Reader Theater, primary students, English language learners, fluency


Readers Theater (RT) is a technique that has been used largely with elementary and middle school students (Corcoran, 2005; Keehn, Harmon, and Shoho, 2008) as a means of improving reading fluency. Few if any empirical studies have investigated the use of RT in building adult English language learners (ELLs) speaking fluency and accuracy. In this study, a series of RT scripts were developed and implemented with a group of low-intermediate level ESL learners. Pre and post-test quantitative and qualitative data were collected to determine the impact of RT on adult ELLs oral skills and self-confidence. A total of 12 ELLs ages 18 to 36 years old participated in an oral fluency class where a series of four different RT activities were implemented over the course of 14 weeks of instruction. Findings showed that RT activities not only enriched the L2 classroom experience, but learners were overwhelmingly positive about the impact of the technique in improving their general fluency, accuracy, and level of self-confidence in speaking English.

Original Publication Citation

Tanner, M. & Chugg, A. (2018). Empowering adult ELLS’ fluency and pronunciation skills through readers theater. In J. Levis (Ed.), Proceedings of the 9th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching conference, ISSN 2380-9566, University of Utah, September, 2017 (pp. 185-193). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Iowa State University







University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor