Kristine D. Swain and Elizabeth M. Leader-Janssen conducted a case study comparing the impact of repeated reading, listening passage preview and audio listening passage preview on fluency described in the article, Effects of Repeated Reading and Listening Passage Preview on Oral Reading Fluency published in Reading Improvement in April of 2013.
A fifth grade boy in a clinic session was provided all three conditions on each of intervention. Interventions were one time per week for 12 weeks (subject missed 3 sessions). There was a five month follow-up session. All conditions in the one-on-one program resulted in increased reading rate. The gains for the non-audio passage were not fully maintained, but the gains from the other two conditions were. Interestingly, after the program ended no further growth was made, indicating that without continued intervention, the gap reduction that was achieved would eventually disappear as the subject's peers increased in skill level and he did not.
This implication is important. One program for intervention currently used in response to intervention. Ideally, in this program a student who is not making adequate progress is targeted for a tier two intervention. When he progresses to have achieved the target skill, the intervention stops. For many students, this may result in bouncing in and out of program as they make progress with additional support, have the support removed and then they are again eligible for additional support. We have this idea that all kids should progress at the same rate and if they struggle, merely addressing a particular target will enable them return to the "normal" path of progress. This is not an idea that research such as Swain and Leader-Janssen carry out, not one of common sense. There is no set "normal" rate of progress. Some students make jumps and plateaus. Others make steady progress. Some work at very inconsistent paces. The rate is individual. When we ask all kids to achieve at the same rate, we underserve many- at both ends of the spectrum. The brightest can cognitively skyrocket and the ones who struggle move along like snails. Neither group can be ignored or expected to move at the rate of the other. We need to move each unique child at their individual rate. This may mean finding extra time for some- afterschool educational programs, Saturday programs, extended year opportunities. If we demand that they all have cookie cutter progress, we will be sadly disappointed, and they will be unable to fulfill our expectations.