The Effect of Reader's Theatre on Fifth Graders' Reading Fluency and Comprehension

The Effect of Reader's Theatre on Fifth Graders' Reading Fluency and Comprehension

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Many students can decode text that they cannot comprehend. Because reading fluency and comprehension are linked, a partial solution to the problem of poor comprehension may be the use of Readers' Theatre (RT), a form of repeated reading that involves the presentation of play-like scripts. This study used a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent control group design. It focused on determining whether RT participation affected 5th graders' reading fluency and comprehension, including whether differential effects existed based upon initial reading levels. Using a convenience sample of 4 fifth-grade classrooms, 2 classrooms participated in RT for 8 weeks, and 2 classrooms were the control. Pre- and postassessments measured students' fluency (i.e., reading rate and accuracy) and comprehension. Furthermore, pretest comprehension scores were used to block students into ability-level groups. Mean changes in fluency and comprehension were calculated based upon groupings and ability-level blocks. While automaticity theory states that fluent reading frees attention for comprehension, analyses of dependent variables of reading rate, accuracy, and comprehension via 2-way ANOVAs revealed no significantly greater gains by the treatment group, although rate gains approached significance. Analyses also found no differential treatment effects by ability-level blocks. Therefore, RT may not benefit general education 5th graders. However, social change implications still exist. Due to persistent reading achievement gaps grounded in ethnicity and socioeconomic class, and due to the limited scope of this study, RT still warrants consideration and research while attempting to improve the reading skills of all students, seeking to promote social change by serving all students' academic needs with equal efficacy.Reading Research Quarterly, 20(2), 180-188. Rasinski, T. (2004). ... Effects of fluency development on urban second-grade readers. Journal of ... An evaluation of two approaches for teaching reading comprehension strategies in the primary years using science information texts. ... Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor. Samuels, S. J.anbsp;...

Title:The Effect of Reader's Theatre on Fifth Graders' Reading Fluency and Comprehension
Author:Timothy P. Jagger
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008


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