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A Review of Literature on the Effects of Using Repeated Reading to Aid Comprehension and Fluency with Learning Disabled Students
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
According to the data from National Centre for Education Statistics (2009), almost half of the country’s 1st to 8th-grade students have a problem with reading fluency. This data also indicate sustained levels of reading difficulties in the country for the past 10 years. This has propagated increased research on reading achievement by educationalists (NCES, 2009). However, the legislation of the No Child Left Behind legislation on 2002 has forced instructors and leaders in education to revise their strategies to meet this need (NCLB, 2002). According to Calhoon (2005), academic success, independence, and employability of an individual are founded on the ability to master the reading skills. Illiteracy is known to prevent an individual from being productive in a society (Kim, 2008). Due to this challenge, researchers have in the recent past focused on developing the most appropriate approach to teaching learners how to read (Cassidy et al., 2010). Well-educated citizens that are literate are better placed to positively contribute to the advancement of a society through evaluating data, making informed decisions, effectively solving problems, and improving the quality of their lives as well as that of others of others in a society. This places emphasis on the imperativeness of reading skills in the society
As much as teaching learners how to read is considered as among the main aims of education, numerous students are found to have difficulty in learning even the basic reading skills. Studies indicate that 20 percent of students suffer significant difficulties in acquiring reading skills (NCES, 2009). Furthermore, over a third of students in fourth-grade level have poor basic reading skills. The situation is further compounded for students with special learning needs, as they are found to struggle with reading difficulty in educational life as well as adult life (Calhoon, 2005). The sustained prevalence of students with reading difficulties has forced educationalists to reexamine the approaches to teaching reading skills in schools. A report from the national reading panel published in 2001 identified reading fluency, text comprehension strategies, vocabulary instructions, phonics, and phonemic awareness as essential reading skills (NICHHD, 2000). This paper presents a critical analysis the concept of repeated reading and its effectiveness in promoting comprehension and fluency reading skills among students with learning disabilities
This paper purposed to scrutinize whether repeated reading approach had an effect on the general reading capabilities and attitudes among school going children. Recent studies on this issue have emphasized on the need of implementing research findings into the instructional process as a way of positively influencing the reading skills of learners (Brown, 2011).This paper presents an analysis the effectiveness of repeated reading strategy in enhancing reading skills among learners based on existing studies on the issue
The importance of reading fluency in education emerged in the late 1960s (Brown, 2011). This was built on two theoretical constructs that have been greatly cited by various authors on this issue. Specifically, reading fluency problems are believed to originate from poor decoding skills by the readers (Brown, 2011; Guthrie et al., 2004). The existence of slowed down decoding skills results in formation of a bottleneck that obstructs the thought flow ultimately inhibiting comprehension (Brown, 2011; Cassidy et al., 2010) Learners with poor reading skills spend most of their cognitive capabilities on decoding limiting their comprehension capabilities (Cassidy et al., 2010). Effortless readers, on the other hand, are able to decode words speedily with accuracy allowing them to have enough capabilities for comprehension (Lo et al., 2011).
On the contrary, another theory on reading asserts that the difficulty to read fluently originates from the lack of prosodic cues in written language (Francis et al., 2005). This position is defended by the argument that some readers are incapable of conveying from oral language, where prosodic markers are precise to written language, and the learner must infer the markers (Therrien & Hughes, 2008). Learners that are unable to come up with suitable prosodic markers are not in a position to separate sentences into meaningful expressions and thus face difficulties in comprehending written text even if they are able to effectively decode individual words (Morgan & Sideridis, 2006). This position is backed by various authors who argue that text-reading process is complex and requires assimilation of all levels of processing as from the initial decoding of individual words to acquisition of the denotation of the sentence, paragraph, and the whole information in general (Morgan & Sideridis, 2006; Therrien, 2004; Neumann et al., 2008).
The study contributes to educational practice and theory on teaching learners how to read. From a theoretical perspective, the study offers various contributions to existing positions on approaches to teaching students how to read. Concerning repeated reading strategy, the study provides insight into how repeated reading is perceived by various authors in terms of its effectiveness in promoting student reading capabilities. The study indicates the existence of differentiation in students with the learning disorder in terms of their reading capability due to adherence and non-adherence to repeated reading strategy (O’ Connor et al., 2007).
These results of this research study are also relevant to practical teaching practice as they show student variations in reading capacity. Consequently, teachers will have evidence required for designing and implementing differentiated programs aimed at improving reading skills among learners. Particularly, this will assist education leadership and teachers to design effective teaching programs that recognize the differences in how learners acquire reading skills with a focus on the use of repeated reading strategy in the management of reading deficiency among students with learning disabilities
This research paper is based on specific assumptions that are delineated below:
- The data collected by existing studies was adequate in terms of covering all the variables that were under investigation in this study
- The existing studies provided truthful information regarding the issues under analysis
The introductory chapter has background information, the research problem, Conceptual framework, and the contributions of the study. The second chapter provided a comprehensive review of the literature on reading difficulties among learners with a specific focus on the role of repeated rereading strategy in the management of reading difficulties. In the third chapter, the discussion, implications, conclusions, and recommendations on the issue with a specific focus on the information in literature review was developed
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
The methodology of teaching was blamed for ineffectiveness in the development of reading skills among learners as early as 1955 (Brown, 2011). A study by Chall (1967) examined whether children are able to develop reading skills well if the teaching methodology emphasized on phonics code or an approach centered on stressing the meaning. Findings of this study indicated that emphasis on phonics code had better results that comprehension and word recognition. Goodman (1965), disproof disapproved this position by arguing that children have different approaches in the identification of words including context clues and background knowledge. A study by Brown (2011) affirmed that reading out the whole word enhanced the reading abilities among learners. However, Goodman was against the approach that focused on teaching word recognition in isolation. This resulted to the development of psycholinguistic theory of reading that resulted to increased interest in research on how learners mind behave when occupied in reading (Kim, 2008).
The position adopted by Goodman was influential on the studies on reading behaviors among students (Brown, 2011). In the 1979s and 1980s, reading research was dominated by cognivitism with the focus on the eye movement during reading as well as the effect of context on the reading process (Brown, 2011). In the 1990s, more studies on reading were develop emphasizing on the processes and practices of teaching and learning how to reading (Brown, 2011). A study by Adams (1990) came up with an integrated approach to teaching how to read that combined systematic coding and meaningful reading in the teaching process.
Currently, the national reading panel (NRP) is the main source of instructional approaches for teaching learners how to read ((NICHHD, 2000). This approach recommends the use of several teaching approaches that amalgamates into a well-balanced literacy program. Specifically these approaches target the five pillars of reading, namely vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, phonics, and phonemic awareness as being the vital aspects of reading instruction (Cassidy et al., 2010).
The NRP has been at the center on the development of fluency as an essential reading skill. There exist innumerable studies that have analyzed the concept of fluency and its application to the learning process (Hudson et al., 2005; O’ Connor et al., 2007). However, its definition in the context of reading is varies from one researcher to another. Specifically, some studies define fluency based on speed and accuracy, while others identify prosody and comprehension as major attributes of fluency (Brown, 2011). Fluency can be defined as the capability of a learner to read with accuracy, speed, and expression (Armbruster et al., 2003). It can also be defined as an accurate approach to reading of information as a conversation with fitting prosody (Hudson et al., 2005)
The National Reading Panel identified high levels of fluency neglect in most schools in the United States (NCES, 2009). NRP went further and proposed two instructional strategies targeting promotion of reading fluency among learners. These strategies included the independent silent reading strategy and the guided repeated oral reading (Kim, 2008). The common agreement among researchers that fluency is developed through reading has resulted to increased adoption of the NRP strategies in a classroom environment. Specifically, studies have shown that guided oral reading has a positive impact on comprehension, word recognition, and fluency (Kim, 2008; Cassidy et al., 2010). However, the existence of numerous approaches for implementing the repeated reading approach demanded research into the most effective approach for promoting fluency and comprehension
Several research studies have been conducted on repeated readings dating back to as early as 1979, which iterated that repeated reading is founded on repetitive practice of the text (Samuels, 1979; Dahl, 1979). Kuhn and Stahl (2003) conducted a review of various studies on the impact of repeated reading on fluency. The findings indicated that most studies found a significant impact while others had null impact, and some showed the impact was limited to the repeated text only and not transferable to other texts. The position adopted in these studies was explained that the studies that found null impact did not meet the minimum number of times for defining repetitive reading, which were placed at five times by Dahl and Samuel.
Another study by O’Connor et al. (2007) examined the impact of complexity of the reading material and found out that using material that was relevant to the instructional level of the learner greatly influenced the fluency gains. Repeated reading among learners has been found to result to better work accuracy and comprehension (Hudson et al., 2005). Therefore, as learners repeat reading a text, they learn new sight words, which they then apply in new texts (Neumann et al., 2008). Most studies that have reported insignificant or no improvement in comprehension skills had no effective baseline for developing the measure. Therrien (2004) suggests that the students under study many not have fluency problems making it hard to detect improvement in comprehension skills.
As much as repeated reading is generally known to positively impact on fluency, its impact on comprehension skills is not always guaranteed (Morgan & Sideridis, 2006). Various studies on comprehension skills have provided varied findings. Some studies show a general trend in the increase of fluency and comprehension skills simultaneously (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003). Other studies affirm that repeated reading enhances fluency but does not always result to the development of better comprehension skills (Therrien, 2004). Another suggestion for this anomaly is the possibility of students reading a text that is inappropriate to their level. A study by The.............
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