Luke was an eighth grade student who suffered from Seizure Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder, and he struggled with reading. Luke read on about a third grade reading level. It was believed that Luke’s problems were stemmed from his lack of attention. Luke’s biggest weakness in reading was fluency. Unfortunately, there are many students like Luke in our classes, that are several grade levels below in reading and who may suffer from ADD or other disorders that may complicate their reading ability.
During the summer reading clinic, Luke attended one hour tutoring sessions that were focused on improving reading fluency. Each night Luke was required to listen to a chapter on audio tape. After listening to one page, Luke stopped the tape and read the page himself. After reading the entire chapter, Luke reread the first three pages of the chapter. The first two minutes of each tutoring session were spent as a homework check. Luke would have to read a selected passage from the first three pages of the chapter he had read the night before, and the tutor would count the words read per minute.
After the homework check, Luke was participated in a guided reading activity using a third or fourth grade text, usually a biography. Luke and the tutor would partner read, alternating reading pages aloud. The tutor would check for comprehension, and Luke showed good comprehension of the text.
The next part of the lesson was a repeated reading, which was a 300-word passage from a chapter that he had previously read during guided reading. Luke had 2 minutes to read the passage, and aimed to read it as smoothly as possible. The tutor would record the words read per minute. Luke would read a particular passage 2 times in one session and 2 times the next session, so that each repeated reading passage was read four times. The last ten minutes of the session were spent as the tutor reading aloud to Luke.
During my student teaching, all the aspects of this intervention were included in our daily schedule. I teach afterschool tutoring for students who were believed to be “at risk” of failing EOG’s, and I also included these intervention strategies in my lessons.
Phrasing is an important component of reading fluency, and not knowing where to group or “chunk” the words decreases fluency ability. In order to improve phrasing ability, repeated reading and tape-recorder readings are highly recommended. Orally reading the text helps students learn how to identify chunks.
This article related the most to Ehri’s study. Ehri believed that all processes must be amalgamated in order for reading to be automatic. While Luke had no problem with comprehension, he had to concentrate on decoding and word recognition which decreased his reading fluency. As his decoding and word recognition became more automatic, his fluency improved.