AIMSwebis, a progress monitoring system, based upon direct, frequent, and continuous student assessment. AIMSweb.com(2006)

Automaticity – fast, accurate, oral reading of the text that is read at a rate similar to the rate of speaking with the effortless identification of words (Samuels, 1979).

Comprehension– the ability to understand what is being read (Cooper, 2000).

Fluency – the ability to read the text quickly, smoothly, effortlessly, with prosody, and automatically with little attention to sub-skill tasks such as decoding (Hudson, Mercer & Lane, 2000; Meyer & Felton, 1999; Rasinski, 2003).

Individual Educational Plan (IEP) – an educational document required for each student with an identified disability that includes: the type of disability, grade level, school, the service hours, present levels of performance, goals, accommodations and progress report dates (IDEA, 2004).

Initial Teacher Feedback – when a student incorrectly pronounces a word or omits it during oral reading, the teacher will help the student to use decoding skill to pronounce the word and assist the student with the definition of the word for comprehension purposes.

Learning Disability (LD) – The term “specific learning disability” refers to a “disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. It includes perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia, but does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage” (IDEA, 2004).

Oral reading fluency (ORF) – the number of words reads correctly based on 1-minute increments (Raskinki, 2004; Samuels, 1979).

Reading comprehension – The reason for reading: understanding what is read by reading actively (making sense from the text) and with purpose (for learning, understanding, or enjoyment) (LD Online, 2015).

Reading rates – A student’s reading rate may be calculated by dividing the number of words read correctly by the total amount of reading time (LD Online, 2015).

Repeated readingreading a meaningful passage of connected text several times until an identified level of fluency is attained (Samuels, 1979).

Zone of Proximal Development – the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem-solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86).

References:

Catts, H.W., Fey, M.E., Zhang, X., & Tomblin, J.B. (2001). Estimating the risk of future reading difficulties in kindergarten children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 32, 38-50.

Compton, D.L., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L.S. & Bryant, J. D. (2006). Selecting at-risk readers in first grade for early intervention. A two-year longitudinal study of decisions rules and procedures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 394-409.

Daly, E. J., III, Chafouleas, S., & Skinner, C. H. (2005). Interventions for reading problems: Designing and evaluating effective strategies. New York: Guilford.

Driggs, C. S. (2013). The Efficacy of Repeated Reading on Secondary Students’ Oral Reading Fluency and Retell Fluency. Master of Education These.

Fuchs, L.S, Fuchs, D., Hosp, M. K.,& Jenkins, J. R. (2001). Oral reading fluency as an indication or reading competence: A theoretical, empirical, and historical analysis. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 239-256.

Gillet, N., Lafrenie’re, M. K., & Vallerand, R. J. (July 17, 2011). Intrinsic and extrinsic school motivation as a function of age: the mediating role of autonomy support. SocPsycholEduc, 15, 77-95.

Goikoetxea, Edurne (2012). Learning disabilities at the dawn of the XXI century. Relieve, 18 (1), http://www.uv.es/RELIEVE/v18n1/RELIEVEv18n1_2eng.htm

Kuhn, M. R., & Stahl, S. A. (2003). Fluency: A review of developmental and remedial practices. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(1), 3-21. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.95.1.3

Kostewicz, D. E. (2012). Implementing systematic practice to build reading fluency via repeated readings. New England Reading Association Journal.

Kyne, C. R. (2012). A MODIFIED REPEATED READING INTERVENTION TO HELP THE ADOLESCENT STRUGGLING READER. The university OF DAYTON.

Legislative, W. (2016). A Review of Approaches to Reading Instruction. Audit Bureau.

LaBerge, D& Samuels, S.J. (1974). Toward a theory of automatic information processing in reading. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 293-323.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2005). Longterm trends: Reading. Washington, D. C. U.S. Department of Education.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000a). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000b). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Nes Ferrara, S. L. (2005). Reading fluency and self-efficacy: A case study. International DeJournal of Disability, Development, and Education, 52(3), 215-231.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-110 (2002) (enacted.).

Pearson Education (2015). Assessment: Aimsweb. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/learningassessments/products/100000519/aimsweb.html?Pid=aims01&Mode=summary#tab-details

Pinnell, G. S., Pikulski, J. J., Wixson, K. K., Campbell, J. R., Gough, P. B., & Beatty, A. S. (1995). Listening to children read aloud: Data from NAEP’s integrated reading performance record (IRPR) at grade 4. U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Rasinski, T. V., Padak, N. D., McKeon

Russell, J. M. (2012). The impact of fluency intervention on the oral reading fluency comprehension of middle-grade students with learning disabilities (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/docview/1028716310?accountid=7374

Scott, J., & Nagy, W. (1997). Understanding the definitions of unfamiliar verbs. Reading Research Quarterly, 32(2), 184–200.

Scheriff, T. J. (2012). The effects of repeated readings on third-grade students’reading achievement and attitudes (Doctoral dissertation, Liberty University). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1571&context=doctoral

Scholastic. (2006). Reading Intervention for Struggling Students in Grades 4-12. Essential to Addressing National Crisis.

Wexler, J., Vaughn, S., Edmonds, M., &Reutebuch, C. K. (2008). A synthesis of fluency interventions for secondary struggling readers. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 21, 317–347.

Wexler, J., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G., & Denton, C. (2010). The efficacy of repeated reading and wide reading practice for high school students with severe reading disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research Journal, 21,317-347

Vygotsky, L. (1978). The interaction between learning and development. Mind and Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Question 2:

Research and select a theory of your choice to frame your study. The theoretical framework should create boundaries that narrow your focus onto a particular aspect of the problem from a particular perspective. The problem, purpose, and theory then drive the research question(s). Once you have identified an applicable theory, design a detailed theoretical framework that includes all associated constructs and variables of that theory. From the problem you have identified, the purpose you have stated, and the theoretical framework you have designed, generate one or more overarching research questions (and hypotheses, if applicable) to use in a potential research study. Include the research question(s) (and hypotheses, if applicable) depending on your response to Question #1, as indicated.

Introduction/Background of the Theory

The purpose of this study is to implement the repeated reading strategy in a special education classroom to determine its effectiveness in increasing reading fluency, as well as comprehension among special education students. The repeated reading strategy uses LaBerge & Samuels’ strategy of automaticity.

The Automaticity Theory was developed by LaBerge & Samuels in the 1970’s. Repeated reading is referred to as multiple oral readings of passage. Repeated reading involves multiple encounters with the same reading material. The purpose of the repeated reading strategy is to increase fluency and develop comprehension skills in struggling readers. This strategy will also help students gain confidence and the ability to process words quickly. The repeated reading method emerged from the theory of automatic processing in reading (LaBerge& Samuels, 1974). This theory is derived from the word automatic and states that a fluent reader decodes text automatically, without intention. Automaticity is an important skill that fluent readers possess. LaBerge& Samuels (1974) state that non-fluent readers are not able to read automatically because of their inability to decode words correctly. Non-fluent readers spend a considerable amount of time decoding, which interferes with their ability to comprehend what they are reading. According to Sindelar, Monda& O’Shea (1990), this theory is beneficial because when fluency increases students can spend less time decoding and can comprehend the text. Students are also able to read words more easily and automatically.

Automaticity is not a skill that comes easily for many readers; it is something that must be worked on and developed. Immediately after students acquire the ability to recognize words automatically, their reading rates improve tremendously. LaBerge& Samuels’ (1974) Theory of Automaticity affirms that students can process information through external means, their eyes, and ears. This theory explains that numerous memory components can process information and do not need much attention thus producing automaticity (LaBerge&Samuels, 1974).

The Automaticity Theory indicates that a reader goes through many stages before becoming a proficient reader. The first step in theory states that readers should be able to identify all letters of the alphabet. Once readers can identify letters of the alphabet and their letter sounds, they are now ready to blend sounds to read words. The theory believes that as students are blending sounds to read words, they are gaining an understanding of phonics. LaBerge& Samuels (1974) state that as students are learning and reading words, their word bank is increasing. According to this theory, as students continue to practice these skills, they will become automatic readers.

To get perfect skill on the on the repeated reading and automaticity, behaviorism and constructivism approaches are also used. These approaches are used especially for the high school students. Jean Piaget was the one who introduced the constructivist approach. According to this approach, the students must be able to have conceptual command on the reading material and then must be able to use it in a constructive way, such as solving problem (Weegar, 2012). On the contrary, Skinner introduced the Behaviorism, according to which the students understand the behavioral approach to the reading stuff. Behaviorism emphasizes the changing behaviors according to the performance described in the reading stuff. By having command on the constructivism and behaviorism, the student will improve his repeated reading, and thus automaticity will enhance too (Ebert, 2-16).

Stages of Word Development

The theory of automaticity refers to students being able to read words without thinking about what they are reading. Laberge& Samuels (1974) indicate that there are three stages of word development that readers experience while becoming fluent. The first stage is the non-accurate stage. During this stage, students are not able to recognize letters or words, with or without assistance. Students also receive a considerable amount of time to read during this stage but are still not able to read. The second level is accuracy. During this stage, students can recognize words with accuracy. Although students can read during this stage, their reading is slow and they are not able to comprehend what they are reading. The last stage is the automatic stage. During this stage, students are reading automatically, without having to decode. This stage consists of readers reading faster than they can speak. Readers are also able to comprehend what they have read during this stage. Research states that speed is an indicator of automaticity.

Theory’s Constructs

Theory’s constructs are the building blocks of the theory. They help explain the how and why of the theory. Theory’s constructs cannot be directly observed. The constructs of a theory are in essence the variables included in the study. The constructs of the automatic theory include knowledge about the subject matter, reading fluency, reading comprehension, motivation, explicit instruction, and teacher feedback. Carrell (1983) states that a reader may fail a test if they are not able to read the text fluently. Guidelines for constructing valid reading fluency and reading comprehension test include selecting tests that students are familiar with, not selecting tests that are related to culture, and organizing the tests for students to read more easily.

Other variables associated with this study include a student’s ability to read fluently and their comprehension of what was read. As students participate in this study, their fluency and comprehension will be assessed at the beginning of the study and at the end of the study to determine growth, if any.

Motivation is also a key factor for reading fluency and comprehension. Motivation was one instructional element identified by Reading Next(Biancarosa& Snow, 2004). When students are not engaged in their learning process, they will tune out. There is strong evidence that motivation and interest in reading decline after the elementary grades, especially for struggling readers (Torgesen et al., 2007; Kamil et al., 2008). With evidence that students’ reading scores decline when they are not motivated, teachers must seek ways to engage and motivate students. Motivation contributes to reading engagement, and motivated students enjoy reading. Motivation is defined as an act or process that causes a person to do something (Merriam-Webster, 1997). Many theories have been explored to explain why individuals behave in various ways. Research indicates that people may be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Intrinsic motivation comes from within a person and promotes conceptual learning, performance, enjoyment, and persistence (Gillet, Lafrenie’re, & Vallerand, 2011). Extrinsic motivation occurs when someone engages in an activity to gain a reward separate from the activity (Reeve, J., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M., 2004). When implementing this study in the classroom, educators must understand that student motivation is an important aspect of the learning process. Educators must also know that students are intrinsically and extrinsically motivated and seek ways to engage their students.

As the motivation promoted the conceptual learning, enjoyment, and performance in the student, so the student begins to enjoy the reading as well and thus really get command over the automaticity. From this, it can be said that the automaticity can be constructed by the motivating the students or in other words, motivation constructs the automaticity. Moreover, by the motivation, students begin to read more and more literature with full interest which also makes them able to have a deep understanding of the literature. With the deep understanding, not only fluency and automaticity of the student increases but also the student becomes able to comprehend the literature to solve the problems related to literature and to analyze the literature.

The impact of motivation is although very positive but so many theories have also been presented to highlight the importance and the positive impact of the motivation. According to the expectancy-value theory, the motivation plays a major role to enhance all reading skills of the students. It not only makes the student confident to read the literature with fluency but also helps the student to have command of the literature and to show positive results. Thus motivation leaves a very positive impact on the student’s successful life. Moreover, the expectancy-value theory guides that the student shows several behaviors, out of which some are positive, and some are negative. Now the teacher evaluates that which behavior can be the strength for the student to achieve success in his life. Thus it can be said that the behavior of the student is the function of the expectancies to achieve the goal. By evaluating the behavior of the students, the behavior with the large combination of the value of goal and expected success can be motivated. This motivation will enhance the capabilities of the student to perform in the best way and thus will leave a very positive impact on the success of student (Anon, 2016).

Another construct of this study is explicit instruction. As teachers teach lessons, it is important for teachers to focus the lesson on the critical component. For the purpose of this study, the critical components are reading fluency, and comprehension. While focusing the lesson on the critical component, the teachers and students will know what is expected at all times during the lesson. Skills and strategies will be taught to foster reading fluency and comprehension. During explicit instruction, students will be provided with clear lesson objectives so that they will know what is expected of them. Explicit instruction is important, as it provides support or scaffolds for students. Wood, Bruner, & Ross (1976) noted that when a child was given a new task with support, then gradually released throughout the process; the child then learns to complete the task by herself, thus the term scaffolding (Newman &Holzman, 2005). Scaffolding is widely recognized with Lev Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) because of the construct that motivates attention by the process in which control of the task is transferred (Vygotsky, 1978). Vygotsky’s ZPD is defined as the gap between the developmental level of independent problem solving and the potential development that can occur with an adult or peer collaboration(Vygotsky, 1978).

Constructivist Lev Vygotsky emphasized learning by doing and experiencing new concepts from others. For students with orthopedic impairment, hearing and visual impairments, emotional disturbances, and autism, small groups are most beneficial. Through the use of cooperative learning, groups begin to gain knowledge as the teacher facilitates the lessons; however, as the groups progress, learning becomes collaborative, and the groups begin to develop their answers through interaction and consensus (Vygotsky, 1978). Students with learning disabilities are given instruction in small group settings throughout elementary and middle schools. High school students with LD, who are given explicit instruction and scaffolding by the teacher, can learn to read fluently and comprehend reading level text.

Teacher feedback is an important construct regarding the theory of automaticity.

Teacher feedback is an essential part of learning, as it guides students in the right direction. Feedback helps students understand what is being studied and how to move with learning new information. It is also important for teacher feedback to be timely. Timely feedback prevents future mistakes and allows students to understand where they are messing up and how to proceed. Feedback should also be constructive. Constructive feedback gives students a sense of belonging and often makes one want to strive to do better. The constructs of the Automaticity Theory, are the building blocks that help bring the theory together increasing reading fluency and comprehension.

Interrelationships of the Theory’s Constructs

The interrelationships of the theory’s constructs are composed of the constructs of the theory working together. In the theory of automaticity, the constructs are known about the subject matter, reading fluency, reading comprehension, motivation, explicit instruction, and teacher feedback. The interrelationships of the theory are how all of these components work together to complete the theory. The constructs of this theory work together to increase reading fluency and comprehension. To begin the facilitator must know about the students and their current reading scores. The facilitator must also be aware of strategies that will increase the students’ scores. The teacher must engage the student through the use of explicit instruction while giving immediate feedback. As the constructs of this theory work together, reading fluency and comprehension scores should rise among students with learning disabilities.

Variables Associated with the Theory

Researchers noted that teachers of high school students with learning disabilities needed to use additional strategies that will improve their reading skills (Wexler et al., 2010). This research asserts that it is not known, to what extent, repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice will improve the reading skills of high school students’ with learning disabilities.

This study will consist of two primary questions that include a hypothesis and null hypotheses for each. The initial question, its hypothesis, and the null hypotheses:

Variable 1: Repeated reading

Variable 2: Immediate teacher feedback and independent practice

Dependent Variable 1: Reading rates

Dependent Variable 2: Reading comprehension

RQ1: Will there be a significant difference in the reading rate of 9th and 10th grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback and immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading rate of 9th and 10th grade students with learning disabilities who did not receive explicit repeated reading instruction?

H1: There will be a significant difference in the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit, repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit, repeated reading instruction.

H01: There will be no significant difference in the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit, repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit, repeated reading instruction.

RQ2: Will there be a significant difference in reading comprehension between 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback and immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who did not receive explicit, repeated reading instruction?

H2: There will be a significant difference in the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit, repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit repeated reading instruction.

H02: There will be no significant difference in the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit, repeated reading instruction.

Variables

This study has one independent variable that is the instructional practice of repeated reading with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent practice by the students. There are two dependent variables within this research. Reading Rate is the first variable that describes the number of words read correctly per minute. The second one is the students’ reading comprehension scores. Reading rates will be determined by the number of correct words read from a reading passage within 60 seconds and reading comprehension will be measured by the correct amount of question answered about the reading passage. Immediate teacher feedback and independent practice will be the independent variables because teacher feedback is followed by the independent practice of the student.

Compare and Contrast Arguments to Support and Oppose the Theory

More than half of the nation’s elementary, middle and high school student is reading below the proficient level. More than eight million students in grades 4-12 read below grade level (National Center for Education Statistics, 2005). According to the 2005 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), 71% of both 4th and 8th graders are reading below grade level, and 73% of 12th graders are reading below grade level. The inability to read and write proficiently correlates to behavior problems, truancy and, all too often, dropping out to school. In fact, every school day in America 3,000 students drops out of school, the majority of whom are poor readers (Scholastic, 2006).

Researchers (Moran, 2006; Adams, 2003; Rasinski& Young, 2006, Corcoran, 2005; Morgan, 2006; Larkin, 2001 & Weisenburger, 2009) have found several strategies that may increase students’ fluency and comprehension skills. These strategies are adult modeling, choral reading, tape-assisted reading, partner reading, reader’s theater, repeated reading, and fluency drills. The focus of this research paper will be to investigate the effects of the repeated reading strategy on reading fluency and reading comprehension of special education students. The purpose of this study is to implement the repeated reading strategy in a special education classroom to determine its effectiveness in increasing reading fluency as well as comprehension among special education students. According to these researchers, the automaticity is a natural process, and there is no need to focus on it. When the student read the literature repeatedly, then the fluency is improved, and thus the students become able to comprehend the literature, which should be the main objective. Automaticity is the natural process, and with time the students automatically begin to pick the words and their meanings.

The next session of this paper will be to examine the relationship that researchers have identified between reading fluency and reading comprehension. The first section will focus on the five critical components of reading. The second section will focus on current studies related to improving reading fluency and comprehension among struggling readers.

The Five Components of Reading

Reading is defined as the ability to make meaning from print (Leipzig, 2015). Critical components of reading include being able to identify words, understand words that are read, and make meaning of what has been read from the text, achieving reading fluency. Reading is an important and critical educational skill because it is needed in every academic subject (Wanzek& Robert, 2012). As national and state standards are increasing on a yearly basis, so are the reading and comprehension needs of students across the nation. A key element in education is reading proficiency, also known as reading fluency (The National Reading Panel, 2000). Reading fluency is the ability to read accurately, quickly, effortlessly, and with the appropriate expression and meaning (Rasinski, 2003). The National Reading Panel (2000) states that students must possess five critical components to be effective readers. The article states that students must have an awareness of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. These five areas were incorporated as a part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Phonemic awareness is understanding that spoken words are made of up of separate units of sound that are blended when words are pronounced. Many may think of it as a skill of hearing and producing separate sounds in words, dividing words, sounding out words and blending words. Wagner, Torgesen & Rashotte (1994), state that phonemic awareness in an important skill in learning to read languages based on an alphabet. An example of phonemic awareness includes knowing the word bat has three sounds /b/a/t/. Researchers Share, Jorm, Maclean, & Matthews, (1984) have been able to predict how well students will read based upon their phonemic awareness skills. Research has revealed that teachers are not sure how to teach phonemic awareness skills accurately. For teachers to effectively, teach reading skills, it is evident that teachers take reading classes and know the importance of phonemic awareness and how to teach it.

The second critical component of reading instruction is phonics. Phonics is described as the building blocks of reading. According to NICHD (2000), effective phonics instruction enables children to read and spell words accurately and rapidly. Phonics instruction also serves as a memory aid that helps students remember and apply rules and generalizations for matching sounds and letters. Research states that phonics instruction should be more explicit and systematic to engage readers. The explicit instruction requires the teacher to explain letters, letter combinations and sounds clearly. Systematic phonics requires the use of predetermined letter sound relationship as opposed to teaching letter sounds relationships randomly. Researchers also indicate that teachers may improve phonics by allowing students to understand the purpose of reading and learning various spelling patterns to help students become proficient readers.

The third component of reading instruction is reading fluency. Reading fluency is the ability to read accurately, quickly, effortlessly, and with the appropriate expression and meaning (Rasinski, 2003). Reading fluency is composed of three components, which include automaticity in word recognition, accuracy in decoding and rapid reading rates (Kuhn &Stal, 2003). The National Reading Panel (2000) identified reading fluency as a key ingredient in successful reading instruction. Reading fluency is important because it affects students reading efficiency and comprehension. A 1995 study conducted by Pinnell, Pikulski, Wixson& Beatty revealed that half of 4th graders tested by the National Assessment of Education Progress were not fluent readers. The study also revealed a strong relationship between reading fluency and reading comprehension. Results revealed that students who were able to read fluently were able to comprehend what they read and on the other hand, students who were not able to read fluently did not understand what they were reading. Research indicates that there are many strategies that may be useful to help students become fluent readers. To assist students, teachers may use the repeated reading strategy to build comprehension (Blum, Koskinen, Tennant, Parker, Straub, & Curry, 1995).Teachers may also have students listen to fluent reading on a tape. Teachers may also have students read aloud orally as the teacher or another fluent reader reads (Rasinski, 1990). Another effective strategy for developing fluency has students’ group words to form phrases to focus on fluency (Taylor, Wade, &Yekovich, 1985). Studies reveal that applying the strategies above in the classroom may yield greater fluency scores among students.

Vocabulary is the fourth component of critical reading. Vocabulary is important in word recognition. Vocabulary has four stages known as listening, speaking, reading and writing. Listening vocabulary refers to understanding words that others speak. Speaking vocabulary are the words used when talking to others. Reading vocabulary is being able to understand words when we they are seen in print. Writing vocabulary refers to the words used when writing. Research also reveals that vocabulary is also important for reading comprehension. Long-term vocabulary and teaching vocabulary are two strategies that may improve vocabulary as well as comprehension (Beck, Perfetti, & McKeown, 1982). A study conducted by Nagy & Scott (2000) revealed that students must be able to understand the meaning of words if they are to understand what they are reading. The study also revealed that students need specialized vocabulary to understand content area materials. According to the study, implications for improving vocabulary instruction include teaching vocabulary directly, continuously exposing students to new vocabulary, and teaching new words in a rich context. Lastly, this study revealed that students should be actively engaged in learning vocabulary because it promotes better learning. A 1997 study by Senechal revealed that students learned more when they were actively engaged and answered questions during their reading instead of waiting until the end of a story to answer questions.

The fifth area of reading is comprehension. Reading comprehension is the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language (McKenna & Robinson, 2008). Readers, who spend a considerable amount of time decoding words, compromise their comprehension because they are not able to devote a sufficient amount of their attention to making sense of the text (Rasinski, 2003). Comprehension is the last goal of effective reading instruction. Pressley, El-Dinary, & Brown, (1992) state that fluent readers use a wide range of strategies and skills to improve their comprehension. Baker & Brown (1984) indicate that effective readers can think about what they are reading and make connections to text increasing their comprehension. Fluent readers also contribute comprehension to effort rather than ability. Many studies have been conducted to increase comprehension among students. Strategies include using thinking maps to help students organize their thoughts. Allowing students to activate their prior knowledge will also build comprehension skills among students. Another effective strategy for helping students gain comprehension skills is for them to ask comprehension questions. Research states that teachers should explain, model and practice questioning with students to help them better understand questioning techniques. NICHD (2000) also states that students need training on how to ask questions because they are not able to question themselves. An effective strategy for helping students understand questioning techniques is to use question frames. Other effective comprehension strategies include monitoring students’ comprehension and allowing students to participate in cooperative learning groups.

The results of these studies revealed that teaching children how to read is a needed skill in all elementary classroom. Studies also reveal that teachers are sometimes unsure of how to teach reading strategies. The studies shared listed several useful strategies that will help teachers teach reading and skills that will help students become fluent and comprehensive readers. Teachers who are aware and know how to teach the five components of reading which include: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension will see students transition into fluent and comprehensible readers.

Studies focusing on Improving Fluency and Comprehension

Researchers have found several strategies that may increase students’ fluency and comprehension skills. These strategies are reader’s theater, repeated reading, peer tutoring, computer-assisted instruction, and previewing. Reader’s theater is a staged reading of a play or dramatic piece of work designed to entertain, inform or influence. It developed after World War II from the speech and drama fields of oral interpretation and conventional theater (Adams, 2003) and differed from traditional plays in that the readers (or actors) typically do not memorize lines but read directly from the script. Most reader’s theater’s performances involve actors standing or sitting on a stage or other performance area. One of how reader’s theater differs from the conventional theater is that the major focus remains on the text (Moran, 2006). The most well researched and widely accepted reasons for using readers’ theater in educational context deals with the development of literacy skills. Reader’s theater may be better suited for literacy development than many other forms of drama because it is both text and performance based. Reader’s theater can be varied in such a way that it helps children develop skills they will need to become successful, independent readers. As the children’s literacy skills increase, they can take a greater role and will eventually take charge of performing an entire script. It is important that children are motivated and fully engaged in a literacy rich activity.

Chase Young and Timothy Rasinski state, “Reader’s Theater can create an academic avenue that leads to increased reading fluency, regardless of whether students are striving or thriving.” In this study, 29-second grade students were observed. The second-grade class consisted of 8 girls and 21 boys. The levels of reading achievement in the class at the beginning of the study ranged from early kindergarten to midyear third grade, with the mean being first grade. Reader’s theater was an integral part of the reading program. On Mondays, the scripts were introduced through daily mini-lesson to familiarize the students with the script. The goal for Tuesday was for the students to choose their roles. Once a role was chosen, students took the script home daily to practice their parts. The purpose of Wednesday’s class was to identify any difficulties with meaning, word recognition, and prosodic features. Students used peer-coaching strategies to work through issues. Thursday marked the rehearsal before the performance. The students were allowed to practice one last time before the big show as a cohesive group while reading accurately and prosodically. Friday was coined, “Fluency Friday” as the students performed. At the end of the school year, the students were tested, and tremendous growths were reported. This study was credible because the researcher shared positive outcomes for all readers. Young &Rasinski stated, “The student’s word recognition increased by .3% and the Rate/Automaticity increased by 64.9%.”This study also provided struggling readers an opportunity to read fearlessly in the limelight as the students rehearsed daily with their classmates. Their performance reflected proficient reading that was adequately paced, prosodic, confident, accurate, and filled with meaning and enthusiasm (Young &Rasinski, 2006).

Researcher Keehn compared differences in treatment effect when reader’s theater was implemented in two ways. The first way was as an instructional intervention to promote oral reading fluency in a second-grade classroom. The second way examined the effects of Reader’s Theater intervention on students at different levels of reading ability. Multiple measures were used to determine pre- and post-intervention performance of students in reading level, rate, accuracy, comprehension, and prosody. Although students in both treatment groups at all levels of ability made statistically significant gains, there was no significance between students who received reader’s theater plus explicit instruction in aspects of fluency and students who received only the reader’s theater intervention. Low achievement students made significant gains in rate, retelling, and expressiveness when compared with students at average and high achievement levels. High-achievement readers made significant gains in measures of reading ability when compared with low-ability readers. This study concluded by stating that, “Reader’s Theater holds promise as an instructional methodology for fluency development.” Through Reader’s Theater, students were offered to model and repeated reading in manageable text toward the goal of an oral reading performance.

A second strategy used to increase fluency and comprehension is repeated reading, sometimes referred to as fluency drills. During repeated reading students are paired with a partner who is on their reading level. At the beginning of the week, the students set a goal as to how many words they would like to increase by (through reading) for the week. Once the students have set their goal, they begin their fluency drills. In the groups, the students are either reader A or B. Reader A will read each line in the passage three times for 5 minutes. If the student should finish the passage before the timer goes off, they should read the passage again. Once the timer goes off reader B then reads each line for 5 minutes. As each reader reads, the other serves as support by assisting the reader with words that may be difficult. Once both readers have read for 5 minutes, it is now their turn to read for one minute without any assistance with difficult words. Once the minute has passed, the students must calculate their words per minute and chart it on their goal chart.

Begeny, Daly and Valley state that repeated reading has been shown to positively impact reading abilities for students diagnosed with learning disabilities. Repeated reading has also been demonstrated to improve students reading fluency, accuracy, comprehension, and overall reading scores as assessed by standardized reading tests (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler, 2002; National Reading Panel, 2000). In this study, an 8-year old Caucasian male by the name of Lucas was studied. He was a third-grade student receiving special education services for a speech language impairment and learning disability in the area of written expression. During the initial session, fluency assessments were conducted to determine Lucas’s highest instructional level in reading. One week following the initial session, treatment procedures were implemented using an alternating treatment design. During repeated reading sessions, Lucas read a passage two times before being evaluated for oral reading fluency of that same text. During phase drill with error correction (PD), Lucas read a passage and then practiced each word he read incorrectly during that initial reading by reading a three to a five-word phrase containing the incorrectly read word. He read each phrase three times correctly before practicing the next incorrectly read the word. After practicing each incorrectly read word, Lucas read the passage again to determine the immediate effects of the PD intervention on that passage. In rewards sessions, Lucas received a preferred reward if he read a passage faster than his reading of a previously administered passage that he was not allowed to practice. The results of this study indicated that repeated reading produced substantial improvements in oral reading fluency relative to PD and rewards.

Rasinski discussed two approaches that are effective in fostering fluency, independent reading and listening to fluent reading. In this study, the effectiveness of the two approaches in promoting fluency for third-grade students was compared. Subjects practiced reading one passage independently and another passage while listening to a fluent oral rendition. Each treatment consisted of a pretest, two practice sessions, and a posttest. Both approaches resulted in significant gains in reading speed and word recognition accuracy. This study was credible because 20 subjects were studied and significant gains were noted. With repeated reading, there was a gain of 18.95% and listening while reading showed a gain of 13.30%.

The third strategy discussed was peer tutoring. Peer tutoring is a commonly reported way of providing additional practice for students (Scruggs &Mastropieri, 1998). With a peer tutoring approach, one-half of all students can be reading at a particular time, while the other half is actively engaged in monitoring their performance. After 14 weeks of tutoring, it was found that students in all class-wide peer tutoring conditions made more improvements in fluency and comprehension than students in a traditional instruction condition.

Previewing is an intervention to increase reading fluency that involves pre-exposure to text material before passages are formally read. Students can be asked to preview the material aloud, silently, or by listening to the teacher previewing the material (Rose, 1984; Sindelar, 1987). Previewing is similar to repeated reading, but in some variations, such as listening to a teacher reading, students can gain exposure to vocabulary, phrasing, and emphasis before reading the text themselves. Moreover, previewing text material may make it simpler to anticipate and predict more words that are difficult.

Partner reading consists of students working together to foster reading fluency. When working together, the students read their passages silently first and then orally. Readers may ask their partners for help with a word. After each oral reading, the student evaluates his or her reading. The following strategies have yielded useful information for this study, which is to determine the effectiveness of reading fluency and reading comprehension on various reading comprehension strategies. Research indicates that there are strategies that may increase reading fluency and comprehension. This study will focus on the repeated reading strategy and its effects on increasing reading fluency and comprehension. The hopes of this study are to find a consistent strength in the relationship among reading fluency and reading comprehension using the repeated reading strategy.

Justification of Why this Theory is Best

The theory of automaticity supports my research topic as it relates to ways of increasing struggling readers’ fluency and comprehension. The effectiveness of the repeated reading strategy has been documented in a variety of settings. This strategy has been useful for assisting English to Speakers of Other Language Students, visually impaired students, students with behavior concerns, as well as high school students who struggle to read fluently. With the benefits of the repeated reading strategy, the purpose of this study is to see if it will increase the fluency and comprehension of 2nd-grade students with reading disabilities.

This study will reveal that how the students can perform better in their reading and how the teachers can do their best to enhance the reading skills of the students. Most of the time the teachers become so confused when students do not show the positive results in their reading of literature. However, this study will provide different strategies by which the teachers will understand that how they can enhance the interest of students in the literature as well as their success level in the results. With this study, the teacher will understand that by increasing the students’ exposure towards literature they can improve their fluency and comprehension skills. Moreover, the feedback of teachers will also provide the overview of what are the factors which need improvement in the students’ literature reading practice. This study will also reveal that how important the behaviorism is and how the behavior of the student can be evaluated to increase the success margin of the student. In short, this study is of great importance because it is a complete guide to enhance the reading skills of the students.

In a 1993 study conducted by Homan, Klesius & Hite, twenty-nine, 6th graders participated in the study. One group focused on the repeated reading strategy and the other group focused on a non-repetitive strategy. The students participated in the strategy for twenty minutes a day for seven weeks. At the end of the study, the results revealed that the students who participated in the repeated reading yielded higher reading fluency scores and reading comprehension scores. The strategy of repeated reading has proven to be an effective strategy for increasing reading fluency and comprehension among all learners, non-disabled as well as disabled. The theory of automaticity may be effective when there are many opportunities for practice, when students are motivated and where there is effective instruction taking place (Samuels & Flor, 1997).

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Question 3

Create a qualitative research study based on the major research question generated in Question #2. Begin by providing a brief overview of the theoretical framework and the overarching research question(s) from Question #2. Then, provide a detailed description of your qualitative study design that includes a detailed justification for why the approach is the most appropriate for each of the following study components

Methodology

The purpose of this study is to evaluate that how the repeated reading may help the students to enhance their fluency and comprehension skills in the English reading or the reading of other languages. For this purpose, the research will focus on three variables, which are repeated reading of the students, the ability of the students to comprehend the reading literature, and the feedback from the teachers independent of the students’ performance.

The strength of this research design is that it is the best approach which will use a type of laboratory condition whereas the participants are randomly assigned to groups in which one factor is manipulated, and the effect is analyzed (Johnson & Christensen, 2014). This study will be a quasi-experimental design in which students are given a pre-test at the beginning of the intervention and a post-test at the end to help measure growth (Russell, 2012). The researcher examines the group who learns the most, the control group or the experimental group, then draws a conclusion according to the results (Johnson & Christensen, 2014).

The weakness of this study can be that the participants in this study will not be randomly appointed to either group. The reasoning is due to all participants are receiving special education services with a disability of LD. A causal attribution will be determined because both groups are similar at the beginning of the experiment and the only factor that will be different is the teaching method.

However, this choice of the quantitative methodology of the research study will reveal that how the students can perform better in their reading and how the teachers can do their best to enhance the reading skills of the students. Most of the time the teachers become so confused when students do not show the positive results in their reading of literature. However, this study will provide different strategies by which the teachers will understand that how they can enhance the interest of students in the literature as well as their success level in the results. With this study, the teacher will understand that by increasing the students’ exposure towards literature they can improve their fluency and comprehension skills. Moreover, the feedback of teachers will also provide the overview of what are the factors which need improvement in the students’ literature reading practice. This study will also reveal that how important the behaviorism is and how the behavior of the student can be evaluated to increase the success margin of the student. In short, this study is of great importance because it is a complete guide to enhance the reading skills of the students.

Quantitative Design

This research will use a quantitative methodology. Quantitative research looks at the variables that can be of a deductive or inductive nature that uses statistics (Meyers, 2008). Most of the previous research on this topic used quantitative methodology establishing a pattern for future researchers to use larger sample sizes and additional time for completing the interventions making the research more valid (Russell, 2012). This research will use a type of laboratory condition whereas the participants are randomly assigned to groups in which one factor is manipulated, and the effect is analyzed (Johnson & Christensen, 2014). This study will be a quasi-experimental design in which students are given a pre-test at the beginning of the intervention and a post-test at the end to help measure growth (Russell, 2012). The researcher examines the group who learns the most, the control group or the experimental group, then draws a conclusion according to the results (Johnson & Christensen, 2014). In this study, a causal attribution will be determined because both groups are similar at the beginning of the experiment and the only factor that will be different is the teaching method.

Site Selection

The high school containing the sample is from a public school in the southeastern United States. The school serves students in grades 9th-12th. There is a total of over 1,200 students on roll. The students’ population is compromised of several diverse groups. There are Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Multiracial, and Whites. Of the demographics, more than half of the students come from economically disadvantaged families, and 402 students fall under the SWD (Students with Disabilities) bracket. The student-teacher ratio is 27 to 1.

Participants

The research will take place in an urban school district located near a metropolitan city in the state of Georgia of the United States of America. The school district is large with over 15,000 students enrolled. This school is chosen by the researcher to closely follow the number of students with disabilities underperforming in reading skills. An alternative school district, in which the demographic is similar, is considered in the event research is denied in preferred school district.

The research will use a pre-defined population of ninth and tenth-grade students from the chosen high school. Participants will be selected according to each student’s need as stated by his or her IEP. The student body has over 200 students in the ninth and tenth grades identified with reading LD. Two hundred will serve as the base population size in which the sample size is chosen. The sample size of 132 was derived from using Survey Monkey sample size calculator in which the population size is 200 with a confidence level of 95% and the margin of error of five percent (Survey Monkey, 2015).

Participants Sampling

The sample size of the participants is 200, who are the students of high school. Moreover, 16 teachers will participate in the survey. The teachers will firstly guide the students and then will provide feedback. The students are given a pre-test at the beginning of the intervention and a post-test at the end to help measure growth (Russell, 2012). The researcher examines the group who learns the most, the control group or the experimental group, then draws a conclusion according to the results (Johnson & Christensen, 2014).

In this research, the survey will be sent to all 16 of the Language Arts/Reading teachers of ninth and tenth-grade students. Eight teachers will be selected to participate in the study, four for the control group and four for the experimental group. These teachers carry a caseload of 6 to 8 students in each class period with six periods of reading instruction daily.

This research will use four separate classrooms in which each teacher will have 6 to 8 students to use repeated readings as an effective reading strategy when paired with immediate teacher feedback and students allowed to practice immediately. While the control group will continue to receive reading instruction following the regular curriculum guides. The study takes place in a small group setting as a primary reading strategy for at least 45 minutes of the 144 minutes reading block for the day at least three days a week.

Data Sources

This study will be a quasi-experimental design in which students of the high school are the participants. The sample size derived from using Survey Monkey sample size calculator in which the population size is 200 with a confidence level of 95% and the margin of error of five percent. For the research, teachers used many assessment tools when looking for benchmarks to start the school year and progress monitor throughout the year.

Ethical Issues

Considerations will be made to assure that participants’ identity will be protected. This study will not use names or any related material that can disclose the identity of the school district, school, teachers, students, and parents. Before the study, appropriate permission will be granted from all stakeholders to conduct the study.

Fidelity

Each intervention will be observed at least three times using a fidelity checklist that will be used for training purposes and to determine if interventionists are applying the strategies as planned. Additionally, the checklist will include if the students are executing the procedures for maximum effects. Fidelity will be calculated as the number of correctly implemented items divided by the total items on the checklist then multiplied by 100. Interventionist are expected to obtain a score of 100 anything less will result in feedback on methods to increase reaching 100.

Research Protocol/Instrumentation

This study will use data from existing records that include Individualized Educational Plans (IEP), AIMSweb Probes and Woodcock-Johnson IV as well as the pre-test administered before the interventions of the repeated reading strategy. To determine the results of the study, post-test will be administered.

Students with learning disabilities have IEP’s in which their needs are listed as academic and functional goals to work towards, and often objectives are included for teachers to address in increments (IDEA, 2004). These goals are measurable in that students are expected to make progress on the goal in a given amount of time and within in a certain percentage to show mastery of the task (IDEA, 2004). Teachers instruct students according to their objectives and continue until it is mastered leading up to the next one until the student has met mastery of all objectives for the goal.

Teachers used many assessment tools when looking for benchmarks to start the school year and progress monitor throughout the year. AIMSweb probes are used to screen students, monitor their progress and give teachers the data needed for assessing student performance (Pearson Education, 2015). This type of curriculum-based measurement (CBM) is a general progress monitoring form that assesses the whole performance of initial skills at every grade. The AIMSweb calculate reading, spelling, writing, and math skills and norms for kindergarten through twelfth grades. This assessment resource is technology friendly in that teachers can set up their classroom students’ identification into the system, enter benchmark information, and continue to monitor students’ progress online.

The last assessment used to measure participants. The results of this assessment will show the scores from the Woodcock-Johnson IV (WJ IV). Used by a psychologist as well as educators, these assessments allow examiners to evaluate learning problems and data that are needed to improve students’ outcome. This assessment consists of three series that can be used independently or co-normed in which 22 independent assessments are included that measure academic knowledge, reading, writing, mathematics, and oral language skills (Woodcock, Schrank, McGrew & Mather, 2007 & WJ IV, 2015). The WJ IV test for reading speed is measured by the Reading Fluency test in which automaticity and comprehension are measured. Repeated reading is recognized as a fluency building strategies according to Wendling, Schrank, & Schmitt (2007). Fluency was confirmed as one technique combined with phonemic awareness, phonics, guided oral reading, recognition of vocabulary words, and comprehension strategies that are successful for teaching students to read (NICHD, 2000a).

AIMSweb

The primary instrument considered will be the AIMSweb assessment of reading the curriculum-based measurement. Teachers will use this assessment to provide instruction and practice for students in reading. First, by implementing benchmark assessments, teachers will gain knowledge of the students’ present levels of performance and can monitor their progress throughout the research. Additionally, benchmarking is to be used in planning the grade level passage for students’ to begin reading. Secondly, AIMSweb passages will be used for pre- and post-test when determining reading levels for the research purpose.

IEP

Students with learning disabilities who attend public schools are educated through an IEP (Individualize Education Program). The IEP is used to identify each student’s primary disability, the present reading level of performance, goals, accommodations, time spent in regular education classes, and all state and district assessments (IDEA, 2004). Students’ IEP records for the school term 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 will be reviewed for confirmation of grade level, disability, reading level, and scores on the AIMSWebliteracy indicators. 2

Data Collection

A collection of the data will include the IEP, AIMSweb Probes and Woodcock-Johnson IV as well as the pre-test administered before the interventions of the repeated reading strategy. To determine the results, a post-test will be administered at the end of the intervention period.

The researcher will obtain permission from the review board of the school district along with all stakeholders. The researcher must attend a meeting before the seminar required by the school district. Before the seminar, the researcher will write a letter to the school district explaining why and how the study will be conducted. Once permission is obtained, the researcher must seek permission from the principal of the school before seeking teachers, students, and parents’ permission.

To begin, the researcher must read each participant’s IEP to establish reading levels. Once the students’ reading levels are determined, the researcher will ascertain which of the four classes that are in the study in which the student is enrolled.

Data Collection Procedure

When analyzing the data procedures, the quasi-experimental approach will be used that compares variables before and after the experiences of the reading interventions. The data will be collected throughout the study. The Pearson correlation and standard regression analyses were used to test the two null hypotheses. Statistical measures will summarize, simplify, and organize the data. Stated by Gravetter&Wallnau (2005), “The statistical technique for finding the best-fitting straight line for a set of data is called regression, and the resulting straight line is called the regression line” (p. 451). Multiple regression implicates the projection of one principle variable from more than one predictor variable.

This study will consist of two primary questions that include a hypothesis and null hypothesis for each. The independent and dependent variables, as well as the research question, its hypothesis, and the null hypothesis, are as follows:

Variable 1: Repeated reading

Variable 2: Immediate teacher feedback and independent practice

Dependent Variable 1: Reading rates

Dependent Variable 2: Reading comprehension

RQ1: Will there be a significant difference in the reading rate of 9th and 10th grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback and immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading rate of 9th and 10th grade students with learning disabilities who did not receive explicit repeated reading instruction?

H1: There will be a significant difference in the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicitly, repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit, repeated reading instruction.

H01: There will be no significant difference in the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicitly, repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading rate of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit, repeated reading instruction.

RQ2: Will there be a significant difference in reading comprehension between 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback and immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who did not receive explicitly, repeated reading instruction?

H2: There will be a significant difference in the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicitly, repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicit, repeated reading instruction.

H02: There will be no significant difference in the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade students with learning disabilities who receive explicit repeated reading instruction with initial teacher feedback immediately followed by independent student practice compared to the reading comprehension of 9th and 10th-grade student with learning disabilities who do not receive explicitly, repeated reading instruction.

Researcher Positionality

I am reminded of a slogan I used to hear growing up, “Reading Opens Doors!” This slogan is very true. I remember being a struggling reader and wanting to become a better reader and once I learned how to read well no one could take a book out of my hands, whereas before learning how to read, I did not want a book in my hands. As a special education teacher, I have noticed that many of my students are reading below grade level. Being a very concerned teacher, I would like to close the reading below grade level gap. I have researched pertinent studies, and I would like to explore various strategies to learn which one will better help my struggling readers become fluent and comprehensive readers. Also, many of my students do not comprehend what they are reading. I would like to see an increase in reading comprehension as well as fluency scores in not only my students but also all students. The results of this study are to hopefully identify a strategy that will help students increase their reading fluency and comprehension. There are many ways, and many resources that teachers can use to help students build comprehension and fluency and the aim of this study is to find a strategy that works and share it with other improving their classroom teaching practices increasing fluency and comprehension scores across the nation.

Credibility Techniques

To ensure, that this research project is credible the research will use reputable resources. The researcher will ensure that the books are credible by reading the foreword and introduction of each book. These sections of the book provide expertise about the book. A researcher may find a credible article by finding articles located in academic journals written by an expert in their respective fields. The reliability of a study determines if it will reveal the same results over repeated trials (Carmines, 1979). To ensure that a test is reliable, research may conduct the test more than once. Research studies are trustworthy if the researcher is engaged in the project for an extended period to show commitment. A researcher may also demonstrate their trustworthiness to the project through the use of frequent observations. Research is considered valid when it measures what is supposed to measure. When conducting research, it is important to remember that the research must be credible, reliable, trustworthy and valid. When these four areas are combined, one may have a valid research project.

Data Analysis

The data collected from the pre and post tests will be entered into a computer program that will analyze it by using a t-test. The data will also be turned into a graphical representation for ease of interpretation. The students from both groups will all be given the same test for fluency passages and comprehension pre and posttest. The study will begin as each student reads a fluency passage in which their fluency scores were recorded. The students will also complete a comprehension test. For two weeks after the pretest is given, both groups will participate in their assigned intervention. The interventions will be given every day for two weeks. At the end of two weeks, the students will once again read a fluency passage to identify if there was an increase in their fluency scores. The students will also complete a post-comprehension test. The students’ pre and posttests will consist of ten questions. After the students’ pre and posttests scores are recorded, their responses were put on a table so that results may be viewed and analyzed.

References:

Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2012). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage

Pearson Education (2015). Assessment: Aimsweb. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/learningassessments/products/100000519/aimsweb.html?Pid=aims01&Mode=summary#tab-details

Russell, J. M. (2012). The impact of fluency intervention on the oral reading fluency comprehension of middle-grade students with learning disabilities (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/docview/1028716310?accountid=7374

Wendling, B. J., Schrank, F. A., & Schmitt, A. J. (2007). Educational Interventions Related to the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (Assessment Service Bulletin No. 8). Rolling Meadows, IL: Riverside Publishing.

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