Repeated reading for developing reading ﬂuency
and reading comprehension: The case of
EFL learners in Vietnam
, Etsuo Taguchi
Texas Tech University, Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, Box 42071,
Lubbock, TX 79409-2071, USA
Daito Bunka University, Department of Japanese, 1-9-1 Takashimadaira, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 175-8571, Japan
Received 23 August 2006; received in revised form 14 July 2007; accepted 26 September 2007
Reading in a foreign or second language is often a laborious process, often caused by underdevel-
oped word recognition skills, among other things, of second and foreign language readers. Develop-
ing ﬂuency in L2/FL reading has become an important pedagogical issue in L2 settings and one major
component of reading ﬂuency is fast and accurate word recognition. Repeated reading (RR) was
devised by Samuels [Samuels, S.J. (1979). The method of repeated readings. The Reading Teacher
32, 403–408] to develop reading ﬂuency in English L1 readers, and instantiate Automaticity Theory
[LaBerge, D., Samuels, S.J., 1974. Toward a theory of automatic information processing in reading.
Cognitive Psychology 6, 293–323] in practice. In RR, readers read a simpliﬁed text repeatedly to help
automatize word recognition, leaving more cognitive resources for higher order comprehension pro-
cesses. RR used in FL settings is a more rare practice; studies show RR increases FL learners’ reading
ﬂuency but not necessarily their comprehension, possibly due to poor comprehension test instrumen-
tation. This report describes an 11-week quasi-experimental RR study carried out with university-
level Vietnamese learners of English using improved reading comprehension testing procedures.
Results suggest that the experimental group (n = 24) gained in reading ﬂuency, and comprehended
signiﬁcantly more than the control group (n = 26). The results have implications for future uses of
RR in FL contexts, future reading comprehension test design, and the need for measurement of work-
ing memory during short- and long-term use of RR. The results also imply a need for further study of
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System 36 (2008) 253–278