Developing L2 reading fluency: Implementation of an assisted repeated reading program with adult ESL learners

Matthew C Allen, Purdue University


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether assisted repeated reading is an effective way for adult second language (L2) learners of English to develop oral and silent reading fluency rates. Reading fluency is an underdeveloped construct in second language studies, both in research and practice. This study first lays out a framework of text difficulty levels and reading rate thresholds for intermediate and advanced L2 readers of English based upon a theoretical framework of automatization of the linguistic elements of reading through structured practice and skill development. This framework was then implemented through a single-case design (SCD), an experimental method that is appropriate for testing the effectiveness of behavior and educational interventions with individual participants. Data was collected for several measures related to fluency, including oral and silent reading rates, for a small group of L2 learners in a U.S. university setting. The focus of the analysis is participants’ fluency development as they used a computer-based assisted repeated reading program called Read Naturally. The analysis concentrates on the case of an adult L2 English learner from Chinese (pseudonym of Hong Lin), presenting a longitudinal analysis of her progress through six months of continual practice and assessment. Notable results for Hong Lin include increased rates of oral reading (from 94 to 123 wpm) and silent reading (from 148 to 189 wpm) on a variety of comparable passages of unpracticed, advanced level prose.




Ginther, Purdue University.

Subject Area

English as a Second Language|Language

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