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Literature

Anood AlShehhi (H00249845)


review;
4003
Readers
theatre in
improving ESL
fluency

Anood AlShehhi (H00249845)


Date; 18/April/2016

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EDU

Anood AlShehhi (H00249845)

EDU

4003

Literature review; Readers theatre in improving


ESL fluency
After changing my teaching practice from private school into government school,
Ive got shocked when I got to see grade four reading aloud level in the ESL
class. More than once, the students were reading scripts as readers theatre at
the class. Few students were reading more regular, while more than the half of
the class was having difficulty with oral reading.
The students who have those challenges in reading were often have fluency lack
as paused between words, didnt expressing the words enough and had slow
reading rates which made them spoke like robots. This made me rethinking of
my action research plan and changed it from focusing on (using first language to
improve second language) into (readers theatre in improving ESL fluency).
This paper will show a literature review about fluency, Readers theatre and the
outcomes of applying theatrical reading to gain fluency under three questions.
What is Fluency and it base elements? What is readers theatre and how it helps
young students? At last, what are the teachers experiences of applying readers
theatre to improve fluency in second language classes?

Definition of terms:
Those terms below will explain the words that used more in the Education
department and make it easier for the readers.
ESL: The shortcut for English as a second language which chosen to be the
second language that the regions in the world use to communicate (DoDEA,
2007).
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Fluency: The skill which makes people read orally in a correct way alongside
speaking frequency and using proper expressions (Reutzel & Cooter, 2011).
Readers Theatre: The repeating reading strategy that could be memorized or
read by scripts while showing expressions, sound effects and acting by using
pops, masks or not using it (Hymes, 2014).
_________________________________________
Literature review:
Fluency
Regarding to Bayetto (2013), Fluency is a key contributor toward independent
and successful reading.
Many educational theorists believe that fluency had three main elements which
are; Word-reading accuracy, Automaticity and Prosody (Hymes, 2014). Most
teachers see that all the elements are important in fluency since if one element
went missing, the students will have problems with reading. To explain it more,
word-reading accuracy is to read a text with less speaking (pronunciation)
mistakes so if the students cant pronounce a word they will give up practicing
reading. Hymes (2014) supported this idea when she said; If reading is difficult,
a child is more apt to give up then continue to try. This can lead to gaps in
reading and make the student dislike reading. In addition, Al Jaffall (2014)
believe that reading the words properly (Word-reading accuracy) and easily while
understanding the phrases (Automaticity) and putting it as suitable expression
(Prosody) transform any text to a meaningful reading.
Other educators believe that the three elements of the fluency alone is not
enough and reading supposed to implement instructions. The CCSS; common
core state standard in 2010 for the language subject contained applying the
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instructions and guiding while teaching to let the students learn their specific
level (Hymes, 2014). Some of the teachers see that students cant read fluent on
their own but needed more to apply instructions and guiding to progress reading.
Researches had shown that between 25% or more of the reading fluency should
contain instructions to implement it during the reading (Anderson, 2005). From
NICHD (2000) point of view; instructions and reflections help with fluency skills
which are de-coding of unknown words, correct expression and phrasing, the
return-sweep eye movement (moving the eye from the end of the line to the next
begging sentence), etc. Studies have said that readers theatre is the most
benefit reading type that could match the fluency skills and improved it better
than the others (Worthy & Prater, 2002)

Readers Theater
Rasinski (2003) defined readers theatre as One type of fluency practice , in
which students are given a script and assigned a specific part, as if they were in
a play.
A recent study had said that readers theatre is one of the most reading styles
that have a powerful methodology to help with reading fluency (Vacca et al.,
2008). Researchers believes that readers theatre helps with gaining confidence,
reducing low self-steam and teach to read fluency in interesting way. For
example; Tyler &Chard (2000) commented on students reflection towards
readers theatre as practice activity that has benefits on students who cant read
well because of the low self-steam they gained when they got wrong reading
some words. Moreover, Flynn (2004) said that readers theatre rise the
confidence in students since they keep reading scripts more than one time with
using props to give them support if needed; he added that readers theatre is not
about remembering the texts; its more about repeating it. In addition the

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readers theatre playing a part of making students interesting while reading since
they could rehearse by different readings writings like; poetry, plays scripts,
written texts, fictional and nonfictional stories and even jokes (Worthy & Prater,
2002)
Another view from Patrick (2008) reflect that scripts could cause a problem to
students so teachers should rewrite the scripts many times until It fit to students
and the lesson focus. On the other hand, educators believe that to avoid making
the readers theatre another challenge for students is to find the best text to let
students read it. Rasinski (2004) is one of the educators who believed in the
idea of finding well level text to use it on readers theatre but stated to select
among easy levels of transcribed texts into a slight challenging reading texts
levels.

Best practices in using readers theatre to improve fluency


Some of the Educators who used readers theatre to improve fluency had shown
different outcomes, some of them successful, while the others are not. For
example; Clark, Morrison & Wilcox (2009) had discussed about the essential to
give each a student a similar length part of the readers theatre script to read.
They added that giving students different length of scribed could let students
had different levels of fluency development insisted of making them develop
altogether.
From another experience in disapproval of using readers theatre, some teachers
said that readers theatre made the students depend on them to choose books
for them since they were the one who decided the texts the students will read in
the class. Worthy & Prater (2002) said that a teacher had students who
depending on her to choose books which made students fluency level stable

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without a change since they couldnt depend on themselves to read at home or


outside the school.
For advantages of using readers theatre, one of the students couldnt read the
second language (Spanish) in front of his classmates; when he went home, he
practiced a lot with his biggest sister then later, he performed it well without
having much fluency mistakes (Worthy & Prater, 2002).
Recently in the UAE, H.H.S. Mohammed bin Rashad, the ruler of Dubai had
announced this year 2016 as the reading year in the country to motivate the
facilities and educators to read and teach reading to Youngers (East, 2016). In
addition, new competitions has established in the UAE for students to read and
improve the language fluency for both English and Arabic language. One of those
competitions is the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle Easts
largest literary event which provides gifts for students who can read scripts like;
poems, plays and stories in a good fluent, could write well texts and others (East,
2016).

At the end, the literature review had helped me with knowing that reading in
general and readers theatre in specific has good benefits on improving fluency
and development of the ESL language. However, there is some of the things
should be focused on while teaching it. One of those things are the key elements
of the fluency which are; word-reading accuracy, automaticity and prosody. Other
things should be focused also while applying readers theatres which are
choosing a suitable texts level for students grade level and changing the texts
types to let the students have different interests of reading.

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References;
Al Jaffall, F., (2014). "The effect of repeated reading strategy on oral reading fluency of
a fourth grade student with reading difficulties". Theses. Paper 109. (unpunished)
Retrieved from http://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?
article=1112&context=all_theses
Anderson, Neil J. (2005). Fluency in L2 Reading and Speaking. TESOL 2005
colloquium.

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Bayetto, A. (2013). Fluency. In Oxford Literacy Assess Read Record Respond


Professional Support plus obook (2nd ed.). Retrieved from
http://www.appa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Fluency-article.pdf
Clark R. , Morrison T. G. & Wilcox B. (2009) Readers' Theater: A Process of Developing
Fourth-Graders' Reading Fluency, Reading Psychology, 30:4, 359-385.
DoDEA; Department of Defense Education Activity. (2007). English as a Second
Language Program Guide: Planning for English Language Learner Success.
ARLINGTON: 4040 NORTH FAIRFAX DRIVE. Retrieved from
http://www.dodea.edu/Curriculum/ESL/upload/eslprogramGuide0307.pdf
East, B. (2016). Making reading a sticky habit in UAE. Vision Magazine. Retrieved from
http://vision.ae/articles/making_reading_a_sticky_habit_in_uae
Flynn, R. M. 2004. Curriculum-based Readers Theatre: Setting the stage for reading
and retention.The Reading Teacher 58 (4): 36065.
Hymes, C. (2014). THE EFFECT READERS THEATER HAS ON FLUENCY. Retrieved from
http://www.eiu.edu/researchinaction/pdf/Carla_Hymes_Paper.pdf
NICHD; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of
the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based
assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for
reading instruction. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Patrick, N. C. L. (2008). The Impact of Readers Theater (RT) in the EFL Classroom.
Polyglossia,14, 93-100.
Rasinski, T. (2003). The fluent reader. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.
Rasinski, T. (2004). Creating fluent reader. Educational Leadership, 61(6) 46-52
Reutzel, R.D., & Cooter, R.B. (2011).Strategies for reading assessment and instruction:
Helping every child succeed (4th ed.).Boston, MA: Pearson

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Tyler, B., &Chard, D.J. (2000). Using Readers Theatre to foster fluency in struggling
readers: A twist on the repeated reading strategy. Reading and Writing Quarterly,
16, 163-168.
Vacca, J., Vacca, R., Gove, M., Burkey, L., Lenhart, L., & McKeon, C. (2008). Chapter 4.
In Reading and Learning to Read (7th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.
Worthy, J., & Prater, K. (2002). The intermediate grades -- "I thought about it all night":
Readers theatre for reading fluency and motivation. The Reading Teacher, 56(3),
294-297. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/203272708?
accountid=1215

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