Developing reading fluency in EFL: How assisted repeated reading and extensive reading affect fluency development

Taguchi, Etsuo
Takayasu-Maass, Miyoko
Gorsuch, Greta J.
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Extensive research on reading in a first language has shown the critical role fluency plays in successful reading. Fluency alone, however, does not guarantee successful reading. Cognitive and metacognitive reading strategies and schemata that readers utilize also play important roles in constructing meaning from text. Most research, however, indicates that good reading ability is virtually impossible in the absence of fast and accurate word recognition skills and reading fluency. Therefore, efficient ways of improving fluency must be developed. In answer to this need, extensive reading programs have been implemented as an effective approach in EFL settings. Another method, repeated reading, seems equally promising. The main objective of the current study is to focus on whether and how assisted repeated reading with an auditory reading model enhances EFL readers' fluency. Some comparisons of Japanese university students' performances in repeated reading and extensive reading programs are also made in an attempt to see gains in reading fluency and comprehension, and to explore some characteristics which are unique to assisted repeated reading. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of participants' reading behaviors suggest that assisted repeated reading is equally as effective as extensive reading in increasing EFL readers' silent reading rate, and favorably affects learners' perceptions of reading activities. Furthermore, the results indicate the specific role the repetition and listening components of assisted repeated reading play to facilitate reading comprehension. Assisted repeated reading can potentially develop weak ESL/EFL readers' fluency and help them become independent readers by providing a distinct form of scaffolding.
repeated reading, assisted repeated reading, extensive reading, reading fluency, reading comprehension
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