Abstract

The current study examines the effect of repeated reading aloud upon speaking fluency. Because there is little evidence in the literature that the practice of repeated reading aloud can have a positive effect upon speaking fluency, the primary goal of this study was to investigate this relationship further. For the purposes of the study, speaking fluency was defined as fluidity and smoothness of speech with little pausing and hesitation. It is measured by evaluating the following fluency features: speech rate, number of pauses, length of pauses, phonation/time ratio, and articulation rate. The repeated measures experimental design of the study involved current and former Brigham Young University students learning Russian as a foreign language. They were divided into two groups: control and experimental. The participants in the experimental group performed repeated reading aloud activities daily, while those in the control group read the same passages silently. All participants took weekly speaking tests consisting of simple speaking prompts. The final post-test included both reading aloud and speaking tests. The speech samples collected from the tests were evaluated using computer-based analysis as well as scores from three raters who are native speakers of the Russian language. The statistical analysis and comparison of these scores revealed mixed results. The rater scores did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between the groups, which could be attributed to overall low inter-rater reliability and short duration of the experiment. On the other hand, the computer-generated scores for mean length of pauses, phonation/time ratio, and speech rate of the experimental group were better than those of the control group. This difference proved to be statistically significant based on the results of one-way and repeated measures ANOVA analyses. Unfortunately because of the high attrition rate and short duration of the study, these results cannot be generalized. Therefore further research is necessary to confirm or reject these findings

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2012-07-06

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd5442

Keywords

speaking fluency, repeated reading aloud, repetition, practice, Russian language learners

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