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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigating the effects of a repeated reading intervention for increasing oral reading fluency with primary, braille-reading students using curriculum-based measurement within a response to intervention framework Forster, Erika M.


Given the predictive validity of early reading skills for future reading proficiency, early assessment and intervention in the primary grades are of vital importance. The stakes are particularly high for those students who are deemed “at risk” for current and future reading problems. Students who are blind and read braille may be at enhanced risk for literacy problems relating, for example, to reading speed and accuracy, or oral reading fluency (ORF) (Coppins & Barlow-Brown, 2006). However, the field of visual impairment lacks a “body of empirically-based, experimental research” to inform the development and use of interventions to address such reading challenges (Ferrell, Mason, Young, & Cooney, 2006, p. 4). The purpose of this study is to build on the limited repeated reading research that shows promise for improving ORF for students with visual impairments, targeting braille-reading students evidencing ORF-related challenges in the critical primary grades. The intervention design was informed by the Instructional Hierarchy’s (Raring, Lovitt, Eaton, & Hansen, 1978) stage model of learning such that the intervention was matched to the skill-based needs of the participants (Daly & Martens, 1994). Accordingly, the intervention drew heavily on empirically validated best practices, employing curriculum based measurement (CBM) and user-friendly assessment materials to investigate the effects of a repeated reading intervention on ORF within a Response to Intervention (RTI) framework. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design was used to investigate whether there was a functional relationship between the implementation of the repeated reading intervention and ORF and comprehension. Participants’ response to the intervention was measured using assessment materials designed as High Content Overlap (HCO) passages and Low Content Overlap (LCO) passages. The study also investigated the social validity of the intervention for teachers for students with visual impairments (TVIs). Additionally, the study evaluated the effects of undertaking the intervention on participants’ self perception as readers. TVIs were trained to implement the intervention with their students in their respective schools. Results indicated tentative support for the continued investigation of reading intervention as a socially valid means of improving ORE and comprehension for primary braille readers.

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