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The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of two instructional approaches designed to improve the reading fluency of 2nd-grade children. The first approach was based on Stahl and Heubach's (2005) fluency-oriented reading instruction (FORI) and involved the scaffolded, repeated reading of grade-level texts over the course of each week. The second was a wide-reading approach that also involved scaffolded instruction. hut that incorporated the reading of 3 different grade-level texts each week and provicled significantly less opportunity for repetition. By the end of the school year. FORI and wide-reading approaches showed similar benefits for standardized measures of word reading efficiency and reading comprehension skills compared to control approachcs. although the benefits of the wide-reading approach emerged earlier and included oral text reading fluency skill. Thus, we conclude that fluency instruction that emphasizes extensive oral reading of grade-level text using scaffolded approaches is effective for promoting reading development in young learners.
Journal of Literacy Research
The online version of this article can be found at:
DOI: 10.1207/s15548430jlr3804_1
2006 38: 357Journal of Literacy Research
Steven A. Stahl
Deborah Gee Woo, Elizabeth B. Meisinger, Rose A. Sevcik, Barbara A. Bradley and
Melanie R. Kuhn, Paula J. Schwanenflugel, Robin D. Morris, Lesley Mandel Morrow,
Teaching Children to Become Fluent and Automatic Readers
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Teaching Children to Become Fluent
and Automatic Readers
Melanie R. Kuhn
Department of Learning and Teaching
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Paula J. Schwanenflugel
Department of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology
University of Georgia
Robin D. Morris
Department of Psychology
Georgia State University
Lesley Mandel Morrow
Department of Learning and Teaching
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Deborah Gee Woo
Department of Literacy Education
New Jersey City University
Elizabeth B. Meisinger
Department of Psychological Services
Dallas Independent School District
Rose A. Sevcik
Department of Psychology
Georgia State University
Barbara A. Bradley
Department of Curriculum and Teaching
University of Kansas
Steven A. Stahl
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign
Copyright © 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Correspondence should be addressed to Melanie R. Kuhn, Rutgers Graduate School of Education,
10 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901–1183. E-mail:
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The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of two instructional approaches
designed to improve the reading fluency of 2nd-grade children. The first approach
was based on Stahl and Heubach’s (2005) fluency-oriented reading instruction
(FORI) and involved the scaffolded, repeated reading of grade-level texts over the
course of each week. The second was a wide-reading approach that also involved
scaffolded instruction, but that incorporated the reading of 3 different grade-level
texts each week and provided significantly less opportunity for repetition. By the end
of the school year, FORI and wide-reading approaches showed similar benefits for
standardized measures of word reading efficiency and reading comprehension skills
compared to control approaches, although the benefits of the wide-reading approach
emerged earlier and included oral text reading fluency skill. Thus, we conclude that
fluency instruction that emphasizes extensive oral reading of grade-level text using
scaffolded approaches is effective for promoting reading development in young
Over the past several years, there has been a renewed focus on what it means to be a
fluent reader, as well as on ways in which teachers can aid the transition from de-
liberate, monotonous reading to fluid and expressive reading (e.g., Kuhn & Stahl,
2003; National Reading Panel, 2000; Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003). However, al-
though there is general agreement that fluency is an essential component of skilled
reading, there continue to be both theoretical and practical questions regarding the
ways in which instruction can best be implemented to facilitate fluent reading.
This article reports on a large-scale study of two instructional interventions that
have been successful in assisting the reading development of second graders from
schools with moderate to high levels of poverty.
Two major, recent reviews of fluent reading (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; National
Reading Panel, 2000) indicate that fluency-oriented approaches to literacy instruc-
tion are effective at increasing students’accurate and automatic word recognition,
assisting with their comprehension, and promoting their use of prosodic features,
such as stress, pitch, and suitable phrasing. These approaches include repeated
readings (Dahl, 1979; Samuels, 1979), as well as a range of methods that integrate
repetition as part of their practice, such as reading while listening (Chomsky,
1978), cross-aged reading (Labbo & Teale, 1990), and paired repeated reading
(Koskinen & Blum, 1984). One key aspect of these approaches is that they com-
bine extensive opportunities to read connected text with the provision of scaffold-
ing. That is, they provide learners with support through either feedback or model-
ing that emphasizes appropriate decoding, phrasing, and expression.
However, when comparing approaches that implement repetition with those
based on the scaffolded reading of a more extensive range of texts, Kuhn and Stahl
(2003) found little difference in learner achievement. Given this, it is unclear
whether the gains in fluency result from the repetition per se or from the scaffolded
reading of significant amounts of connected text. To gain a better understanding of
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this issue, we contrasted two interventions, one based on the scaffolded repetition
of a single text and a second based on the supported reading of multiple texts, to de-
termine their effectiveness within the literacy curriculum.
Fluency’s Role in Reading
Fluent reading is typically defined by three constructs (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Na-
tional Reading Panel, 2000). Most commonly, these constructs include quick and
accurate word recognition (Jenkins, Fuchs, van den Broek, Espin, & Deno, 2003),
and, when oral reading is considered, the appropriate use of prosody (Cowie,
Douglas-Cowie, & Wichmann, 2002; Schwanenflugel, Hamilton, Kuhn, Wisen-
baker, & Stahl, 2004). Some definitions also include comprehension as part of flu-
ent reading (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins, 2001; Wolf & Katzir-Cohen, 2001),
as fluency is seen as a factor in readers’ ability to understand and enjoy text (e.g.,
Jenkins et al., 2003; Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003; Samuels, 2006).
According to automaticity theorists, reading is composed of several concurrent
elements, including decoding and comprehension (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974).
However, individuals have a limited amount of attentional resources available for
reading (or any other cognitive task). As a result, attentional resources spent on de-
coding are necessarily unavailable for comprehension (Kintsch, 1998; Stanovich,
1984). Fortunately, as word recognition becomes automatic, less attention needs to
be expended on decoding and more cognitive resources can be devoted to the con-
struction of meaning.
According to automaticity theory, the most effective way for students to de-
velop such automatic word recognition is through extensive exposure to print (Ad-
ams, 1990; Samuels, 1979; Stanovich, 1984). Such practice leads to familiarity
with a language’s orthographic patterns and allows learners to recognize words
with increasing accuracy and automaticity, thereby permitting readers to focus on
text meaning rather than simply on the words.
In addition to automatic word recognition, prosody may be an important indica-
tor of fluent reading (Schwanenflugel et al., 2004). Reading prosody consists of
those elements that comprise expressive reading, including intonation, emphasis,
rate, and the regularly reoccurring patterns of language (Hanks, 1990; Harris &
Hodges, 1981, 1995). When readers are able to apply these elements to text, it
serves as an indicator that they can transfer elements that are present in oral lan-
guage to print (Dowhower, 1991; Schreiber, 1991). Some recent research has sug-
gested that prosody in fluent reading may serve primarily as an indicator that a
child has achieved automaticity in text reading (Miller & Schwanenflugel, 2006;
Schwanenflugel et al., 2004). However, the exact role of prosody in reading com-
prehension is open to further research (e.g., Cowie et al., 2002; Levy, Abello, &
Lysynchuk, 1997; Schwanenflugel et al., 2004; T. Shanahan, personal communi-
cation, December 2, 2004).
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Approaches to Fluency Instruction
Research on fluency has focused on two types of learners: students making the tran-
sition to fluency at what is considered to be a developmentally appropriate point,
usually around the second and third grade, and struggling readers who have experi-
enced difficulty with this transition (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003). The two primary ap-
proachesused withthe lattergroup havebeenunassisted repeatedreadings, inwhich
a learner reads a text repeatedly until a desired level of fluency is attained, and as-
sisted reading, in which a child reads a text with the support of a model, be it a skilled
reader, a tape recording, or computer narration (Dowhower, 1989). Further, the ma-
jority of fluency strategies have been designed for individual learners or dyads.
In addition to these approaches, a small number of studies examined classroom
extensions of assisted reading instruction. It is important to note that when we dis-
cuss assisted reading instruction we are referring to reading that is scaffolded or
supported in some way. In other words, rather than expecting the students to work
through a given text independently, these approaches provide some type of help
with their word recognition, phrasing, or use of expression. This usually occurs as
a form modeling, such as is provided through choral or echo reading or through
books on tape and CD-ROMs. These were designed for whole classes or small
groups of students and can be used for both struggling readers and their
nonstruggling peers. The first of these approaches was the oral recitation lesson
(ORL; Hoffman, 1987; Hoffman & Crone, 1985), which presented a framework
for effectively implementing a basal reading lesson over the course of a week. It
combined teacher modeling, a focus on comprehension at the beginning of the
weekly lessons, echo reading, and student mastery of a portion of the text. Al-
though the approach was not evaluated statistically, anecdotal evidence indicated
that the students’ rate, accuracy, and comprehension improved. Further, teachers
found the ORL to be an effective instructional approach.
Two studies looked at shared reading as part of a second-grade literacy curricu-
lum (Eldredge, Reutzel, & Hollingsworth, 1996; Reutzel, Hollingsworth, &
Eldredge,1994). In thefirststudy (Eldredgeet al., 1996),the shared bookexperience
(SBE;Holdaway,1979) wasfound tobe superiorto atraditional basalapproach (i.e.,
round-robin reading) on measures of fluency and experimenter-designed compre-
hension measures but not on a standardized comprehension test. In the second study
(Reutzel et al., 1994), the ORL was compared to the SBE. No significant differences
were found between the ORL and the SBE groups on measures of fluency, vocabu-
lary, and four measures of comprehension. However, the SBE group scored signifi-
cantly higher when answering implicit questions on an experimenter-developed
measure and on the word analysis subtest of a standardized achievement test; they
also made significantly fewer oral reading miscues.
Other research also built on the ORL, including that by Morris and Nelson
(1992), who modified the approach for small groups by developing a 3-day lesson
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plan for struggling readers that implemented teacher modeling, partner reading,
and echo reading. The students also practiced a 100-word passage from these texts
several times to improve their accuracy and automaticity. The results indicated that
the students made gains in terms of their rate and word recognition and also dem-
onstrated growth on two scales of word recognition. However, the study did not use
a control group or present statistical results.
Rasinski, Padak, Linek, and Sturtevant (1994) used a similar format in their flu-
ency development lesson (FDL); however, they based their reading on short texts
rather than stories. Again, the FDL incorporated teacher modeling, choral reading,
and paired practice. Because of the short texts, teachers were able to do the lesson
in a daily 15-minute session over a 6-month period. The students in the treatment
group showed gains in reading rate when compared to children getting traditional
literacy activities. However, the differences between the experimental treatment
and the control in overall reading level as measured by an informal reading inven-
tory were not statistically significant.
The fluency-oriented reading instruction (FORI) program (Stahl & Heubach,
2005) is also based on the ORL. This approach was designed for whole-class in-
struction with second graders using grade-level material. The lessons were de-
signed to maximize the amount of connected text children read, incorporated repe-
tition and partner reading, and had a comprehension focus. This program was
carried out by four teachers in two schools during the first year and was expanded
to 10 teachers in three schools for the second year. Using the Qualitative Reading
Inventory–II (QRI–II; Leslie & Caldwell, 1995) to determine instructional level,
children in both years demonstrated greater gains than generally would have been
expected: 1.88 years’ growth in the first year of the intervention and 1.77 years’
growth in the second year. Further, all but two students who began second grade
reading at a primer level or higher were reading at a second-grade level or higher
by the end of the year. However, the study lacked a control group.
In sum, of the six studies that examined the effects of classroom approaches de-
signed to increase fluency, three used a control group. Of the three controlled stud-
ies, only one found clear evidence that the fluency-oriented lessons produced sig-
nificantly better achievement than traditional, or round-robin, reading instruction.
However, given the large gains reported by Stahl and Heubach (2005) and the gen-
eral effectiveness of fluency instruction (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; National Reading
Panel, 2000), we considered it useful to examine these approaches through more
controlled research.
Repeated or Wide Reading
When discussing the effectiveness of repeated reading approaches, a second issue
emerges regarding the role of the repetition itself: Does the effectiveness of re-
peated reading approaches stem specifically from the repetition of texts or from the
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more general benefits that may be derived from extensive scaffolding of oral read-
ing practice? In fact, Kuhn and Stahl’s (2003) review of fluency-oriented instruc-
tional approaches indicated support for the latter idea. Overall, they found that
studies comparing repeated reading with the equivalent amounts of scaffolded, but
nonrepetitive, reading produced similar gains. It may be the case that, in general,
the amount of reading carried out in typical classrooms is not extensive enough to
support the development of fluent and automatic reading for many students. For
example, Gambrell (1984) found that, in the primary grades, children read con-
nected text for less than 9 minutes per day on average, with some struggling read-
ers reading as little as 1 or 2 minutes per day (see also Leinhardt, Zigmond, &
Cooley, 1981). Other observational studies (e.g., Berliner, 1981; Leinhardt et al.,
1981) have found that the amount of reading of connected text at an appropriate
level was the best predictor of children’s growth in reading achievement. Thus, the
amount of reading that students complete plays an important role in their overall
achievement (see Allington, 2002; Krashen, 2001). It may be, then, that flu-
ency-oriented approaches work simply by increasing the amount of supported
reading that children do and that it is this that leads to gains in achievement, rather
than the repetition per se. Yet, to date, there has been little research that looks at
this possibility.
One short-term study has attempted to look at this issue. Kuhn (2004–2005)
contrasted repeated reading with a broader, but scaffolded, approach to fluency.
The study consisted of four groups of five to six students that met for 15 to 20 min-
utes, three times per week, for a 6-week period. The first group repeatedly read a
single story three times over the course of a week, the second group echo- or cho-
ral-read three different texts per week, the third group listened to three stories each
week but did not have a copy of the text, and the final group did not receive any lit-
eracy instruction beyond what was occurring in their regular classroom. Results on
the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE; Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte,
1999) and the QRI–II (Leslie & Caldwell, 1995) indicated that the repeated read-
ing and wide reading groups made greater gains on word recognition in isolation,
correct words per minute, and prosody when compared to the control and listen-
ing-only groups; however, only the wide reading group made gains in terms of
comprehension. Because the study was conducted over a relatively short period of
time and with small numbers of children, it is possible that a lengthier, more com-
prehensive intervention might produce different results.
Given these findings, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two
instructional approaches designed to improve the reading fluency of second grad-
ers. The first of these approaches is based on Stahl and Heubach’s (2005) FORI
method, which involved the scaffolded, repeated reading of a single story or text
over the course of a week. The second implemented a wide-reading approach to
fluency instruction that also involved scaffolding, but incorporated the reading of
three different texts each week. This approach allowed for a contrast between the
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effects of extensive and supported repetition with the supported reading of a
broader amount of text. Both approaches were compared to a control condition that
incorporated a range of literacy instruction typical of the schools in which these
children were situated, including shared reading, guided reading, and round-robin
To evaluate the effectiveness of the approaches for promoting reading fluency,
we used three assessments that targeted distinct skills. First, we assessed the chil-
dren’s sight word reading efficiency. Because there is a high degree of overlap
among the core vocabulary for texts at these reading levels, both approaches were
expected to benefit sight word reading (Hiebert & Fisher, 2005). Next, we assessed
the students’ oral reading fluency for connected text. We were uncertain whether
there might be differential effects for the programs on text reading fluency. For ex-
ample, Logan’s (1997) instance theory of automaticity claims that automaticity is
accrued while learning to read at sublexical, lexical, and phrase levels during each
instance of reading a text. Children might be expected to accrue a variety of dis-
tinct traces at the phrase level from wide reading, and thus the wide-reading ap-
proach might foster superior text reading fluency because children would have
this variety of traces from which to draw. On the other hand, all the distinct
phrase-level traces accrued during wide reading might not be significant in terms
of automaticity because they were not practiced often enough, creating an advan-
tage for the repetition or leading to no discernable effects for one approach to flu-
ency practice over the other. Finally, we evaluated the effects of the approaches on
children’s reading comprehension to ensure that the approaches were not resulting
in the creation of word callers (i.e., “fluent” readers who are unable to comprehend
We were also interested in evaluating short- and long-term use of the program.
Kuhn’s (2004–2005) short-term study indicated broader effects for the wide-
reading group compared to their peers in the repeated reading condition. As such,
we felt it was important to learn whether certain of the practices (e.g., repetition or
wide reading) benefited from being carried out over a long term to be effective, or
whether the benefits of one of the approaches to fluency might be seen in a shorter
Twenty-four second-grade classrooms in New Jersey and Georgia participated in
the research. The classrooms were part of eight schools that were randomly as-
signed as a unit to a particular condition. The New Jersey site consisted of two in-
tervention schools and one control school in a suburban location. The three subur-
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ban schools served a predominantly working-class population with a free and
reduced lunch rate of approximately 40% across the district. The population of this
school district was very diverse, with children coming from households in which
one of 33 languages were spoken as the primary home language. Although all the
children in the classrooms participated in the intervention, students who were re-
ceiving English language support services did not take part in the assessments.
The Georgia site included four intervention schools and one control school in
two urban locations. The schools at the southeastern site served a moderately high
to high proportion of households of low socioeconomic status (SES), with between
50% and 90% of the students receiving free and reduced lunch (Georgia Office of
Student Achievement, 2004). All five schools at these sites were low achieving.
Four of the five schools served a majority African American population; the fifth
school was more ethnically diverse.
In terms of overall demographics, the mean age of the students who were as-
sessed was 7 years, 7 months (SD = 5 months; range = 6 years, 6 months–9 years, 9
months) at pretest. Forty-six percent of the participants were girls and 54% were
boys. In terms of ethnicity, 51% were African American, 23% were White, 21%
were Hispanic American, 5% were Asian American, and 1% was identified as
other. Twenty-four percent of the children participated in the control condition,
41% in the FORI condition, and 35% in the wide-reading condition. Overall, 60%
of the sample was from the southeast sites, and 40% was from the site in the north-
All of the students took part in the curriculum component of the program (either
the intervention component or their traditional instruction). Of these, 349, or 88%
of the 396 students who were pretested based on parental consent, took part in the
full assessment battery over the course of the study. None of the schools was par-
ticipating in the Reading First initiative at the time of the intervention.
To examine the effects of the program, a number of standardized reading assess-
ments were used; these measured word reading efficiency, oral reading of con-
nected text, and reading comprehension. Measures were chosen for fidelity both to
the constructs that constitute fluent and effective reading at the second-grade level
and to established levels of reliability and concurrent validity. Age-based standard
scores were used in all analyses.
Word reading efficiency.
To measure children’s reading of isolated words,
we used the TOWRE (Torgesen et al., 1999). The TOWRE is a list of words ar-
ranged in increasing order of difficulty. Children are asked to read as many words
as they can within 45 seconds, and scores are based on the number of words cor-
rectly recognized. Despite its brevity, the TOWRE Sight Word Efficiency subtest
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has high reliability (.90–.97), with alternate form reliabilities ranging between .93
and .97, and high concurrent validity (.80–.94) with other measures of reading, ac-
cording to the test publisher (Torgesen et al., 1999). Further, Schwanenflugel et al.
(2004) found that the TOWRE Sight Word Efficiency subtest accounted for 76%
of variance in the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT; 1992) reading
comprehension measure, more than any other measure included in that study, and
was an excellent predictor of prosodic reading of text. Age-based standard scores
based on the norms provided in the test manual were used in all analyses. This as-
sessment was given three times during the school year. Form A was administered
in the first month of the school year. Form B was administered in the winter, and
Form A was readministered in the last month of school.
Oral reading of connected text.
The Gray Oral Reading Test (4th ed.
[GORT–4]; Wiederholt & Bryant, 2001) was used to measure children’s oral read-
ing of connected text. The GORT–4 consists of a series of increasingly difficult
passages that are read aloud. Scoring is based on the number of reading errors and
the time it takes to read each passage. According to Wiederholt and Bryant (2001),
the GORT–4 has reliability indexes ranging from .87 to .96 in the age ranges used
in this study, and concurrent validity estimates with other measures of reading
ranging from .39 to .89 (Mdn r = .64). We base our findings here on the test fluency
score, which combines reading rate and accuracy and provides a global picture of
the students’ oral reading skills. The GORT–4 was administered concurrently with
the other assessments. Form A was administered in the first month of school, Form
B in the winter, and Form A again in the final month of school.
Reading comprehension.
The Reading Comprehension subtest of the
WIAT (1992) consists of a series of passages that children are directed to read si-
lently or orally, as they choose. The reading of each passage is followed by ques-
tions that the child answers aloud in his or her own words. The test is individually
administered and uses basal and ceiling rules to determine starting and stopping
points. Scoring is based on the number of questions answered correctly. The man-
ual reports high reliability coefficients for the Reading Comprehension subtest for
both fall and spring of the second-grade year (.90–.91), as well as acceptable con-
current validity estimates of the subtest with other measures of reading (.43–.85,
Mdn = .78). This assessment was given concurrently with the other assessments
only in the first and final months of school to minimize test–retest issues, as there is
only one form of the test.
Each child was tested individually by a trained assessor fol-
lowing the standardized test protocol. However, the order of assessments was
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counterbalanced so that half the participants received the TOWRE followed by the
GORT–4, which was followed by the WIAT, and the other half received these as-
sessments in the reverse order. Because the districts used different school calen-
dars, time of testing varied from district to district, but children were tested at
equivalent points in the school year. Children were tested within the first 3 weeks
of the school year, and then at approximately 20 weeks and 30 weeks into the
school year.
Teacher professional development.
As noted earlier, schools were ran-
domly assigned to one of the three treatments: FORI, wide reading, or control. The
teachers in our intervention schools participated in two 2-hour sessions of formal
professional development at the beginning of the school year. Although the train-
ing was parallel and led by the same researcher, the FORI and wide-reading teach-
ers participated in separate sessions. In other words, immediately prior to the be-
ginning of the school year, all the FORI teachers in the Georgia site took part in
their professional development sessions together, as did the wide-reading teachers.
This pattern was repeated at the New Jersey site. The first session introduced the
teachers to the instructional procedures and provided them with the appropriate
general lesson plan for their intervention (see the Appendix). The second session
centered on a videotape that demonstrated the use of fluency-oriented procedures
in a second-grade classroom. Using the video as a starting point, the teachers and
researchers discussed the ways in which the strategies on the tape could be inte-
grated into their classrooms using the procedures outlined in the training. After 3
to 4 weeks, the researchers and the teachers met to discuss the program and to re-
solve any issues that arose during the first month of implementation. Because of
the straightforward design of the interventions, the approaches could be imple-
mented with a minimal amount of professional development. In addition, contact
continued among the researchers, the observers, and the teachers throughout the
year. This contact was both informal (providing feedback after the observation,
etc.) and formal (meetings after school).
Along with the formal professional development sessions, all teachers were
given the opportunity to order grade-level books for their classrooms (the majority
of which were identified as second-grade texts using Fountas and Pinnell’s [1999]
guidelines). This ensured that a minimum number of reasonably challenging texts
were available for the students to use in the program. Further, all teachers were pro-
vided with an honorarium for the time they spent participating in the professional
development and for facilitating data collection. Control teachers were provided
with an equivalent book allowance, but there were no restrictions regarding the
types of books that could be ordered for their classrooms. They were also provided
the same honorarium, but took part in the professional development only after the
intervention was completed.
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Professional development emphasized that fluency-oriented instruction should
be viewed as an important part, but only a part of the second-grade reading curricu-
lum. The fluency activities were integrated into the broader literacy curriculum
that included decoding, writing, and other literacy activities, although the exact
format of this instruction varied from school to school and site to site. Also, each
site used a different reading program: basal, literature anthology, or guided read-
ing. Thus, fluency-oriented instruction was the only constant against a backdrop of
varied literacy viewpoints and practices. Our role in dealing with this variation was
to assist the teacher in thinking of ways to integrate the fluency program into his or
her preferred literacy program. The control teachers also used a variety of literacy
activities ranging from round-robin reading to guided reading and reading work-
The intervention teachers used either an approach that focused on text repeti-
tion (i.e., FORI) or an approach that focused on the supported reading of a number
of texts (i.e., wide reading). Both approaches brought comprehension to the fore-
front of the lessons, made use of modeling, and supported the students’ reading
through a weekly lesson plan (see the Appendix). Both approaches also used
grade-level texts and all children read from the same materials as a central part of
these approaches.
This is an adaptation of the approach developed by Stahl and Heubach
(2005) involving the gradual release of support (Vygotsky, 1978) from a more
knowledgeable reader (i.e., the teacher) over the course of a week through the use
of an organized lesson plan (see the Appendix). At the beginning of the week, the
teacher carried out full responsibility for the fluent rendering of the passage. By
the end of the week, the children were expected to be able to read the same text on
their own.
The teachers used texts for the program that were considered to be at grade
level. The rationale was that the degree of support provided by the program would
help children, even those reading below grade level, to read the passages success-
fully by the end of the week. Over the course of the year, this would gradually bring
children’s reading skills up to grade level. The teachers had considerable latitude
in the types and genres of texts used. The majority of the texts used came from the
basal readers or literature anthologies and were predominantly, although not ex-
clusively, narratives; however, many teachers also used class sets of trade books
and expository texts outside their basals.
Following the lesson plan, teachers began the week by introducing a text
through a range of preteaching activities. They then read the week’s selection
aloud while the students followed along in their own copy. This provided students
with the opportunity to see the words as they were pronounced without having to
decode them independently and, simultaneously, to listen to a good, prosodic
model of the text. These read-alouds were followed by a discussion of the text. As
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mentioned earlier, we felt that a comprehension focus early in the lesson was im-
portant to emphasize the construction of meaning as the primary purpose for read-
ing (Hoffman & Crone, 1985). This discussion often involved teacher questioning,
but teachers occasionally opted to use alternative approaches such as graphic orga-
nizers (e.g., story maps) or response-oriented instruction.
On the second day, teachers completed an echo reading of the text. In this com-
ponent, teachers read two or three sentences aloud to the children. The students
then “echoed” the teacher by reading these same sentences aloud. As the year pro-
gressed, the passages became longer so that it was not uncommon for students to
echo an entire paragraph. The goal of reading several sentences aloud at one time
was to exceed the children’s short-term memory spans, thereby focusing them on
word identification to echo the passage segments correctly. On this day, children
also had the option of completing activities associated with the text, such as written
responses. The homework connected with the program also started on the second
day with the children bringing the text home to read to a family member or friend.
The underlying conviction was that children should have established enough mas-
tery of the text to begin reading it on their own or with limited assistance from a
more knowledgeable other. For the remainder of the week, homework was depend-
ent on the amount of continued support needed to develop comfort with the pri-
mary selection. Children who had achieved mastery of the text were allowed to
read books of their own choosing. If a child needed extra support, he or she was
asked to bring the text home to read again for homework.
On the third day, students completed a choral reading of the text. In choral read-
ing, the entire class reads the text simultaneously with the teacher, giving learners
another supported opportunity to read the text. The teachers were responsible for
monitoring the children to ensure that they were actively engaged in the oral read-
ing of the text. This was followed by a partner reading of the text on Day 4. Partner
reading was considered important because it allowed each child to read half of
each week’s text independently. Partners were selected in one of two ways: Either
the students self-selected their partners, or the teachers paired more skilled readers
with less skilled peers. Both of these approaches have been shown to pro-
mote on-task behavior and cooperation during partner reading (Meisinger,
Schwanenflugel, Bradley, & Stahl, 2004). If time permitted, the partners would
switch pages and read through the text again (e.g., the student who read the odd
pages would now read the even pages and vice versa).
On the final day, children completed extension activities related to the text, or
finished other activities associated with the text. Depending on the number of
times students read the selection at home, they read each selection between four
and seven times over the course of the week.
Wide reading.
The wide-reading component was based on a modification of
the FORI and the wide-reading approach discussed earlier (Kuhn, 2004–2005; see
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the Appendix). Although many of the principles outlined for fluency-oriented ap-
proaches (e.g., modeling fluent reading, scaffolded reading) were incorporated,
rather than reading a single text repeatedly, the students in the wide-reading compo-
nent read three texts over the course of the week. The first day of the lesson plan par-
alleledthe FORIlesson with the teacher reading the textaloud whilethe studentsfol-
lowedalong andresponded to it. On the second day,the children echo-read thestory,
and if time allotted, they partner-read the text as well, although this partner reading
rarely occurred in practice. Although the students had followed along in the text on
Day 1, this was the only time they were responsible for an oral rendering of the text.
Extension activities for the story took place on the third day. On the fourth and fifth
days, the children echo-read and discussed a second and third text selected from
class sets of trade books provided by the researchers. As with the FORI program,
teachers used texts designated as being appropriate for second grade, according to
leveling guides (e.g., Fountas & Pinnell, 1999). A variety of text types, the majority
of which were narratives, were used. However, a number of expository titles were
also available. As with the FORI program, both the basal or literature anthology se-
lection and the additional texts were sent home for students to reread. As a result, the
wide-readinggroup read the primary text between two and four times (depending on
whetherthe partnerreading andthe home reading were completed), and read the two
secondary texts once or twice (again depending on whether partner reading or home
reading occurred in addition to the echo reading). Thus, the differences between this
intervention and the FORI intervention involved not only the number of texts read
during the week but the number of rereadings per text.
Control classrooms.
In addition to the intervention classrooms, there was a
range of control classrooms at the two sites. Because the schools were randomly
assigned to one of the two experimental conditions or to the control condition,
there was no specific reading program planned for a comparison. Rather, the read-
ing instruction consisted of existing practice in the classrooms and schools and in-
cluded a range of instruction, such as shared reading, reading workshops, and
guided reading. The most common grouping formats were whole-class and small-
group instruction, which match these instructional approaches. The students also
spent their class time fairly evenly divided among comprehension instruction, text
reading, and word work. There was a great deal of teacher-directed board work.
Students also frequently used textbooks and worksheets as opposed to trade books.
In terms of oral reading, round-robin reading and teacher read-alouds were used
far more frequently than any other forms of oral reading. However, some choral
and repeated reading was used as part of the literacy instruction, along with a small
amount of partner reading.
Remedial treatment.
In addition to the intervention, a remedial treatment
was implemented across both the treatment and control classrooms. This interven-
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tion was designed for the six lowest achieving children in each classroom. These
children were all at the emergent reading level despite their second-grade standing.
Previous research (e.g., Stahl & Heubach, 2005) indicated it was unlikely that such
learners could take full advantage of fluency instruction without a supplemental
program to acquire knowledge of print concepts and a minimal level of word rec-
ognition. The remedial intervention was designed to assist these learners through
the provision of intensive instruction and was based, in part, on an adaptation and
integration of the Retrieval, Automaticity, Vocabulary Elaboration, and Orthogra-
phy program (RAVE-O) of Wolf, Miller, and Donnelly (2000) and the Phonologi-
cal and Strategy program (PHAST) of Lovett, Lacerenza, and Borden (2000). The
remedial instruction took place for 45 minutes per day by instructors trained in
the preceding procedures and supplemental to the children’s regular classroom
Classroom observations.
Throughout the year, each class, including the
control classrooms, was observed two or three times by trained observers using a
modified version of the CIERA School Change Classroom Observation Scheme
(Taylor & Pearson, 2000), which incorporated an additional level of codes corre-
sponding to the core activities of the two FORI interventions. This modified sys-
tem was used to determine program fidelity (Kuhn, Woo, Bradley, & Smith, 2003).
All observations were scheduled with the teachers and lasted for 30 to 40 minutes,
depending on the length of the reading instruction. Detailed notes on classroom ac-
tivities were taken by observers trained to use the CIERA School Change Class-
room Observation Scheme (Taylor & Pearson, 2000; Taylor, Pearson, Peterson, &
Rodriguez, 2003) and on the activities found in the two interventions. The CIERA
School Change Classroom Observation Scheme allows for both qualitative and
quantitative data analysis. Specifically, in the CIERA rubric, the observer takes
qualitative field notes for a 5-minute period; this is coupled with 2 minutes of cod-
ing into seven categories, or levels, and a notation of the number of students on
task. The coding levels identify who is giving the instruction, how the students are
grouped, the general or primary focus of instruction, the way in which that focus is
implemented (e.g., if the students are working on reading, are they reading con-
nected text or developing vocabulary), the materials being used, the style of
teacher interaction, and the expected pupil response. Observers took detailed field
notes on all activities occurring during reading instruction; however, they were not
blind to the condition at the participating schools. Because fluency-oriented in-
struction constituted only part of the students’ formal reading curriculum, addi-
tional activities beyond the core fluency activities were also observed. One ob-
server at each site was responsible for the observations. Prior to coding the
observations, the field notes were deidentified as to teacher, name, and condition.
Then, one coder who was blind to the condition of the participating classroom
coded all field notes. A second coder, also blind to the condition of the participat-
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ing classroom, coded a subset of 15% of the field notes. Cohen’s kappa indicated
an intercoder reliability of .90 on these classroom activity codes. Disagreements
were discussed until a consensus could be reached.
Classroom Observations
Once reliability on classroom activity codes had been obtained, the 5-minute seg-
ments were examined for the presence or absence of one of the core activities of
the fluency-oriented instruction interventions: teacher read-aloud, repeated read-
ing, choral reading, echo reading, or partner reading. As anticipated, teachers who
had received professional development on the fluency-oriented instruction inter-
ventions were observed using core fluency activities in a greater percentage of seg-
ments than teachers not receiving this professional development (control M=
5.8%, SD = 5.8; repeated M= 13.3%, SD = 7.4; and wide M= 15.5%, SD = 10.6);
F(2, 20) = 3.17, p< .05 (one-tailed). There was no main effect of site or interaction
between site, F(1, 20) = 1.29, p= .270, and condition, F(2, 20) = 1.39, p= .273.
Simple contrasts indicated that teachers in both interventions used core activities
more than the control teachers (both p< .05), who spent less time engaged in the
reading of connected text. Thus, professional development established change in
teacher behavior in the direction of enhancing teachers’ use of fluency practices
compared to control teachers.
A perusal of Table 1 shows how these fluency interventions changed the distri-
bution of activities in the literacy classroom. In these classrooms, there was a shift
in grouping strategies compared to controls, χ2(6, N= 24) = 20.64, p< .01. Given
the increased emphasis in the intervention classrooms on shared text (teacher
read-aloud, echo reading, and choral reading) and partner reading, there was more
whole-class activity, less small-group work, and an increased emphasis on pairing
students to work together. There was a concomitant shift toward the core activities
that were the focus of the interventions, χ2(10, N24) = 31.61, p< .001, such as the
focus on connected text, teacher reading aloud, partner reading, echo reading, cho-
ral reading, and, in the FORI classrooms, a focus on repetition of text as well.
There was an increased emphasis on reading in these classrooms, rather than other
language arts such as spelling, writing, and so on, χ2(2, N= 24) = 25.09, p< .001.
Similarly, these classes indicated a decreased emphasis on word decoding skills
and round-robin reading, χ2(6, N= 24) = 29.85, p< .001. Further, participation in
the interventions led to greater use of the fluency strategies, χ2(10, N= 24) = 19.93,
p< .05, with teachers more likely to be seen reading aloud or listening to children
read. Overall, these analyses indicate that the interventions integrated an increase
in the time students spend reading connected text, a key element in reading devel-
opment (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; National Reading Panel, 2000), and a decrease in in-
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Percentage of Observed Segments in Which Classroom Activity Occurred
Activity Type Control FORI Wide
Grouping Whole classroom 67.4 76.6 68.9
Small group 30.1 10.9 16.9
Pairs 4.4 15.3 18.0
Individual 13.6 15.3 8.7
Subject Reading 63.1 84.7 84.7
Other language arts 74.3 28.2 39.9
Intervention activity Use of connected text 43.2 46.8 54.6
Listening to teacher read 16.0 16.9 17.5
Partner reading 3.9 10.9 18.0
Echo reading 0.0 16.9 19.7
Repeated reading 3.9 26.6 15.9
Choral reading 4.4 8.9 6.6
Question types Factual 41.3 28.6 45.3
Reflective or inferential 10.2 16.2 22.4
Vocabulary 10.7 17.3 26.8
Word decoding 40.3 23.2 9.7
Round robin reading 16.0 3.2 4.9
Other 52.9 32.2 30.5
Types of materials Basal narratives 32.5 36.7 37.3
Trade book narratives 21.3 19.0 28.4
Basal informational 2.9 8.9 8.2
Trade book informational 3.9 0.8 19.1
Worksheets 32.5 26.2 30.6
Board/onchart work 32.0 20.2 8.2
Other 6.8 17.3 10.3
Teacher activity Telling 65.0 65.7 55.7
Question and answer 49.0 46.0 51.4
Listening 38.3 52.4 51.4
Coaching 16.5 15.3 10.9
Read aloud 10.7 25.8 33.3
Other 34.0 21.4 23.0
Expected student response Reading 28.2 47.2 50.3
Reading with turn-taking 23.3 14.1 17.5
Oral responding 16.0 18.5 13.7
Oral turn-taking 42.2 34.7 40.4
Listening 57.7 58.5 50.8
Writing 31.1 22.6 20.8
Other 18.0 20.1 8.7
Note. FORI = fluency-oriented reading instruction.
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effective practices such as round-robin reading (e.g., Allington, 1983; Rasinski &
Hoffman, 2003).
A separate analysis was carried out to determine the degree to which interven-
tion teachers could be considered to be following the intervention as described in
their professional development. Each day’s observations for each intervention
were rated for overall fidelity using a 5-point scale, ranging from 1 (no fidelity at
all)to5(very high fidelity). Again, a .90 interrater reliability was obtained on these
general ratings and disagreements discussed until consensus could be reached. On
these ratings, 80% of the FORI intervention teachers received fidelity ratings of 3
(some fidelity) or better (fidelity rating M= 3.8, SD = 1.1) and 80% of the
wide-reading intervention teachers received ratings of 3 or better (M= 3.8, SD =
1.4), t(18) = .60, p= .559. Only one wide-reading teacher was viewed as not show-
ing fidelity to activities described in professional development. Thus, general fi-
delity to the practices recommended in professional development was similar for
both the FORI and wide-reading conditions.
Children’s Assessments
Prior to carrying out analyses of the effectiveness of the FORI and the
wide-reading approaches to fluency instruction, raw scores on each assessment
were converted to standard scores as directed by their corresponding test manuals
using age-based norms. Age-based norms were used to control for differences
across sites in terms of age of school entry and starting date of the school year
(Crone & Whitehurst, 1999; Stipek & Byler, 2001). Analyses were carried out on
the standard score for each measure separately because we had substantive interest
in the distinct information provided by each. In each case, we predicted that chil-
dren receiving the fluency interventions would have higher standardized assess-
ment scores than those in the control groups.
Because our data had a hierarchical structure (i.e., children were nested within
classrooms), hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to correct for statistical
issues associated with the lack of independence among scores of children nested
within each classroom and to correct for the intraclass correlation among scores
that may result, as recommended by Kreft and de Leeuw (1998), and Raudenbush,
Bryk, Cheong, and Congdon (2001). For each model, dummy coded variables
were created to serve as Level 2 (classroom) variables for each of the interventions.
These dummy codes served as independent variables in the HLM analysis to dis-
tinguish intervention from control children.
An analysis of covariance approach to HLM was used to control for a priori
variation in children’s reading scores at the beginning of the study so that pre-
test-adjusted changes in reading scores could be examined. Thus, pretest standard
scores on each assessment served as the Level 1 (children) covariate for the analy-
ses of intervention effectiveness.
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Further, prior to analyzing whether the interventions accounted for significant
variation in children’s standardized assessment scores, a null model analysis in-
cluding pretest scores was carried out to evaluate whether there was significant
classroom-level variation in outcome scores at the child level controlling for prior
achievement. For all assessments, there was significant classroom-level variation
in children’s scores in both winter and spring outcome data (p< .05), indicating a
rationale for using HLM to analyze assessment data.
For all analyses, we included a slope as well as an intercept parameter to ana-
lyze for potential differential effectiveness of the interventions for classrooms with
generally low-skilled versus generally high-skilled readers at pretest. In no case
did we observe a significant differential slope in the benefits observed for the inter-
ventions as a function of initial pretest level (all p> .05). Thus, for the findings pre-
sented here, we can assume that the results apply to classrooms with initially
higher skilled as well as lower skilled children according to pretest.
The fact that we had carried out midyear and year-end assessments allowed us
to examine the issue of dosage, or the implementation period length needed for the
intervention to show results. For each assessment, separate analyses were carried
out using winter test standard scores to evaluate the effectiveness of short-term use
of the two fluency-oriented programs and using spring test standard scores to eval-
uate longer term use of the methods. These separate analyses were designed to de-
termine the relative dosage (i.e., approximately 45% vs. 90% of an academic year)
of the fluency-oriented instruction necessary to produce changes in flu-
ency-related reading skills. Table 2 presents the unadjusted raw scores, the pre-
test-adjusted mean standard scores, and their corresponding percentile ranks on
winter and spring assessments. Later we report the results for analysis of standard
scores but analysis of raw scores produced similar results except in one case where
An HLM analysis was carried out using the intervention codes as the predictor
variables, the pretest standard scores as a covariate, and the winter TOWRE stan-
dard scores as the dependent variable. This analysis indicated that children receiv-
ing the FORI intervention did not show significantly improved sight word reading
scores compared to control children, t(23) = .99, p= .335, but children receiving
the wide-reading intervention did show a significant improvement in sight word
reading scores compared to controls, t(23) = 3.39, p= .003. Thus, differential ben-
efits of short-term use of the intervention were shown only for the wide-reading in-
The benefits of long-term use of the classroom interventions were examined by
evaluating spring assessments using HLM. This analysis indicated a significant
improvement in intervention children’s sight word reading scores for both FORI
1An analysis of raw scores produced similar results, with the sole exception that the wide-reading
intervention did not produce significant benefits overcontrols on the GORT-4 by the winter time point.
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intervention children, t(23) = 4.08, p= .001, and wide-reading intervention chil-
dren, t(23) = 3.75, p= .001, compared to control children. Together, the model in-
cluding both interventions accounted for 44.0% of the classroom-level variance in
children’s spring sight word reading scores compared with the null model. In fact,
the remaining classroom-level variance in children’s scores was no longer signifi-
cant once the interventions were included in the model, χ2(23, N= 26) = 26.14, p=
.294. Thus, although the benefits on sight word reading efficiency emerged early
Raw Scores, Pretest Adjusted Mean Standard Scores, and Percentile
Ranks for the Assessments as a Function
of Fluency Intervention Condition
Point Condition
Sight Word
WIAT Reading
Pretest Control Raw 30 16.5 9.3
FORI Raw 32 18.2 10.5
Wide Raw 42 26.4 13.2
Adjusted mean SS 96 7.4 99.0
PR 39 19.0 47.0
Winter Control Raw 39 22.3
SS 97 8.0
PR 42 24.0
FORI Raw 42 25.7
SS 98 8.4
PR 45 29.0
Wide Raw 52 34.8
SS 100 8.9
PR 50 36.0
Spring Control Raw 43 30.3 13.2
SS 98 8.8 99.0
PR 45 34.0 47.0
FORI Raw 48 33.0 14.7
SS 102 9.1 101.0
PR 55 38.0 53.0
Wide Raw 56 41.3 17.0
SS 101 9.3 102.0
PR 52 41.0 55.0
Note.TOWRE = Test of Word Reading Efficiency; GORT–4 = Gray Oral Reading Test, 4th Edi-
tion; WIAT = Wechsler Individual Achievement Test; SS = standard score; PR = percentile rank. The
TOWRE is scaled such that M= 100, SD = 15, and raw scores represent the number of words read cor-
rectly in 45 sec.; the GORT–4 is scaled such that M= 10, SD = 3, and raw scores are summed combined
ratings for time and accuracy; and WIAT is scaled such that M= 100, SD = 15, and raw scores represent
the number of passages for which questions were answered correctly.
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for children receiving the wide-reading instruction, by the end of the school year,
the children receiving the FORI caught up so that benefits for both types of fluency
instruction could be found.
A similar analysis examined the short-term effects of fluency-oriented instruc-
tion on children’s GORT–4 fluency standard score. Results found that children re-
ceiving the FORI intervention did not display a significant improvement in text
reading skill, t(23) = .87, p= .393, compared to control children. In contrast, the
children receiving the wide-reading intervention did show a significant improve-
ment in text reading skill, t(23) = 2.16, p= .041, compared to control children. This
difference, however, just missed significance when raw scores were used, t(23) =
2.00, p= .057. Together, the interventions accounted for 9.9% of the class-
room-level variance in children’s winter text reading scores compared with the null
The benefits of long-term use of the instructional interventions on children’s
text reading skills were examined by evaluating children’s spring GORT–4 assess-
ments. This analysis indicated a significant improvement in text reading skill for
children receiving the wide-reading intervention, t(23) = 2.30, p= .031, but not for
children receiving the FORI intervention, t(23) =.94, p= .360, compared to control
children. Together, the more complex model including both interventions ac-
counted for 4.6% of classroom-level variance in children’s spring text reading
score compared to the null model. Unlike sight word reading efficiency, the bene-
fits on text reading fluency seemed to be relegated to children receiving the
wide-reading instruction. Wide-reading instruction’s superiority for promoting
text oral reading fluency over control classrooms emerged by the winter time point
and was maintained throughout the year.
It was important to demonstrate that the benefits of the fluency interventions
were not limited solely to word- and text-reading skills at the expense of reading
comprehension. In fact, theoretically, we predicted that improvements in reading
fluency would be accompanied by improvements in reading comprehension.
Moreover, as noted earlier, some definitions of fluent reading include good reading
comprehension (Fuchs et al., 2001).
As before, the benefits of long-term use of the fluency-oriented instruction pro-
grams were examined by evaluating their effects on spring reading comprehension
standard scores using HLM. This analysis found significant improvements in chil-
dren’s reading comprehension scores for both the FORI intervention, t(23) = 2.28,
p= .032, and wide-reading intervention, t(23) = 2.62, p= .016, compared to con-
trol children. Together, the model including both the fluency-oriented instruction
interventions accounted for 17.5% of the classroom-level variance in children’s
spring reading comprehension scores in contrast to the null model. Moreover, once
the classroom-level interventions were included into the model, the remaining
classroom-level variance in children’s scores was no longer significant, χ2(23, N=
26) = 19.34, p> .50. Thus, improvements in efficient word reading skills attribut-
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able to the interventions were accompanied by improvements in reading compre-
hension skill as well.
One question that emerges from our analyses is the comparative benefit of the
wide-reading approach versus FORI approaches. An analysis contrasting the rela-
tive effectiveness of the approaches yielded no significant differences for sight
word efficiency at either the winter, t(23) = 1.60, p= .122, or spring, t(23) = .55, p=
.590, time points. Similarly, there were no significant differences between the two
approaches on oral reading fluency at the winter, t(23) = 1.34, p= .193, or spring,
t(23) = .74, p= .466, time points. There were no significant differences between
the wide-reading and FORI approaches on reading comprehension at the spring
time point, t(23) = .26, p= .795. Thus, in general, it appears that the two ap-
proaches were similarly effective in promoting skills related to the development of
reading fluency.
Results indicate that the FORI and wide-reading approaches, with their scaffold-
ing and their simple classroom structure, are useful for reading instruction in the
second grade. This study found better growth for both of the interventions on word
reading efficiency and reading comprehension relative to the growth experienced
by children in the control classrooms. These benefits emerged earlier for the
wide-reading approach when compared to the control classrooms than they did for
the FORI condition. The wide-reading group also made gains in terms of reading
fluency when compared to the controls. Thus, our approaches might be viewed as
generally more beneficial than some other approaches to improving reading skills
in second-grade students. Because a variety of schools serving low- to middle-SES
populations that had experienced underachievement in reading participated in the
study, and because we used an experimental design, we can generalize our findings
to other schools of this type.
From their review of the literature on fluency instruction, Kuhn and Stahl
(2003) posited that wide-reading approaches might benefit the development of
reading as much as repetition—an underlying tenet of fluency theory to date (e.g.,
Samuels, 1979). This study confirms that the wide-reading approach did at least as
well as the FORI approach in terms of comprehension and word recognition when
compared to the control groups; however, the wide-reading approach here did in-
clude a minimal number of repetitions, so further research is necessary to confirm
whether a version of wide reading with no repetition would produce similar re-
sults. These gains also appeared by the winter time point for the wide-reading ap-
proach. Further, the wide-reading approach made gains in terms of connected text
reading as well.
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These findings help narrow down exactly what is and is not important about flu-
ency-oriented instructional practice. One consistent feature across the two inter-
ventions is the amount of time engaged in the oral reading of text. Both interven-
tions were designed to increase the sheer amount of classroom time spent reading.
Students carried out choral reading, echo reading, and partner reading over the
course of the week. According to the classroom observations, this increased the
amount of time students spent reading in comparison to the controls. In terms of
word reading efficiency and reading comprehension, whether one or three texts
were used per week did not differentially determine the general effectiveness. We
believe that the similarity of our two interventions on these components of literacy
development may be attributed to certain aspects of texts as well. For instance, it
has been well-established that around 100 words account for more than half of the
running words in texts used through third grade (Adams, 1990). There are
sublexical letter–sound correspondences inherent in word structures that are im-
portant for reading in all texts (Coltheart & Leahy, 1992). The vocabulary is some-
what controlled in these texts (Hiebert, 1999) and, although our teachers used a va-
riety of text types (particularly in the wide-reading approach), most texts cohered
to a narrative structure (Duke, 2000). As a result of these commonalities, practice
on one of these texts was fairly equivalent to practice on another. Perhaps, then, it is
not that surprising that the effects of the two interventions were fairly similar.
What is surprising, however, is the breadth of differences that emerged between
the wide-reading group and the control groups. Gains for the wide-reading group
emerge early, with significant gains made in terms of oral text reading when com-
pared to the control groups. We believe that these differences, as well as the differ-
ences between the FORI and the control groups, may have developed as the result
of the way text is encoded in memory.
Instance Theory of Automaticity
Recent versions of automaticity theory, in particular the instance theory of
automaticity proposed by Logan (1997), have important implications for interpret-
ing our findings. According to Logan, each time a reader attends to text, an in-
stance or trace of that text is automatically encoded in memory at the sublexical,
lexical, phrase, and text levels. As these instances build up—within a relatively
few repetitions (three to five according to many authors; e.g., O’Shea, Sindelar, &
O’Shea, 1985, 1987; Reutzel, 2003)—they become relatively easier to retrieve
(following the power law of learning; Logan, 1997). As a result, a given instance
becomes readily available for retrieval at a later point.
The development of these instances can occur in one of two ways. First, as in
the FORI approach, repetition can strengthen a given encoding, allowing the par-
ticular text instance (and its corresponding phrase, lexical, and sublexical traces) to
be retrieved more quickly. Second, as in the wide-reading approach, many in-
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stances (and their corresponding phrase, lexical, and sublexical traces) can be en-
coded through exposure to a range of texts. Because of their emphasis on the exten-
sive use of scaffolded oral reading of text, both approaches should ease the
encoding and retrieval of a range of similar print. This is due to the ability of mem-
ory to bring similarly encoded texts into consciousness when exposed to new text.
However, the large number of traces established through the wide-reading condi-
tion may have led to a wide range of traces at the phrase and text levels in memory.
Because children in the wide-reading condition had a greater range of
well-encoded higher level traces available in memory, it is likely that, when read-
ing new texts, a wider range of traces become activated, thus contributing to the
demonstration of improved text oral reading fluency in the wide-reading group
over the control group. However, both FORI and wide-reading groups displayed
growth in sight word reading efficiency compared to controls. From the standpoint
of this theory, this finding can emanate from the word-level traces established dur-
ing the extensive oral reading practice provided by both interventions. Analyses of
children’s school-based early reading materials indicate a great similarity among
texts at the lexical level, if for no other reason than the preponderance of
high-frequency words in text (Adams, 1990; Hiebert, Martin, & Menon, 2005).
This implies that, in terms of word recognition, practice on one text is similar to
practice on another and results in similar gains on children’s sight word reading ef-
ficiency compared to controls.
Commonalities and Differences
Despite the minor differences in the findings for the two interventions compared to
controls, the children in the two programs ended up with skills that were not signif-
icantly different from each other. Thus, we consider both approaches to be suc-
cessful and would recommend either of them for classroom use, depending on the
resources available in a given school community. The wide-reading intervention is
more resource intensive, requiring class sets of two additional grade-level texts for
each week of the school year. Although some schools may lack the funds for the
large number of texts that the wide-reading intervention requires, our classrooms
partially solved this problem by sharing texts across second-grade classrooms.
Older basal series or class sets of magazines for young readers may also supple-
ment the texts currently in use.
If improved comprehension is the “gold standard” against which all reading in-
terventions are measured, both interventions might be considered successful. We
also believe that the benefits associated with the interventions may be attributed to
three features: (a) the use of texts that challenged many of the children, (b) the use
of scaffolded reading techniques to support the reading of such texts, and (c) the
significant amount of time (20–40 minutes a day) that children spent reading con-
nected text as part of the programs. Because these features are common to both ap-
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proaches, we feel comfortable recommending them as part of the broader literacy
Scaffolding challenging texts.
Our results confirm earlier findings (Kuhn,
2004–2005; Stahl & Heubach, 2005) that children can benefit from reading texts
that are considered to be beyond their instructional level, if scaffolding techniques
that provide immediate feedback and modeling are used and if oral reading prac-
tice is provided. These latter features may be especially important for allowing
young struggling readers to read texts at grade placement rather than at their read-
ing levels. Because selections in typical second-grade basal texts range from late
first to third grade, much of the material struggling readers are expected to read is
of a considerably higher than the level at which they can decode comfortably.
However, with the scaffolding provided through repetition or modeling (e.g., the
use of echo, choral, and partner reading), students were able to read text that would
have otherwise been considered frustrating.
This suggests a different approach than the commonly used notion (e.g.,
Fountas & Pinnell, 1999) that instruction should be matched children’s skill level.
This study suggests that this approach may not always be the most effective, at
least when the goal is fluency and learners are focused on the improvement and
consolidation of their emergent skills. When children read with a variety of sup-
ports, such as those provided with these fluency-oriented approaches, they are able
to read texts at a higher difficulty level than their instructional level would sug-
gest—texts that would otherwise be considered to be beyond their ability. Reading
richer texts benefits children by exposing them to a wider variety and volume of
words as well as a greater range of concepts. Both variety and volume of text would
seem necessary for the development of good decoding and comprehension skills
(Adams, 1990; Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002; Guthrie, 2004; Nagy, 1988).
This is not to say that children should be given a text of disproportionate diffi-
culty. Presumably, there is a limit to how difficult texts might be before these flu-
ency approaches would fail. Stahl and Heubach (2005) suggested that, with strong
support, children could benefit from texts in which they could read 85% of the
words correctly. We think that a construct similar to that of Vygotsky’s (1978) no-
tion of the zone of proximal development might be used for choosing both texts
and appropriate support activities. That is, when the texts are difficult given the
child’s reading skill level, then more support in terms of scaffolding, repetition,
and additional home reading should be provided, gradually releasing responsibil-
ity for fully decoding the text from the more knowledgeable adult to the less skilled
child. When the texts are closer to the child’s reading level, it might be possible to
provide less scaffolding while still supporting reading development.
Text characteristics.
Aside from the scaffolding provided by these interven-
tions, several text characteristics may contribute to their effectiveness as well. Be-
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cause the texts used in this study were at the second-grade level, they tended to be
relatively more linguistically complex than those struggling readers might have or-
dinarily experienced as part of their reading day. All students were exposed to
trade books, informational texts, and basal reading texts or literature anthologies.
Although the core vocabulary of these texts likely had a significant degree of over-
lap (Adams, 1990), as children move to higher levels, texts tend to have more
words, less repetition, and less easily decoded words (Hoffman, Sailors, &
Patterson, 2002). Further, texts are more engaging and linguistically complex than
those used at the lower levels. By focusing on grade-level materials for all children,
it is reasonable to assume that the children reading below grade level at the begin-
ning of the year were exposed to more interesting, although less accessible, text
than they might otherwise have been. When texts are limited, children miss out on
the kinds of engagement needed to learn from and enjoy books in later grades
(Guthrie, 2004). However, the support provided by the scaffolded reading methods
described here provided children the opportunity to succeed in the reading of more
challenging texts. Further, because of the length and complexity of the texts used in
this study, learners were required to process the words rather than merely memo-
rize short text segments. This requires attention to and analysis of words, key com-
ponents in the development of specific lexical representations and automatic word
recognition (Adams, 1990; Perfetti, 1992).
Increased practice.
Finally, we want to stress that a key ingredient in our
fluency interventions is the coherent focus on the oral reading of texts during read-
ing instruction. Often, classroom practice includes very little oral reading practice,
and much of the oral reading practice that does exist takes on the form of
round-robin reading, which has been shown to be ineffective (Ash, Kuhn, & Wal-
pole, 2003; Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003). However, effective oral reading ap-
proaches can take a number of forms, including echo, choral, and partner reading,
as discussed earlier. Similarly, the traditional forms of repeated reading (Dow-
hower, 1989; Samuels, 1979) and offshoots such as reading-while-listening
(Chomsky, 1978) and cross-aged reading (Labbo & Teale, 1990) are also effective
means of developing oral reading. Such approaches are critical to fluency instruc-
tion and a key element in reading engagement. They allow learners to transfer de-
coding instruction to connected text and provide students with opportunities to
practice what they have learned about word recognition in their reading. Further,
by allowing students to internalize their decoding skills, such oral reading instruc-
tion prevents them from becoming “glued to print” (Chall, 1996, p. 46).
Challenge versus frustration.
Despite the effectiveness of these ap-
proaches, it must be stressed that fluency-oriented instruction is not for all chil-
dren. In previous work, Stahl and Heubach (2005) determined that children at an
emergent level, or those unable to read preprimer texts independently, failed to
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benefit from such instruction. However, in this study, we chose not to eliminate
children receiving remedial instruction from our analyses because we wanted to
focus on benefits to classrooms as a whole. Instead, we provided remedial readers
in both control and intervention classrooms with techniques drawn from supple-
mental reading programs known to be successful with struggling readers (Lovett et
al., 2000; Wolf et al., 2000). By combining these effective practices for struggling
readers with the fluency-oriented instruction interventions, these children were
able to participate fully in regular classroom instruction.
Future directions for research.
Given that, when compared to other as-
pects of reading, relatively little research had been conducted on fluency, we
viewed this study as one that could establish basic understandings regarding a
number of processes involved both in fluent reading and fluency instruction. Fu-
ture research needs to focus more carefully on the role of intervention on emergent
characteristics of text reading, such as prosodic reading. Although many research-
ers consider prosody to be a critical element in fluent reading (Erekson, 2003;
Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003), its role in the reading process in
general and on comprehension in particular remains unclear (e.g., Levy et al.,
1997; Schwanenflugel et al., 2004). We chose not to measure children’s expres-
siveness for this reason. However, expressive reading is likely to connect to en-
gagement and motivation (Morrow & Asbury, 2003; Optiz & Rasinski, 1998), so
future research might consider changes in reading prosody as an additional out-
come measure. One reason we model expressive oral reading is to introduce learn-
ers to the enjoyment that comes with reading a variety of texts. When students can
adopt the elements of fluent reading in their own rendering of texts, there is a
higher likelihood that they will engage with print than would be the case if their
own reading is disfluent. Thus, future research needs to consider the role of class-
room practices for enhancing reading fluency on student engagement.
By the end of the year, the FORI and wide-reading approaches
had demonstrated a positive impact on children’s reading skills. As a result, we
conclude that increasing the amount of time children spend reading challenging
connected text with the proper scaffolds will lead to improvements in word reading
efficiency and reading comprehension, confirming the results of Leinhardt et al.
(1981) and Berliner (1981), among others.
As noted at the outset, for many children to become successful readers, they
need to make accelerated progress. Such progress will look different in different
grades and for different goals. One such goal is that children should be able to read
text appropriate for their grade placement with fluency. The programs assessed
here seem to have been successful in providing such progress. By moving children
toward the goal of reading grade level text, either through repetition or through in-
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creasing the amount of text read with support, FORI and wide-reading fluency in-
struction have the potential to help us meet our goal of “leaving no child behind.
This research was supported in part by the Interagency Education Research Initia-
tive, a research program jointly managed by the National Science Foundation, the
Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Na-
tional Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the National Institutes
of Health (NIH Grant 7 R01 HD040746–06). Steven A. Stahl served as the princi-
pal investigator until his untimely death in May 2004. This article is dedicated to
his memory. We thank Kay Stahl for her advice and assistance. We thank Claire
Smith, Matt Quirk, Emily Moore, Susan Parault, Jessie Powers, Rebecca Gara,
Eileen Cohen, Justin Wise, Hye-Kyeong Pae, Jennifer Harrison, Samantha John-
son, Whitney Cook, and Justin Miller for assisting in data collection. We also ex-
tend our gratitude to the many teachers and administrators in the public school dis-
tricts who so graciously participated in this research project.
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FORI and Wide-Reading Lesson Plans
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
FORI lesson plan Teacher introduces story
Teacher reads story to
class, class follows
along, discusses story
Option: Teacher
develops graphic
Option: Class does
activities from basal
Students echo-read story Students choral-read
Option: Students
begin partner reading
Students partner-read
Students do extension
activities; These may
include writing in
response to story, etc.
Option: Teacher keeps
running records of
children’s reading
Home reading Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their choosing
Students take story home
and read to parents (or
Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their
Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their choosing
Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their choosing
lesson plan
Teacher introduces story.
Teacher reads story to
class, class follows
along, discusses story
Option: Teacher
develops graphic
Option: Class does
activities from basal
Students echo-read story Students do extension
activities; These may
include writing in
response to story,
Option: Teacher
keeps running
records of children’s
Option: Students echo- or
choral-read story (2)
Option: Students
partner-read story
Option: Students do
prereading or extension
activities (writing, etc.)
Option: Students echo- or
choral-read story (3)
Option: Students
partner-read story
Option: Students do
prereading or extension
activities (writing, etc.)
Home reading Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their choosing
Students take story home
and read to parents (or
Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their
Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their choosing
Students read 15–30
minutes per day in a
book of their choosing
Note. FORI = fluency-oriented reading instruction. Although this is laid out on a weekly lesson plan grid, the plan should not be rigid. If a story is difficult,
a teacher may choose to spend more time in preparation for reading. If a story is long, a teacher may choose to spend more time on echo reading or partner read-
ing. The point is to make this lesson format adaptable for a large number of children, stories, and teachers. Reading at home should also be adjustable. If a child is
mastering the story, then he or she should have other options. In addition, it is essential that children work on grade-level materials.
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... Even though researchers have indicated the benefits of increased text complexity on reading achievement (e.g. Benjamin & Schwanenflugel, 2010;Johnston, 2000;Kuhn et al., 2006;Morgan et al., 2000), during traditional guided reading instruction, students who are below level in their reading achievement are given below level texts and are grouped with other below level peers. Furthermore, despite research-based concerns regarding the decreased opportunity to learn for students in these low-ranked groups (e.g. ...
... Researchers have documented several effective approaches for providing students with access to grade level reading materials, including the Four Blocks (Cunningham et al., 1991(Cunningham et al., , 1998, Fluency Oriented Reading Instruction (FORI; Kuhn et al., 2006;Schwanenflugel et al., 2009;Stahl & Heubach, 2005), wide-reading (Kuhn, 2005), dyad reading (Morgan et al., 2000) and Schoolwide Enrichment Model-Reading (SEM-R; Reis et al., 2011). In each of these approaches, the teachers combined grade level texts with appropriate scaffolds, including echo reading, partner reading, choral reading, reading at home, and individualized or supplemental group-based intervention strategies, which resulted in high levels of literacy achievement. ...
... The present design confronts this norm by demonstrating that students can read texts at a much more complex level if given the appropriate instruction and scaffolding. Along with other approaches such as the Four Blocks (Cunningham et al., 1991(Cunningham et al., , 1998, Fluency Oriented Reading Instruction (FORI; Kuhn et al., 2006;Schwanenflugel et al., 2009;Stahl & Heubach, 2005), wide-reading (Kuhn, 2005;Schwanenflugel et al., 2009), dyad reading (Morgan et al., 2000) and Schoolwide Enrichment Model-Reading (SEM-R; Reis et al., 2011), non-leveled guided reading provides students with access to grade level texts with promising results. While this change requires additional planning work as noted above by Mrs. Poppy, when studying their Four Block Approach, Cunningham et al. (1998) found that teachers "will change when the innovation has lots of familiar elements, is doable within the time frame and materials they currently have, and results in observably better readers and writers." ...
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Elementary school students are often placed into groups with peers of similar reading ability for leveled guided reading instruction. Through this practice, students are differentially exposed to reading skills, strategies, and texts that are presumed to match their reading ability. This widespread practice is problematic given that (1) current notions of matching early readers to texts for reading instruction are based on traditional instructional practice rather than reading science, (2) poor and minority students are overrepresented in the lowest ranked groups, (3) students in higher ranked groups make greater academic gains than those in lower ranked groups, and (4) teacher perceptions of students’ abilities are often inaccurate. Conversely, as supported by research, when students are presented with texts of increased difficulty and given appropriate instructional support, they are able to make accelerated reading progress. The purpose of this design-based research study was to develop innovative classroom practices and theoretical insights regarding the use of non-leveled guided reading instruction in order to support the reading achievement of all students. Qualitative data, in the form of fieldnotes, semi-structured interviews, and documents were collected. Data analysis included structural and process coding which resulted in the explication of five design principles to assist in the application of this design in other contexts. Specific attention is given to the technical, normative, and political aspects inherent in the dissemination and sustainability of the proposed design.
... At the lexical access stage, eye movement is associated with the difficulty of word processing. For skilled readers, certain reading behavior such as the identification of most high-frequency words can be automatic 34 , in which they may demonstrate a well-developed visual routine 35 , and thereby the influence of BGM on processing of such words may not be salient 16 . At the post-lexical stage, to compensate for the possible distraction caused by BGM, readers' eye movement may involve more regressions and longer viewing time 16 . ...
... Through the thematic analysis of interview data (Table 10), we found that listening to music yielded hedonic values (e.g., experiencing pleasure) and helped learners maintain positive emotions such as happiness, aroused energy, relaxation, comfort, increased engagement in reading 4,67,83 , which might have helped participants endure longer reading time. patterns in first pass measures which were related to lexical access and world-level processing (Table 5), suggesting that certain oculomotor control mechanisms relevant to word recognition remained functional despite music exposure 15,16 , probably because reading behavior has become automated actions after extensive exposure to texts throughout years of education 34 . This is in accordance with the results in Johansson et al. 's research 15 which found no main effect on first pass fixation duration or first pass saccade amplitude among distinct background audio conditions (e.g., preferred/non-preferred music, noise and silence). ...
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Using background music (BGM) during learning is a common behavior, yet whether BGM can facilitate or hinder learning remains inconclusive and the underlying mechanism is largely an open question. This study aims to elucidate the effect of self-selected BGM on reading task for learners with different characteristics. Particularly, learners’ reading task performance, metacognition, and eye movements were examined, in relation to their personal traits including language proficiency, working memory capacity, music experience and personality. Data were collected from a between-subject experiment with 100 non-native English speakers who were randomly assigned into two groups. Those in the experimental group read English passages with music of their own choice played in the background, while those in the control group performed the same task in silence. Results showed no salient differences on passage comprehension accuracy or metacognition between the two groups. Comparisons on fine-grained eye movement measures reveal that BGM imposed heavier cognitive load on post-lexical processes but not on lexical processes. It was also revealed that students with higher English proficiency level or more frequent BGM usage in daily self-learning/reading experienced less cognitive load when reading with their BGM, whereas students with higher working memory capacity (WMC) invested more mental effort than those with lower WMC in the BGM condition. These findings further scientific understanding of how BGM interacts with cognitive tasks in the foreground, and provide practical guidance for learners and learning environment designers on making the most of BGM for instruction and learning.
... Access to print is essential for literacy engagement even though it does not guarantee literacy engagement (Cummins 2012(Cummins , 2017. The amount of reading of long texts is important for a language learner's reading development (Kuhn et al. 2006), which implies the importance of newly arrived students' literacy engagement. The motivation to read and engagement in reading involve an active choice on the part of the reader to develop reading skills, as well as a commitment to overcoming obstacles (Kuhn et al. 2006). ...
... The amount of reading of long texts is important for a language learner's reading development (Kuhn et al. 2006), which implies the importance of newly arrived students' literacy engagement. The motivation to read and engagement in reading involve an active choice on the part of the reader to develop reading skills, as well as a commitment to overcoming obstacles (Kuhn et al. 2006). Kuhn and Schwanenflugel (2018) stress how nonfiction texts become more demanding and theoretical at the upper secondary level (Kuhn and Schwanenflugel 2018). ...
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The ability to read is important for studies, work and social life, and therefore, reading needs to be central in all school subjects. The purpose of this article is to shed light on the factors that either facilitate or limit second-language students in a transitional program at an upper secondary school in Sweden in terms of their reading and reading comprehension skills. Observations of teacher-initiated reading practices and interviews with teachers about reading and texts, which were analyzed using Bernhardt’s compensatory model for second-language reading, show that all teachers highlight the importance of reading and the fact that reading in the subject they teach can help students to become competent readers of Swedish texts. Despite this, the amount of reading and processing of texts varies—in some classes, students do not read at all, and in other classes, they read a great deal. The only teacher who seems both to include the processing of texts and to choose texts that interest students is the teacher of Swedish as a Second Language (SSL).
... While there is little research examining this approach among first language learners, second language acquisition research suggests that improved comprehension is associated with increased rates of incidental word learning (Pulido, 2007) and that extensive reading supports vocabulary acquisition (Liu & Zhang, 2018). Similar research has not been conducted with monolingual students, but evidence indicates that increased reading volume supports many aspects of reading development, including comprehension (Kuhn et al., 2006), and is associated with reading achievement and general knowledge (Sparks, Patton, & Murdoch, 2014). ...
We report on a meta-analysis designed to test the theory that instruction that involves direct teaching of academic vocabulary and teaching strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words develops students’ abilities to infer new words’ meanings and builds students’ overall vocabulary knowledge. We meta-analyzed 39 experimental and quasi-experimental intervention studies conducted in grades K-5 to examine the effects of these instructional approaches. Results indicate that interventions that targeted word meaning instruction do not show overall positive effects on measures of breadth of vocabulary knowledge. Although strategy interventions are effective in improving word solving skills on near transfer measures, strategy interventions do not significantly impact students’ overall breadth of vocabulary knowledge. These findings suggest that direct teaching of vocabulary words may not be effective for building overall vocabulary knowledge among elementary-grade students. More research is needed to examine the potential of teaching strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words.
... The cognitive changes expected to be supported by the above-mentioned brain development are enhancements in basic information processing. Specifically, there is substantial evidence that processing speed, capacity, and inhibition improve from early childhood to mid-adolescence, regardless of the cognitive task performed (Harnishfeger, 1995;Harnishfeger & Bjorklund, 1993;Kail, 1991Kail, , 1993Kuhn et al., 2006;Luna, Garver, Urban, Lazar, & Sweeney, 2004). Hence, research on adolescent cognitive development usually reported enhanced executive control as a key component of overall cognitive growth, which corresponds to brain changes throughout this developmental period (Best & Miller, 2010;Fair et al., 2007). ...
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Changes in word production occur across the lifespan, with adolescence representing a knot point between children’s and adults’ performance and underlying brain processes. Previous studies on referential word production using picture naming tasks have shown a completely adult-like pattern in 17-year-old adolescents and an intermediate pattern between children and adults in adolescents aged 14–16 years old, suggesting a possible involvement of visuo-conceptual processes in the transition from childhood to adulthood. Given the visual nature of the picture naming task, it is unclear whether changes in visuo-conceptual processes are specifically related to the referential word production or if overall changes in conceptual to lexical processes drive maturation. To answer this question, we turned to an inferential word production task, i.e., naming from auditory definitions, involving different conceptual to lexical processes relative to referential naming. Behavior and electroencephalographic Event-Related Potentials (ERP) in a (visual) referential word production task and an (auditory) inferential word production task were recorded and compared in three groups of adolescents (respectively, aged 10 to 13, 14 to 16, and 17 to 18). Only the youngest group displayed longer production latencies and lower accuracy than the two older groups of adolescents who performed similarly on both tasks. Crucially, ERP waveform analysis and topographic pattern analysis revealed significant intergroup differences on both tasks. Changes across ages are not merely linked to the visual-conceptual processes of a picture naming task but are rather related to lexical-semantic processes involved in word production.
Bu çalışmada İngilizceyi yabancı dil olarak öğrenenlerin yardımlı okumaya yönelik tutumlarını değerlendirmek üzere geçerli ve güvenilir bir ölçme aracının geliştirilmesi amaçlandı. Ölçeğin psikometrik işlemleri, uygun örnekleme (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007; Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006) ile belirlenen 324 (Kadın=251 Erkek=73) İngiliz Dili ve Edebiyatı programında öğrenim gören gönüllü öğrenci üzerinde yapıldı. Çalışmanın verileri Bilgi Formu ve Yardımlı Okumaya Yönelik Tutum Ölçeği taslağı kullanılarak toplandı. Ölçek geliştirme sürecinde araştırmacılar beşli Likert ile derecelendirilen 30 maddeden oluşan bir madde havuzu oluşturdu. Kapsam geçerliği için alınan uzman görüşlerinden sonra ölçekteki madde sayısı 27’ye, pilot çalışmada yapılan madde analizinden sonra 15’e düşürüldü. Araştırma grupları üzerinde gerçekleştirilen geçerlik işlemlerinde açımlayıcı (AFA) ve doğrulayıcı (DAFA) faktör analizinden yararlanıldı. Güvenirlik işlemleri kapsamında ise Cronbach alfa iç tutarlılık katsayısı, madde-toplam puan korelasyonu ve testi yarıya bölme tekniği kullanıldı. Ölçek taslağında yer alan 15 maddenin toplam varyansın %50.03’ünü açıklayan tek faktörlü bir yapı gösterdiği tespit edildi. Tek faktörlü yapının sınandığı DFA sonucunda ise modelin veri ile uyumlu olduğu görüldü (χ2\sd= 2.53, CFI= .94, GFI= .89, AGFI= .84, RMSEA= .08 ve SRMR=.05). Ölçeğin güvenirlik işlemleri sonucunda Cronbach alfa iç tutarlılık katsayısının .89 olduğu saptandı. Testi yarılama tekniği sonucunda elde edilen katsayı .86 olarak bulunurken, madde-toplam korelasyonlarının -.23 ile .85 arasında değiştiği görüldü. Çalışmanın bulgularına dayanarak Yardımlı Okumaya Yönelik Tutum Ölçeğinin yabancı dil öğrenen öğrencilerde kullanılabilecek geçerli ve güvenilir bir ölçme aracı olduğu sonucuna varıldı.
This paper draws from a broader research project and reports on literacy program supports and instructional strategies in two‐way immersion (TWI) classrooms (Grades 3‐5) where the partner language is Spanish. The study examined TWI classrooms in which students from multiple demographics were performing at or above the state average on reading exams and highlights commonalities across classrooms. Semi‐structured interviews, class observations, and documents such as lesson plans were used as primary sources and collected from nine teacher participants. Common literacy practices emerged during data analysis and coding. Using grounded theory for qualitative analysis, two programmatic structures emerged: (1) Spanish and English literacy intervention and (2) coordination of literacy standards across languages. In addition, a focus on fluency and utilization of on‐grade level texts were identified as instructional strategies in classrooms. After describing how these structures and instructional strategies were utilized, this paper discusses implications for further research and practical application for literacy instruction in intermediate, and elementary TWI programs. Literacy instruction is a vital component of dual language bilingual education. What programmatic structures and instructional practices are used to support bilingualism and biliteracy? This article presents findings from nine two‐way immersion elementary classrooms in which students perform at or above the state average in reading.
Research on literacy interventions occasionally focuses on motivation, but such research in low- and mid-income countries is all but nonexistent. Recently, Guzmán, Schuenke-Lucien, D’Agostino, Berends, & Elliot (2021) demonstrated that an intervention, Read to Learn, had a positive influence on literacy skills of first and second grade Haitian students; motivation was assessed, but not examined, in that study. We used the Guzmán, Schuenke-Lucien, D’Agostino, Berends, & Elliot (2021) data set and an integrative conceptual approach to test relations between the intervention, seven theoretically-grounded achievement motivation variables, and two “gold standard” outcomes – reading achievement and intrinsic interest in reading. Results showed that the intervention had a positive influence on mastery-approach goals and importance, and that these variables predicted several indicators of achievement and intrinsic interest; indirect effects of these motivational processes were documented for one indicator of achievement and for intrinsic interest. Findings are discussed with regard to the need for more research on reading motivation in low-income contexts.
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This book explores innovative pedagogical practices and teaching and learning strategies in the engineering curriculum for empowered learning. It highlights the urgency for developing specific skill sets among students that meet the current market recruitment needs. The authors present a detailed framework for fostering a higher level of competence in students especially in their communication skills, their knowledge of media and technology tools, and their leadership skills. The book offers examples of new and effective teaching strategies including cognitive, metacognitive, and socio-affective strategies which align well with the existing and evolving technical curriculum. The book will be of interest to teachers, students, and researchers of education, engineering, and higher education. It will also be useful for English language teachers, educators, and curriculum developers.
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Hiebert evaluates several types of texts used for beginning reading instruction by examining the tasks each poses for young readers.
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The authors review theory and research relating to fluency instruction and development. They surveyed the range of definitions for fluency, primary features of fluent reading, and studies that have attempted to improve the fluency of struggling readers. They found that (a) fluency instruction is generally effective, although it is unclear whether this is because of specific instructional features or because it involves children in reading increased amounts of text; (b) assisted approaches seem to be more effective than unassisted approaches; (c) repetitive approaches do not seem to hold a clear advantage over nonrepetitive approaches; and (d) effective fluency instruction moves beyond automatic word recognition to include rhythm and expression, or what linguists refer to as the prosodic features of language.
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At worst, the impact of free reading appears to be the same as that of traditional instruction, and it is often better, especially when studies are continued for more than an academic year, a finding that the National Reading Panel has obscured by omitting important studies and by describing others incorrectly, Mr. Krashen charges.
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In her review of the National Reading Panel's (NRP) report on phonics,Elaine Garan concluded that the report involved "a limited number of studies of a narrow population. . ." 1 In this note, I will argue that this problem is not limited to the section on phonics: It also applies to the NRP's section on "fluency." It is only by omitting a large number of relevant studies, and misinterpreting the ones that were included, that the NRP was able to reach the startling conclusion that there is no clear evidence that encouraging children to read more improves reading achievement. 2 Omissions The selection criteria used by the NRP for selection of studies were as follows: "1. The study had to be a research study that appeared to consider the effect of encouraging students to read more on reading achievement. 2. The study had to focus on English reading education, conducted with children (K-12). 3. The study itself had to appear in a refereed journal. 4. The study had to have been carried out with English language reading." 3 The NRP claimed it could find only 14 studies that met these criteria. 4 Of these, 10 were studies of the impact of sustained silent reading (SSR) programs in which some classtime is set aside for free voluntary reading with little or no "accountability." Of these 10, three had positive results, with the students who were engaged in free voluntary reading outperforming comparison groups. Another study showed positive results for one condition but not for other conditions, and the other studies showed no difference or no gains. Table 1 summarizes these outcomes.
This article reports two studies that examined the relationship between word identification speed and story reading fluency, as indicated by speed and accuracy as well as comprehension. Poor readers in grade 4 were trained to read a set of single words and were then asked to repeatedly read stories that contained the trained words or stories with words not included in the training set. Benefits to text reading from single-word practice were observed, even for children who were particularly slow namers. The results are related to theoretical links between fluency and comprehension and to theories of developmental deficits.