The present study attempts to reveal the inner process of foreign language L2 reading fluency development through repeated reading (RR) for an advanced-level L2 reader. This study was designed to investigate specifically how her reading fluency developed and how her comprehension changed during the course of RR treatment over 14 weeks.
Authors: Etsuo Taguchi, Greta Gorsuch, Miyoko Takayasu-Maass & Kirsten Snipp
Source: Taguchi, E., Gorsuch, G., Takayasu-Maass, M., & Snipp, K. (2012). Assisted repeated reading with an advanced-level Japanese EFL reader: A longitudinal diary study. Reading in a Foreign Language, 24(1), 30–55.
Reading fluency has become a priority issue in English as a first language (L1) setting, and also in English as a second or foreign language (L2) setting, because the lack of fluency is considered a major obstacle to developing independent readers with good comprehension skills. Repeated Reading (RR) may be a promising approach for building fluency and comprehension in L2 settings. However, L2 fluency research has not yet demonstrated a strong correlation as in L1 settings between improved reading fluency and enhanced comprehension. The present study attempts to reveal the inner process of L2 reading fluency development through RR for an advanced-level L2 reader. This study was designed to investigate specifically how her reading fluency developed and how her comprehension changed during the course of RR treatment during 14 weeks.
The current study explores some currently unresolved issues. First, it is not known whether L2 reading fluency develops in ways that are similar to or different from L1 reading fluency, nor whether fluency training is effective at the same ages or ability levels. A second issue is what is happening with readers’ thinking while they engage in RR. A diary study is ‘a first-person account of a language learning or teaching experience, documented through regular, candid entries’ (Bailey, 1990, p. 215).
The participant was a 34-year-old Japanese housewife called ‘Naomi’, with advanced level English proficiency. She took pre- and post-tests of reading comprehension and time (the training procedure used different texts than those used for the pre- and post-tests).
Beneficial and non-beneficial effects of the audio model
Conclusions and implications
RR improved reading rate and comprehension. Enhanced comprehension may come from the various forms of scaffolding that RR is believed to support L2 readers. The scaffolding may bridge the gap between what a reader can do currently and what they will be able to do in the future. The audio reading model paced the reading and helped the learner to read faster. It also helped her to understand dialogues embedded in the text by providing character-specific prosodic information. Naomi suggested that three re-readings after the initial reading in each session would be sufficient. Readers should also be given the opportunity to confirm the accuracy of the assumed meaning of unknown words and phrases before continuing to the next rereading.