This study explores the effects of different methods employed by language teachers, namely assisted repeated reading (Taguchi, Gorsuch, Takayasu-Maass, & Snipp, 2012) and morphological and syntactic explanation (Tong, Deacon, & Cain, 2013), to improve language learners' reading fluency and reading comprehension, respectively. Volunteers from students enrolled in Japanese 301 through 322 classes at Brigham Young University (BYU) participated in this study. The participants (a) submitted a background questionnaire and consent form, (b) attended a one-hour session in the testing lab, and (c) attended a second one-hour session in the testing lab. Each testing session consisted of the participants making a pre- and post- reading recording and taking reading comprehension tests for two separate reading scripts. Each participant submitted a total of eight reading recordings and eight sets of answers to five reading comprehension questions. The reading texts were chosen from 3-kyu (3rd level of 5, which was deemed to be intermediate by the researcher) of the Japanese Language Proficiency test (JLPT), with a minor modification. Each recording and answer sheet submission was then graded and recorded. The differences between the pre- and post-test scores were then examined to determine the effectiveness of each treatment employed. The treatments included were: (a) assisted repeated reading, (b) assisted repeated reading followed by morphological and syntactic explanation, (c) morphological and syntactic explanation, and (d) morphological and syntactic explanation followed by assisted repeated reading. The analysis of the resultant data revealed that although there was a statistically significant increase in scores for each of the methods and there were differences in the scores between the different methods, there was not a significant difference between the methods. However, one of the important implications that can be drawn from this study is that a short fluency-building exercise of 2-5 minutes can yield significant gains in the language learners, in both reading fluency and in reading comprehension.



College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies



Date Submitted


Document Type





reading fluency, reading comprehension, Japanese, repeated reading, assisted repeated reading, morphological and syntactic explanation, language learning, language teaching