Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Using Repeated Reading to Improve Reading Speed and Comprehension in Students with Visual Impairments

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Using Repeated Reading to Improve Reading Speed and Comprehension in Students with Visual Impairments

Article excerpt

The importance of reading is reflected by the value placed on evidence-based reading instruction. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD, 2000) identified five skills necessary for reaching reading proficiency: phonemic awareness, phonics, oral reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Although deficits in any of these areas can lead to failure, poor readers are continually at risk for reading fluency problems. Oral reading fluency refers to a person's ability to read aloud with speed, accuracy, and expression. The National Reading Panel found that direct instruction in oral reading fluency, through either repeated reading or guided repeated oral reading, improves overall reading achievement (NICHD, 2000).

Based on their findings, the NICHD recommended that teachers add repeated reading activities to their classroom instruction strategies.

Repeated reading is a procedure that consists of rereading a short passage aloud for a specified amount of time or until a certain reading speed is reached (Samuels, 1979). The theory guiding this practice is that students develop automaticity and that their reading rate increases as they reread passages. The practice of repeated readings is validated as evidence based within the general population of students (NICHD, 2000) and for students at risk for reading disabilities (Therrien, 2004). Students with visual impairments read at a slower rate than their sighted peers, and this disparity only increases as students advance in school (Corn et al., 2002; Wall Emerson, Sitar, Erin, Wormsley, & Herlich, 2009). Instructional strategies have been developed to increase oral reading fluency in sighted students, but an evidence base of this kind has yet to be established for their peers with visual impairments (Ferrell, 2006; Layton & Koenig, 1998). Students with visual impairments could potentially benefit from oral reading fluency instruction.

Ferrell (2006) reviewed the literature in the area of literacy for students with visual impairments published between 1963 and 2003. None of the studies that Ferrell identified as meeting inclusion for review have been replicated, and studies have not been evaluated to see if they meet rigorous criteria for high-quality research. Therefore, currently there are no evidence-based practices that meet standards set by either the Institute for Educational Science or the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children regarding literacy instruction for students with visual impairments. Instead, Ferrell identified "promising practices" (p. 43). One such practice was repeated reading to improve fluency, based on Layton and Koenig's 1998 single-subject study that examined the use of repeated readings to increase oral reading fluency in four students with visual impairments. A search of the extant literature found one other study (Pattillo, Heller, & Smith, 2004) that used repeated reading as an intervention for students with visual impairments. Pattillo et al. (2004) modified the repeated reading intervention used by Layton and Koenig to include optical character recognition software. Between readings, participants would hear the OCR software read the passage while they read along silently. Then they would begin their second reading of the passage. Both Layton and Koenig (1998) and Patillo et al. (2004) reported that all participants increased their reading rates using repeated readings. Consequently, two independent research groups have reported that nine students with visual impairments have increased their reading speed after participating in repeated reading interventions.

For a practice to be validated as evidence based using single-subject designs, effects need to be replicated in at least five studies from at least three different researchers and geographic locations that include at least 20 participants (Horner et al., 2005). Despite the lack of sufficient replications of the intervention research with students with visual impairments, repeated reading has been described as being an effective instructional strategy for these students (Koenig & Holbrook, 2000; Wormsley & D'Andrea, 1997). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.