The Benefits of Repeated Reading

Welcome to the second edition of The Core Collaborative’s Reading Science Recap. Each month we will RECAP the latest science of reading research to ensure your reading instruction is anchored in the latest evidence and — powered by love.

This week we will be focusing our RECAP on “repeated reading” as an intervention to support reading comprehension and fluency (prosody).


The Research

The Visible Learning Synthesis of educational research, based on three meta-analyses, found that “repeated reading” has the potential to considerably accelerate reading fluency and comprehension (Hattie, 2008). In addition, a study by Romig, J. E., & Jetton, A.,(2023), found that repeated reading had strong evidence for improving students’ oral reading fluency. Fluency, along with phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension, is one of the five components of reading identified by the National Reading Panel (2000). The panel found compelling evidence that instruction to increase reading fluency is critical to both comprehension and future reading success and ease.


What is Repeated Reading?

Repeated reading is an academic practice that aims to increase oral reading fluency. Repeated reading can be used with students who have developed initial word reading skills but demonstrate inadequate reading fluency for their grade level. Reading fluency is often associated only with decoding or word recognition. However, reading fluency is impacted by language comprehension too.

Fluency, a bridge between word recognition and comprehension (Pikulski & Chard, 2005), is defined as encompassing accuracy of word reading, automaticity of text reading, and prosody. Prosody is defined as reading with appropriate expression, intonation, and phrasing. Readers must know how written text features, like punctuation signal prosody (Schwanenflugel & Benjamin, 2017). When a reader reads with prosody it helps them monitor and maintain meaning (Kuhn, Schwanenflugel, & Meisinger, 2010).


Repeated Reading in Practice

During repeated reading, a student sits in a quiet location with a teacher and reads a passage aloud at least three times. Typically, the teacher selects a passage of about 50 to 200 words in length. If the student misreads a word or hesitates for longer than 5 seconds, the teacher reads the word aloud, and the student repeats the word correctly. If the student requests help with a word, the teacher reads the word aloud or provides the definition. The student rereads the passage until they achieve satisfactory fluency and prosody. Repeated reading aids in a student’s reading comprehension. Typically teachers can also pair repeated reading with comprehension instruction.


Benefits of Repeated Reading

  • Enhanced Fluency: Students develop better fluency, which is the ability to read text accurately, quickly, and with proper expression or prosody. Repeated exposure to words and phrases aids in this.
  • Improved Comprehension: By revisiting the same text, students get a deeper understanding of the content, enabling them to grasp nuances and subtleties that may be missed initially.
  • Increased Confidence: Familiarity with the text builds confidence in students, especially struggling readers, as they feel more competent in their reading abilities.
  • Vocabulary Expansion: Encountering words repeatedly in context helps in solidifying their meanings and uses, thereby expanding a student’s vocabulary.
  • Better Reading Stamina: Regular practice through repeated reading can increase a student’s capacity to engage with longer texts and more complex materials.


Moving Theory to Action

Repeated reading is a powerful tool in the educator’s arsenal, offering a straightforward yet effective means of enhancing a student’s reading abilities. Check out these six actions to get started:

  • Selecting the Right Text: Choose texts that are engaging and appropriate lexile level for your students. The material should be challenging enough to promote learning but not so difficult as to be discouraging. It should be at a student’s zone of proximal development.
  • Setting Clear Goals: Define specific objectives for each reading session, such as improving speed, accuracy, or expression. This gives students a clear target to aim for.
  • Incorporating Varied Techniques: Use different strategies like choral reading, partner reading, or solo reading to keep the sessions dynamic and interesting.
  • Tracking Progress: Maintain records of students’ performances across sessions. This could be in the form of fluency rates, error counts, or comprehension scores. Better yet, have the students keep track of their progress toward goals.
  • Providing Feedback and Support: Offer constructive feedback and necessary support after each reading. Praise improvements and guide students on areas needing more focus.
  • Engaging in Post-Reading Activities: Follow up with discussions, questions, or activities related to the text. This enhances comprehension and allows students to apply what they have learned.


Planning for Repeated Reading

As you plan for repeated reading, think through the following questions.

  • What students will benefit from repeated reading? Why?
  • How can I use my small group time to advance repeated reading for students who need it?
  • What text will I use?
  • How will I know if I am making an impact?



By embracing repeated reading, educators can foster a more enriching learning environment that improves literacy and instills a lifelong love for reading. Incorporate repeated reading in your classroom today and witness the transformation in your student’s reading skills and confidence!

Leading Impact Teams

Paul Bloomberg is one of the nation’s sought-after school improvement coaches and author of the best-selling book Leading Impact Teams. He partners with schools nationally to refine and co-design equitable MTSS frameworks to cultivate self-empowered learners.


Duke, N.K., & Cartwright, K.B. (2021). The Science of Reading Progresses: Communicating Advances Beyond the Simple View of Reading. Read Res Q, 56(S1), S25–S44.

Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning. Routledge.

Kuhn, M.R., Schwanenflugel, P.J., & Meisinger, E.B. (2010). Aligning theory and assessment of reading fluency: Automaticity, prosody, and definitions of fluency. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(2), 230–251.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Pikulski, J.J., & Chard, D.J. (2005). Fluency: Bridge between decoding and reading comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58(6), 510–519.

Romig, J. E., & Jetton, A. (2023). Effects of a Repeated Reading Intervention Delivered Online to Upper Elementary Students. Journal of Special Education Technology, 0(0).

Schwanenflugel, P.J., & Benjamin, R.G. (2017). Lexical prosody as an aspect of oral reading fluency. Reading and Writing, 30, 143–162.​5-016-9667-3