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Addressing semantics promotes the development of reading fluency

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2006

INEZ E. BERENDS
Affiliation:
PI Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
PIETER REITSMA
Affiliation:
PI Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Abstract

In two experimental training studies we examined the hypothesis that an emphasis on the meaning of a word is more effective than merely focusing on the orthography to increase reading fluency. Reading delayed children from Grade 1 (mean age = 7.3 years) and two groups from Grade 2 (mean age = 8.3 and 7.8 years) repeatedly read words while focusing either on the orthography or on the semantics of the word. Furthermore, the claim that limited exposure duration during training further promotes fluency was examined. The results show that the semantic based exercises yield more effect than orthographic training, especially for Grade 2 students. No beneficial effect is found for limited presentation duration. The results strongly suggest that practice with printed words with a specific focus on the semantic characteristics effectively promotes the attainment of reading fluency.

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Articles
Copyright
2006 Cambridge University Press

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