repeated reading, ESL, language learning, reading fluency


Repeated reading is a popular intervention used to help struggling readers by exposing them to the same text multiple times. While the approach has been effective in L1 and some EFL settings, little research has explored its effectiveness compared against a control group or among ESL learners. Our study examined reading rate gains using words per minute and four eye-tracking measures with 46 mid-intermediate ESL learners grouped into three 14-week treatment groups: a control group that read 26 text passages (about two per week) just once through, another that read the same passages twice in each sitting, and a third that read the passages three times per sitting. Data collection on unfamiliar reading passages took place at 7-week intervals. While results indicated no significant difference among the groups, reading rate did improve significantly in all measures within the first seven weeks but tapered off in the final seven weeks. Eye-tracking measures revealed that readers made fewer regressions and skipped fewer words but gazed at words for less time by week 7, a finding that suggests reading fluency interventions helped students become more fluent readers. While these findings corroborate previous L1 and EFL research and provide support for the efficacy of reading fluency intervention, more research is needed to understand specific contexts in which repeated reading is most efficacious.

Original Publication Citation

*Eckstein, G., Rich, K., & Lynn, E. (2022) Reading rate gain in a second language: The effect of unassisted repeated reading and intensity on word-level reading measures. Reading Matrix,22(1), 1-19.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal







University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

Included in

Linguistics Commons