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An Examination of a Small-Group Decoding Intervention for Struggling Readers: Comparing Accuracy and Automaticity Criteria


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In this study, we compared methods to improve the decoding and reading fluency of struggling readers. Second-grade poor readers were randomly assigned to one of the two practice conditions within a repeated reading intervention. Both interventions were in small groups, were 20–28 min long, took place 2–4 days per week, and consisted of phonemic awareness training, letter sound practice, and practice in word families. Students in the accuracy condition (n= 27) practiced each page until they reached 98 percent accuracy while students in the accuracy + automaticity condition (n= 29) practiced until they reached rate (30–90 cwpm) and accuracy criteria. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed no differences between practice conditions in decoding accuracy, reading comprehension, and grade-level text reading fluency. Significant differences favoring the accuracy + automaticity group were found in measures of decoding automaticity.

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