Title

Strategic Reading: Using Think Alouds to Increase Fluency in High School Students

Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Boyd Bradbury

Keywords

Literacy, High School, Fluency, Think Alouds

Abstract

In order to be a contributing member of society, one must be literate. The purpose of this study was to explore how think alouds, a teaching strategy normally used in elementary school, could impact fluency in high school students. The study explored answers to two research questions. First, does the practice of reading aloud and the implementation of think alouds have a positive impact on reading fluency for nonfiction in the high school classroom? The second question was does the practice of reading aloud and the implementation of think alouds accomplish the goal of reading more fluently regardless of academic achievement? A five-week experiment followed ten male and ten female 10th grade students with various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds from a small to midsized midwestern town high school. The study compared fluency test scores from the Bader Reading and Language Inventory (BRLI) before and after the implementation of weekly think alouds of nonfiction texts. The researcher analyzed accuracy, automaticity, and prosody results from the pre and posttest. Analysis appeared to indicate that think alouds did benefit student’s reading fluency. The most noticeable change was observed in mainstream students with academic challenges. The results were inconclusive, however, as increases in the three fluency measurements did not consistently increase comprehension scores of the test passages. There were also other variables outside of the control of the experiment that could have affected fluency. Therefore, one cannot directly connect the increase of fluency scores to the think aloud implementation without future study.

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