Abram (n.d.)


Treatment Groups


Note: The summary can be viewed by scrolling about two-thirds of the way down on this page.


SOURCE: Abrams, S. (n.d.). The effects of fluency instruction incorporating Readers Theatre on oral reading fluency in an eighth-grade classroom.  On January 1, 3018 retrieved from www.eiu.edu/researchinaction/pdf/Carla_Hymes_Paper.pdf




DATE: March 31, 2014


ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY: C-   (The highest possible grade for this investigation based on its design is C+. The grade represents a judgment about the quality of the evidence supporting the treatment, not the quality of the treatment.)


TAKE AWAY: This pre-post test investigation involved an intervention using decoding strategies, reading aloud grade level materials, and Readers Theatre. The results indicated improvement in reading rate but not prosodic reading fluency. Readers Theatre may have potential to improve reading prosody despite the findings of this investigation. The short treatment dosage, difference between intervention and assessment tasks, the assessment task itself, and use of grade-level rather than reading level passages (see Allington, 2006) may have contributed to the lack of improvement in prosodic reading fluency.



1. What type of evidence was identified?


a. What was the type of evidence? Prospective, Single Group with Pre- and Post-Testing

b. What was the level of support associated with the type of evidence? Level = C+


2. Group membership determination:

a. If there were groups, were participants randomly assigned to groups? N/A

b. If there were groups and participants were not randomly assigned to groups, were members of groups carefully matched? N/A



3. Was administration of intervention status concealed?


a. from participants? No

b. from clinicians? No

c. from analyzers? No



4. Were the groups adequately described? No

  1. How many participants were involved in the study?

• total # of participant:   8

• # of groups: 1


b. The following variables were described:


• gender: 6f, 2m

• Language: all Ps were English language proficient

• SES: all Ps received reduced or free lunch

• educational level of clients: 8th graders from a reading intervention classroom; all part of the special education program


c.   Were the groups similar before intervention began? Not Applicable


d. Were the communication problems adequately described? No

• disorder type: reading below grade expectation



5. Was membership in groups maintained throughout the study?

a. Did each of the groups maintain at least 80% of their original members? Yes

b. Were data from outliers removed from the study? Yes. Scores that were 1.5 times the interquartile range were removed from each of the outcomes.



6. Were the groups controlled acceptably? Not Applicable



7. Were the outcomes measure appropriate and meaningful? It was Unclear whether the measures were valid and reliable measures of fluency.

a. The outcomes were

  • OUTCOME #1: Improved performance on Words Correct Per Minute Test (WCPM)—a measure of accuracy and rate
  • OUTCOME #2: Improved performance on Multidimensional Fluency Scale (MDFS)—a score combining measures of reading expression, volume, phrasing (pauses, stress, intonation variation), smoothness (prosodic fluency), and pace (rate)


b. All the outcome measures were subjective.


c. None of the outcome measures were objective.



8. Were reliability measures provided?


a. Interobserver for analyzers? No

b. Intraobserver for analyzers?   No

c. Treatment fidelity for clinicians? No


9. What were the results of the statistical (inferential) testing?


PRE VS POST TREATMENT: Pre and post measures were compared for the single group


a. Were there significant differences?


  • OUTCOME #1: Improved performance on Words Correct Per Minute Test (WCPM)—a measure of accuracy and rate—Yes, post scores were significantly better (p = 0.00006)


  • OUTCOME #2: Improved performance on Multidimensional Fluency Scale (MDFS)—a measure of reading expression, volume, phrasing (pauses, stress, intonation variation), smoothness (pausing), and pace (rate) — No significant difference in pre and post test scores


b. The statistical test used to determine significance was t-test

c. Were confidence interval (CI) provided? No



10. What is the clinical significance? Not provided



11. Were maintenance data reported? No



12. Were generalization data reported?Yes. The Outcomes required that Ps read unfamiliar passages which could be interpreted as generalization. Outcome #1 improved but Outcome #2 did not.


  • OUTCOME #1: Improved performance on Words Correct Per Minute Test (WCPM)—a measure of accuracy and rate
  • OUTCOME #2: Improved performance on Multidimensional Fluency Scale (MDFS)—a measure of reading expression, volume, phrasing (pauses, stress, intonation variation), smoothness (prosodic fluency), and pace (rate)








PURPOSE:To investigate the effectiveness of focusing on pronunciation, appropriate reading pace, correct phrasing, expression, sentence stress, and repeated oral readings to improve the fluency of reading aloud.

POPULATION: reading problems




ELEMENTS/FUNCTIONS OF PROSODY TARGETED: rate, phrasing, prosodic fluency, loudness, sentence stress, intonation variation


ELEMENTS OF PROSODY USED AS INTERVENTION: intonation variation, pausing, sentence stress, rate, phrasing


OTHER ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION TARGETED: literacy—rate and accuracy of reading; expression of oral reading


DOSAGE: group, 50 minutes, 4 times a week, 6 weeks




STIMULI: grade-level reading materials, auditory models of teacher, videos, pictures of selected words in a reading passage




• Weeks 1 and 8 were devoted to pre and post testing


• Weeks 2 and 3: focus– automaticity and pace

– C modeled automaticity oral reading and discussed it with P at the beginning of Week 2 and 3 sessions.

– C instructed Ps regarding the decoding of unknown words.

– C introduced ‘vowel spots’ and demonstrated how they represent syllables within a word.

– C demonstrated that syllables can be detected by placing hands under the chin while saying the word and encouraged Ps to practice this hint.

– C explained open and closed syllables and noted how they correspond to long and short vowels.

– C presented information about digraphs and Ps brainstormed examples of them.

– C explained prefixes, suffixes, root words. Ps brainstormed examples of them.

– Ps practiced segmenting and pronouncing words.

– C identified compound words and presented compound words with suffixes and prefixes to the Ps.

– C explained multisyllable words.

– Ps practiced pronouncing multisyllable words from text.

– Ps read passages and identified words they could not pronounce. They then counted the number of syllables in the word as well as identified any suffixes, prefixes, root words, and compound words.


• Weeks 4 and 5: focus- rate and fluency

– C read aloud 3 versions of the same passage with differing rates.

– Ps discussed the versions and identified the optimal rate.

– C presented Ps with a list of sight list words and directed Ps to read through the list (aloud) for 1 minute. The task was repeated 2 more times while C encouraged Ps to read at their quickest rate while maintaining accuracy.

– C provided Ps with a list of common phrases. Ps read the list to a partner and they checked one another for accuracy. Ps then read the phrase list to determine how many they could read accurately in one minute. This was repeated 2 more times.

– C presented 2 verses of a song that was known to the Ps.

– Ps re-read the verses and identified unfamiliar words.

– Ps discussed the unfamiliar words with the groups and then pairs of Ps worked together to pronounce the words.

– C presented a video modeling targetsof fluency and pace of the verses.

– Ps then read to verses aloud with partners and they ae checked for accuracy.


•  Weeks 6 and 7: focus–  prosody, automaticity, pacing in Readers Theatre

– Readers Theatre is an intervention that involves repeated reading of passages with appropriate prosody.

– Using the Readers Theatre procedure, Ps silently re-read an expository passage and identified unfamiliar words.

– As a visual aid to the Ps, C provided selected pictures of the entities in the passage.

– Ps practiced unfamiliar words in pairs and were assisted by C.

– C modeled reading the passage aloud.

– Ps volunteered to read aloud parts of the passage and the whole class participated in the read aloud activity.

– C presented a new script.

– The Ps discussed the title and offered their ideas about what the passage was about.

– C divided the class into 2 groups and assigned parts for each of the Ps.

– C and a teacher’s aide also were assigned parts.

– Ps prepared their parts by pre-reading, identifying unfamiliar words, and assisting one another in proper pronunciation of words.

– C modeled the appropriate reading of the passage.

– C noted the importance of punctuation, how it should be interpreted, and how to produce acceptable prosodic expression.

– Each group presented their interpretation of the passage and then the whole group reflected on the story.


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