Monday, February 2, 2015

Synthesis of Research on Effective Interventions for Building Reading Fluency with Elementary Students

David J. Chard, Sharon Vaughn and Brenda-Jean Tyler completed their A Synthesis of Research on Effective Interventions for Building Reading Fluency with Elementary Students with Learning Disabilities, published in the October 2002 edition of the Journal of Learning Disabilities, in order to tease out the differences of fluency instruction effectiveness for learning disabled populations as opposed to the general population. 104 studies were analyzed. These studies focused primarily on students within grades 2-5, but some did cover larger ranges.

Their results were primarily as follows in regards to elementary students with learning disabilities:
  • Students benefit from interventions that include "multiple components focusing attention on increasing the rate and accuracy of reading" (p. 404). This includes decoding instruction, sight word instruction, and rereading.
  • Students benefit form models of fluent reading. Silent reading not associated with increased fluency. Modeling prior to reading the passage does. While, audio and peer models are better than none, teacher modeling provides the best results.
  • Corrective feedback, when combined with rereading, improves fluency.
  • Rereading and modeling increase comprehension more than they increase fluency.
What I found most interesting was the part of corrective feedback. Allington found that proficient readers were exposed to instruction that included far less corrective feedback, pushing the onus of self-monitoring on to the student rather than on the teacher whereas struggling readers received extensive corrective feedback. Perhaps students with learning disabilities need exposure to both- fluency instruction that focuses on accuracy and rate, with repeated reading, word identification instruction, and corrective feedback AND comprehension instruction that focuses on wide reading, self-monitoring and regulating with great attention on strategies used to increase comprehension. An increase in time spent on reading instruction seems essential. This might mean finding time outside the traditional school day to provide additional instructional time- afterschool tutoring, weekend school, extended year programing are some possibilities. It does support the idea that students with learning disabilities should spend more time with text at home- perhaps being read to, listening to audiobooks, or rereading favorite books.

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