Robinson, M. F., Meisinger, E. B., & Joyner, R. E. (2019). The influence of oral versus silent reading on reading comprehension in students with reading disabilities . Learning Disability Quarterly , 42 (2), 105–116. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948718806665
Robinson, M. F., Meisinger, E. B., & Joyner, R. E. (2019). The influence of oral versus silent reading on reading comprehension in students with reading disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 42(2), 105–116. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948718806665
The accommodation of students reading test materials aloud for themselves was investigated. The traditional condition of students reading tests silently was also examined in comparison.
Students with reading-related disabilities who attended grades 2–5 participated. These participants attended a private intensive day treatment program addressing dyslexia in the Mid-South (U.S.). Many student participants had other disabilities, including attention problems (ADHD), written expression learning disabilities, math-related learning disabilities, and speech and/or language impairments. Demographic characteristics such as race/ethnicity were reported.
Reading passages for grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 from the AIMSweb system (Shinn & Shinn, 2002), were shortened in length to attend to reader fatigue; participants’ words read (aloud and silently) were documented. Reading comprehension was measured from participants' Reading Comprehension One Minute Retell, modeled on the Qualitative Reading Inventory, 5th edition (QRI, Leslie & Caldwell, 2011), through the tallying of the number of idea unit conveyed.
Retell performance was differentially better for participants in grades 2 and 3 when reading aloud to themselves, compared to reading silently to themselves. In contrast, students with reading disabilities in grades 4 and 5 had similar performance when using these different reading modalities. All student participants demonstrated improvement in comprehension across the school year, from fall to spring, for both reading modalities. The researchers concluded that an underlying factor was that students early in their reading development can benefit particularly well from reading aloud to themselves, a phenomenon that seems to fade for students with higher reading skill development. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.