a1 University of Waterloo, Ontario
Repeated reading of meaningful text has been shown to produce improvements in reading rate, fluency, and comprehension in readers of varying ability. The assisted repeated reading (ARR) method, which provides a fluent and expressive (i.e., prosodic) model, has been proposed as being particularly helpful in this regard. However, it is unclear which component of the ARR method (prosodic modeling or reading practice with intact text) is the most influential factor. The present study examined the effects of text practice and prosodic modeling on the reading rate, accuracy, expressiveness, and comprehension of 40 grade 5 disabled readers. Text practice and prosodic modeling were systematically varied to create four training conditions. Each subject read the first half of a set of stories three times under one of the four experimental conditions. Pretest and posttest measures of the dependent variables were analyzed for both the training passages and the second half of each story, on which no training occurred (transfer passages). While reading performance improved across all conditions, substantial additional gains were produced by the conditions that included the practice of intact text. Modeling of prosody did not produce significant additional gains. Transfer effects were limited, with only the ARR condition producing improved accuracy on the second half of the stories.
c1 Arlene Young, Developmental Neuropsychiatry Clinic, Child and Family Studies Centre, Clark Institute of Psychiatry, 250 College St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 1R8