Dr. V.S. Gayathri
Can Repeated Reading Help Your Child?
The answer is YES. And, we are going to explore WHY and HOW.
According to IES, Repeated reading was found to have potentially positive effects on reading comprehension and no discernible effects on alphabetic, reading fluency, and general reading achievement for students with learning disabilities.
The Head of Education at Murdoch University, Dr. Susan Ledger says that “Familiarity is another important reason why kids enjoy having the same books read to them over and over again. And, rhyme, rhythm, and repetition are essential for the development of language.”
She also added that “Memory development is age specific as younger children need longer to encode information than older children and they forget faster. Repeated exposure helps children remember patterns, novel words, and connect key concepts.”
“Repetition also aids learning from different perspectives and elements of the experience. Change what you view or focus on if you get tired of reading the same text.”
This is very true for learners, especially young children. There have been various evidence that repeated reading/instructions are crucial for early learning.
What is Repeated Reading?
As proposed by S. Jay Samuels, Repeated Reading is a method to develop decoding automaticity with struggling readers. Here, students are asked to read aloud short text passages (from 50-200 words) until they reach a criterion level of success (particular speed and accuracy goals).
However, research and studies show there are many other ways that teachers can use for repeated oral reading.
In Chomsky’s method, the kids listened to audiotapes of a text and then worked on making their own tapes — trying to match the quality of the originals. Reading while listening or echo reading works too, and so does Radio Reading where kids work with scripts, making the oral reading purposeful.
What is the outcome of repeated reading?
Repeated reading leads to better reading performance. The improves word reading, but it also has been found to improve oral reading fluency and reading comprehension.
A crucial component of early literacy is fluency. Reading with fluency at the elementary level helps a student in future reading. A student who cannot read fluently will have a limited understanding of the text.
Through repeated readings, children build fluency with meaningful reading experiences. Studies show that repeated readings help students improve their reading at a rate that supports comprehension. It is an important and effective instructional strategy used in the primary classroom to develop fluency (the ability to read with appropriate rate, accuracy, and expression) and reading comprehension (the ability to understand the text).
Steps of Repeated Reading:
1: Sit with your child in a quiet location without many distractions. Position the selected book so that both you and the child can easily follow the text.
2: Select a passage of about 100 to 200 words in length.
3: Allow the child to read the passage through. (Preferably young kids should read aloud)
4: If the child misreads a word or hesitates for longer than 5 seconds, read the word aloud and have the student repeat the word correctly before continuing through the passage. If the child asks for help with any word, read the word aloud. If the student requests a word definition, give the definition.
5: When the child completes the passage, have him or her read the passage again. They can read the passage repeatedly until either they have read the passage a total of 4 times or they can the passage at the rate of at least 85 to 100 words per minute.
According to experts, these activities can help to repeatedly practice and reinforce a skill (not just reading/fluency):
1. Role-play with another adult: The teacher first role-plays a situation with another adult, where they show that they are unable to open an activity bag. The teacher thinks aloud, saying, “I can’t open this activity bag. I feel frustrated and I need help.” The teacher then looks at the other adult and says, “Can you please help me open this bag?” The adult helps open the bag and hands it back to the teacher. The teacher says, “Thank you.”
2. Role-play with one child: The teacher then picks a child to help and selects a string from the bag and says, “I would like to tie this string on my wrist to remind me to share my feelings and ask for help today when I feel frustrated. But it is hard for me to tie a string on my wrist myself.” Trying to do it, the teacher turns to the child helper and says, “I feel frustrated. Can you please help me tie this string on my wrist?” If the child has any trouble tying the string, the teacher can say: “I see you feel frustrated too. Who can you ask for help?” After receiving help, the teacher says, “Thank you for helping me.”
3. Practice: The teacher then lets each child practice sharing their feelings. Other practice activities can involve requesting help for tying their shoelaces, putting on their coats, or picking up heavy objects.
4. Reinforce: The teacher ends a lesson by summarizing the key points, saying, “Remember, when we are not able to do something, it is okay to ask for help. And, when someone helps you, you need to be thankful, and say Thank You.”