Document Type



Exceptional Student Education

First Advisor's Name

Patricia M. Barbetta

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Diana Valle-Riestra

Third Advisor's Name

Lynne Miller

Fourth Advisor's Name

Elizabeth Cramer

Date of Defense



Students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders (EBD)present considerable academic challenges along with emotional and/or behavioral problems. In terms of reading, these students typically perform one-to-two years below grade level (Kauffman, 2001). Given the strong correlation between reading failure and school failure and overall success (Scott & Shearer-Lingo, 2002), finding effective approaches to reading instruction is imperative for these students (Staubitz, Cartledge, Yurick, & Lo, 2005).

This study used an alternating treatments design to comparethe effects of three conditions on the reading fluency, errors, and comprehension of four, sixth-grade students with EBD who were struggling readers. Specifically, the following were compared: (a) Repeated readings in which participants repeatedly read a passage of about 100-150 words, three times, (b) Non-repeated readings in which participants sequentially read an original passage of about 100-150 words once, and (c) Equivalent non-repeated readings in which participants sequentially read a passage of about 300-450 words, equivalent to the number of words in the repeated readings condition. Also examined were the effects of the three repeated readings practice trials per sessions on reading fluency and errors. The reading passage difficulty and length established prior to commencing were used for all participants throughout the standard phase. During the enhanced phase, the reading levels were increased 6 months for all participants, and for two (the advanced readers), the length of the reading passages was increased by 50%, allowing for comparisons under more rigorous conditions.

The results indicate that overall repeated readings had the best outcome across the standard and enhanced phases for increasing readers’ fluency, reducing their errors per minute, and supporting fluency answers to literal comprehension questions correctly as compared to non-repeated and equivalent non-repeated conditions. When comparing non-repeated and equivalent non-repeated readings,there were mixed results. Under the enhanced phases, the positive effects of repeated readings were more demonstrative.

Additional research is needed to compare the effects of repeated and equivalent non-repeated readings across other populations of students with disabilities or varying learning styles. This research should include collecting repeated readings practice trial data for fluency and errors to further analyze the immediate effects of repeatedly reading a passage.





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