This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Prosody: A Taught Means to an End or an End Result?




Veal, Margo

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


This study investigates the effectiveness of teaching prosody in a readers’ theatre format. Prosody is traditionally defined as an end result that fluent readers inadvertently possess. In that case, struggling readers rarely have the opportunity to become proficient in the skill of reading with expression. The skill of prosodic reading should be attainable for all levelled readers. In this experimental study, participants from five second-grade classrooms were randomly assigned to one of three reading conditions: repeated reading with word overlap with a readers’ theatre emphasis, repeated reading with word overlap and repeated reading without word overlap. In this study, the readers’ theatre group was asked comprehension questions to assure that the students were accurately interpreting the text. The repeated reading with overlap group, after each reading, were asked comprehension questions and discussed with their teacher their personal goal by referring to their incentive charts and mark the amount of words read correctly. The repeated reading group without word overlap had the same procedures as the aforementioned group. The treatments were 30 minutes each day for 12 days. The researcher administered two pre-tests a week before treatments began. The researcher also administered a mid-assessment on the sixth day. The researcher finally administered three post-tests a week after the treatments ended. As hypothesized by the researcher, the readers’ theatre condition made the greatest gains in comprehension. The readers’ theatre condition from pre-test to post-test produced greater gains in comprehension iii than the nonoverlap group condition. The large gains made by the readers’ theatre group in comprehension support the hypothesis that prosody practice has a direct effect on comprehension.