Promoting gains in reading fluency: a comparison of three approaches
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On the ground that reading fluency entails appropriate phrasing or prosody as well as facile word recognition, we investigated the effectiveness of text-based and word-based repeated readings procedures for promoting fluency of reading aloud and comprehension in second-grade children. Repeated readings of text printed with spaces between phrases and ends of lines at clause boundaries (phrase-cued text), repeated readings of text printed with conventional layout (standard text), and repeated readings of lists of difficult words from text were compared. Computer-based, guided repeated reading training intervened between a pretest and post-test reading of text. Each training condition led to significant benefits on one or more of the experimental measures obtained from reading aloud. Repeated readings with text resulted in greater gains in fluency than repeated readings with word lists. Reading with natural prosody was most strongly facilitated by repeated readings of phrase-cued text, which provided visible support for sentence structure.