Repeated Reading, Wide Reading, and a Typical Instruction Comparison Group: Relative Effects on the Comprehension, Fluency, and Word Reading of Adolescents with Reading Disabilities

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There is little doubt that struggling readers and particularly those struggling with reading fluency can benefit from interventions aimed at improving their rate and accuracy. Knowing what fluency interventions are associated with effective outcomes for secondary struggling readers is essential (Pressley, 2000).
A synthesis of fluency interventions conducted with older struggling readers (Wexler, Vaughn, Edmonds, & Reutebuch, 2008) revealed that repeated reading (RR) interventions, a commonly used fluency intervention with young, beginning, struggling readers may not be as effective for increasing reading speed, word recognition, and comprehension as the same amount of non-repetitive wide reading (WR). Gains from RR do not necessarily generalize to unpracticed passages or improve word recognition or comprehension while a benefit of reading a variety of text is that students are then exposed to different text structures, more content, and vocabulary.
This experimental study was conducted to examine the relative effectiveness of a repeated reading and wide reading intervention when compared to a “typical instruction” comparison group on secondary struggling readers’ comprehension, fluency, and word reading. Participants were 96 students with severe reading disabilities in grades 9-12. Students were paired within classes and pairs were randomly assigned to one of three groups: repeated reading (N=33), wide reading (N=34), or typical instruction (N=29). Intervention was provided daily for approximately 15-20 minutes for 10 weeks. Results of five separate ANCOVAs indicate no overall statistically significant differences for any condition with effects ranging from -.31 to .27. Findings do not support either repeated reading or wide reading using peer pairing for secondary readers with significant reading disabilities. Implications will be discussed.

Keywords: Reading Disabilities, Fluency Intervention, Literacy, Special Education
Stream: Special Education, Learning Difficulties, Disability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Jade Wexler

Senior Research Associate, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk;
Special Education Department, The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX, USA

Jade Wexler, is a Senior Research Associate at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, an organized research unit within the College of Education at the University of Texas. She completed her Ph.D. in the fall of 2007 in Special Education (Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders). Her research focuses on interventions for adolescents with reading disabilities, dropout prevention, and teacher preparation. During the past five years she has worked as a project director on several large-scale federally funded projects and she has served as project director of multiple grant-funded research endeavors. Currently, she directs The Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, a NICHHD funded grant implementing randomized controlled trials for middle school students with reading difficulties. She also serves as a co-director on an IES funded grant, Collaborative Strategic Reading Interventions for Struggling Adolescent and Adult Readers and Writers. She was also awarded funding and serves at the Principal Investigator for the study: Preventing School Dropout with Secondary School Students. She has numerous publications in peer reviewed journals and several book chapters. She has also presented and consulted with districts across the country and abroad.

Sharon Vaughn

Professor, Special Education, The University of Texas at Austin

Sharon Vaughn holds the H. E. Hartfelder/Southland Corporation Regents Chair
in Human Development and is currently the Director of the Meadows Center for
Preventing Educational Risk. She was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of
Learning Disabilities and the Co-Editor of Learning Disabilities Research
and Practice. She is the recipient of the AERA Special Education SIG
distinguished researcher award. She is the author of more than 200 articles
and 10 books that address the reading outcomes of students with learning
difficulties, learning disabilities and English language learners. She is
currently the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on several
Institute for Education Science, National Institute for Child Health and
Human Development, and Office of Special Education Programs research grants
investigating effective interventions for students with learning
disabilities and behavior problems as well as students who are English
language learners.

Greg Roberts

Associate Director, Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, The University of Texas at Austin

Roberts is trained as an educational research psychologist, with expertise in quantitative methods, Dr. Roberts has directed research and evaluation projects of programs in education, social services, and health care.

Ref: L09P0472