Does Reading-While-Listening Enhance Students' Reading Fluency? Preliminary Results from School Experiments in Rural Uganda

Aaron Friedland, Michelle Gilman, Michael Johnson, Abera Demeke


Although studies on the effects of Reading While Listening (RWL) to audiobooks on students' reading fluency is limited, the available emerging literature consistently demonstrates its favourable contribution to improve reading fluency. Since improving fluency is an important instructional goal of primary schools, understanding the role of RWL to audiobooks in improving reading fluency is essential. The goal of the study was to assess the impact of RWL to audiobooks on reading fluency. To achieve this goal, we conducted a randomized controlled experiment using forty six students enrolled in grade 3 at Hadassa Primary School in rural Mbale, Uganda.The significance of the study underscores the current inefficiencies within classrooms globally and the ease with which simple interventions can be implemented to improve fluency.  Limitations of the study are discussed.

Keywords: Reading While Listening (RWL); reading fluency; randomized control trial; The Walking School Bus; Uganda; audiobook

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