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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effects of a reading fluency and multisyllabic decoding strategy on reading skills Saqui, Sonja


As students enter the upper-elementary grades, the instructional focus shifts from learning to read to reading to learn (Chall, 1983). Much of the meaning in upper-elementary science texts is carried by previously unseen multisyllabic words. Students are expected to demonstrate proficient reading and decoding skills so they are able to access the curriculum and extract meaning from print. However, this is problematic for a cohort of students who demonstrate proficiency with the alphabetic principle, but lack flexible strategies and processes to employ when encountering a multisyllabic word. A delayed multiple baseline design was employed to determine if a multicomponent intervention combining three flexibly applied ‘think aloud’ multisyllabic word-decoding strategies with evidence-based fluency strategies was effective in improving the expository text reading skills of upper-elementary struggling readers. Gains in generalized reading fluency were observed on both expository and standardized reading passages. Minimal gains of multisyllabic word reading accuracy were observed on researcher-created word-lists and on within-passage measures. Gains in broad reading skills were not consistently observed. Students viewed the intervention favourably and perceived gains in their reading skills. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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