Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Prosody instruction intervention as a means to improved reading comprehension

Summary The relationship between prosody and comprehension, previously demonstrated in K–12 students, was examined in university students enrolled in first‐year writing classes. Students completed the Gray Oral Reading Test‐5 both before and after an expressive reading intervention (ER) or no oral reading instruction (NI). Throughout the semester, the ER students marked an excerpt of text for prosodic signals and read it aloud with a partner. Training and practice in expressive reading led to a significant improvement in the normed Oral Reading Index score. Specifically, ER participants demonstrated improved accuracy, fluency, and reading comprehension in comparison with NI participants. The significant relationship between accuracy and comprehension in the ER condition suggests that expressive reading instruction strengthened student ability to read words accurately and, in turn, comprehend the material better than students in the NI condition. Expressive reading practices are recommended to engage students more deeply with the text.

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