Oral Reading Fluency Final Action Research Paper

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Solutions to incorporating fluency instruction in the classroom include repeated reading, auditory modeling, direct instruction, text segmenting, supported reading, and use of easy reading materials. Young readers may not always know what fluent reading should be like. Despite the awareness, oral reading fluency is a neglected aspect of the classroom (Allington, 1983). Therefore, according to Fluency for Everyone, written by Rasinski, "It seems clear that students need frequent opportunities to see and hear fluent reading. Since the most fluent reader in the classroom is the teacher, the teacher should be the primary model" (1989).

The method of auditory modeling can be used in several ways. Auditory modeling can dramatically improve fluency among readers (Dowhower, 1986). She says, "Auditory or oral modeling may be the most powerful of all techniques in encouraging prosodic reading." Prosodic reading can be described as reading with voice inflection and expression. Dowhower believes that modeling oral reading strategies can show the reader where to pause, change voice pitch and which words to stress. Short discussions to your students about oral reading strategies could heighten students' awareness about their own reading (Rasinski, 1989).

What does learning theory say about modeling oral reading fluency?

Lev Vygotsky, a well-known psychologist has analyzed a number of studies to help develop his theories of thought and language. Vygotsky was influenced by the writings of Piaget to help form his theories of thought, speech, and word meaning. In his book, Thought and Language, he addresses that the language has many functions and the primary function of speech is communication (1962). He also adds that language does not depend on sound, but its functional use of signs. Therefore, the written form of language is equally as important as speech. The written language is the most elaborate form of language. There are stages that children must pass through to develop their thinking of the formation of language. Developing the six crucial elements of oral reading strategies could be considered a vital development in becoming effective fluent decoders. Since learning depends on development, effective instruction can further facilitate the knowledge in reading. Modeling oral reading strategies involves opportunities for social interaction. Social interaction is important to Vygotsky because the expert can model the appropriate solution, assist in finding a solution, and then monitor the student's progress as they discover learning (Tharpe & Gallimore, 1998).

The work of Ardoin, Daly, and Martens (2002) reports that two antecedent oral reading interventions that research has shown as effective as "passage preview and repeated readings." (p.272) Passage previous is reported to make the provision to students with the opportunity to listen to or read a passage before instruction. It is indicated in research that passage preview is effective in increasing oral reading fluency in students who experience difficulties in reading. Repeated readings are such that require the student to repeatedly read a passage, which is stated to increase the students' "reading accuracy, fluency, and intrapassage comprehension" of the student. (Ardoin, Daly, and Martens, 2002, p.272) The work of LaBerge and Samuels (1974) reported a "strong correlation between oral reading fluency and reading comprehension." (Abram, nd, p. 10) Research indicates that "repeated oral reading practices lead to improvement in oral reading fluency." (Abram, nd, p.10) It is claimed in the work of Goering and Baker (2010) and Rasinski et al. (2005) that oral reading "is an important part of skilled reading." (Abram, nd, p.11) The work of Rasinski and Hoffman (2003) and Roundy (2009) demonstrates a "correlation between oral reading fluency and comprehension." (Abram, nd, p. 11) Five critical components to reading acquisition among children are reported to include: (1) phonemic awareness; (2) phonics; (3) fluency; (4) vocabulary; and (5) comprehension. (Abram, nd, p.11) It is reported that research has demonstrated that Readers Theatre is an instructional practice that effectively develops fluency in student's reading while bringing about an increase in the self-confidence of struggling readers. Readers Theatre is described as a means to involve students in the oral reading of a text and for preparing students in reading performance in front of an audience. Readers Theater involves the requirement for students to practice reading a script repeatedly and an authentic reason for rereading the script. Readers Theater does not require costumes, props or actions, but instead only requires facial expressions or gestures. The work of Keehn et al. (2008) states that since Readers Theater involves active coaching by the teacher and the provision of direction "for expressiveness during rehearsal" that it offers "the modeling that is important to fluency development." (Abram, nd, p. 12) Flynn (2004) reports that Readers Theater 'is more interesting to perform and watch when the dialogue is emphasized by appropriate movements such as hand waving, pointing fingers, shrugs, raised fists, scratched heads, snapping fingers, or wiped brows." (Abram, nd, p.15) Research has indicated that Readers Theatre is an instructional strategy that can be effectively utilized to engage in students in meaningful activity that serves to increase fluency while at the same time enhancing the social development of students. (Abram, nd, paraphrased) The work of Hacker (2008) reports on increasing oral reading fluency. It is reported that young children have the need to not only hear themselves read but to receive feedback from adult readers in their development of independent skills and to support the student's monitoring of their own reading. ( p.28)

In a report published by the National Institutes of Health it is stated that following guided repeated oral reading procedures it was discovered that these types of procedures are effective in "improving reading fluency and overall reading achievement." (p.3-3) The study is stated to have "found a weighted effect size average of 0.41" stated to suggest that "guided oral reading has a moderate impact upon reading achievement. Analysis indicated that repeated reading procedures have a clear impact on the reading ability of non-impaired readers through at least grade 4, as well as on students with various kinds of reading problems throughout high school. All approaches were associated with positive effect sizes…" (National Institutes of Health, nd, p.3-3) The study outcomes state that it is indicated in the research that "classroom practices that encourage repeated oral reading with feedback and guidance leads to meaningful improvements in reading expertise for students -- for good readers as well as those who are experiencing difficulties." (National Institutes of Health, nd, p. 3-3)

Oral reading fluency is reported to include: (1) Word decoding (accuracy and automaticity); (2) and Comprehension (Prosody). (Pan, nd, p.9) Fluency is defined by the student's ability to "read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension" and to "read grade-level text with purpose and understanding." (Pan, nd, p.10) As well the student should have the ability to read "grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression" and be able to "use context to confirm or self correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary." (Pan, nd, p.10) Oral reading is described as a window into the minds of children and it is purported that listening to students read aloud enables the teacher to identify strategies that are effective and those needing more development. Oral reading assist students in hearing how they are processing language. The importance of building oral reading fluency includes that it assists the students in building their self-confidence. Additionally, oral reading assist students in developing their comprehension skills since "authors not only use language to convey ideas, but they also use typographical cues, such as punctuation, spacing, different size print, to signal intended meaning." (Pan, nd, p.12) Heath (2008) writes that the National Reading Panel (2000) reports that "fluent readers are able to read orally with speed, accuracy and proper expression." (p.32) Two instructional approaches generally used to teach reading fluency are stated to include; (1) guided oral reading; and (2) independent silent reading. (Heath, 2008, p.32) Guided repeated oral reading is stated to encourage students in reading passages "orally with systematic and explicit guidance and feedback from the teacher." (Heath, 2008, p.32) Heath (2008) also reports that a review of the literature on reading practices states that tutoring and mediation are effective in improving the reading performance of students. (Heath, 2008, paraphrased)

V. Methodology

Purpose Statement

The Purpose of this action research is to determine to what extent Tier 2 intervention modeling oral reading strategies will increase oral reading fluency in 2nd grade students.


____Unified School District, located in ____County at the convergence of the Interstate ____This district educates approximately 8,800 enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten through twelfth grade in six elementary schools, two 6-8 middle schools, one traditional high school, one alternative high school, and a large adult Ed Program. My action research will take place at ____Elementary in the ____District where I am an educator.


The research takes place at a California Distinguished School and in 2012 entered into Program Improvement for not meeting targeted AYP goals. In 2011-2012, approximately 701 students enrolled in Kindergarten through Fifth grade and 40% of all students receive Free and Reduced Price Meals.…[continue]

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