This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Engineering Word Overlap to Enhance Specific Fluency Gains Over Repeated Readings




Dorman, Patricia

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Curriculum and Teaching

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



This study explored the effects of repeated readings with and without word overlap (repeated content words across readings) to test the centrality of word-reading automaticity in fluency. Participants worked in both experimental and control conditions for nine sessions. Participants qualified for the study by reading between 40-70 CWPM on a primer level passage from the Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI-2). During each session, participants read the passage with the goal of reaching 85 correct words per minute (CWPM). They had three chances to reach the goal. Participants moved a superhero figure to mark their progress for each reading on a fluency timeline. After each reading, the researcher asked a different passage-related question and reviewed any miscues from the reading. Each session was one-on-one for nine sessions and the chapter reading for each session was one read during that session and not repeated in any other session. After the ninth session, posttests were immediately administered. As hypothesized, repeated readings with word overlap led to significantly greater gains in specific fluency (CWPM over repeated readings) and in general fluency (CWPM with single readings of QRI passages), indicating that overlapped words are automatized more quickly into sight word storage in the lexicon.