Best Evidence in Brief: A randomized controlled trial of the repeated reading strategy

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief and this time I – first – want to focus on this randomized controlled trial:

Repeated reading is a strategy used to develop children’s reading fluency in targeted text. However, little research has been done using randomized trials to determine the extent to which fluency gained in repeated reading generalizes to new text in terms of accuracy, speed, comprehension, and expression. In an effort to examine the effectiveness of the repeated reading strategy, Scott Ardoin and colleagues at the University of Georgia and Mount Holyoke College conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing students’ fluency development using repeated reading to their fluency development using wide reading (non-repetitive reading of passages with minimal word and content overlap) and to a third group who continued with business as usual.

A total of 168 second graders in three schools in the southeastern U.S. were matched on standardized pre-testing by reading level in groups of three and assigned to one of the three groups. Pre-tests were also conducted for eye movement and prosody. Each student received 20 minutes of individualized intervention four times a week for 9-10 weeks.

Results showed that while all students gained in all areas, the students in the experimental conditions gained more than the business-as-usual students, with the lowest-achieving students making the most gains. It was of note that there was no significant advantage to being in the repeated reading group versus the wide reading group.

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