Winn et al. (2006) wanted to test if two reading strategies applied to children and adolescents can also be used to improve the reading fluency of adult learners. Fluent reading is a skill in rapid and accurate reading (p.196). The researchers recognized the gap in adult education research in the context of fluent reading and believed that K-12 research can help provide teaching tools, when research on adult education strategies and practices is lacking. They hypothesized that it is important to enhance reading fluency, because this can also increase the preference for reading (p.197). They stated that non-fluent readers are less motivated, have less cognitive resource management success, and have weaker reading reinforcement; thus, it is critical to enhance reading fluency, so that comprehension skill and probability of reading among adults can also be improved (p.197).
The study used three reading strategies: 1) controlled, 2) repeated reading (RR) and 3) listening while reading (LWR). The research design was an experimental design with a comparison made between pre and post-results. Their sampling included twelve (12) participants, who studied literacy skills in an adult education center. The dependent variables were words read correctly per minute and errors per minute (EPM). Researchers collected the baseline data for reading fluency using the 1996 Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Findings showed that RR and LWR conditions showed higher scores in WCPM than the control condition. Errors per minute were lower in RR condition than control and LWR conditions. Furthermore, WCPM scores were higher when RR and LWR conditions were used. There were also no differences in words correct per minute using the LWR and RR conditions. Within subject comparisons of WCPM across LWR, RR, and control conditions showed greater reading fluency under LWR and RR conditions. Hence, RR and LWR both enhanced reading fluency more than the control condition. 3. Implications for Education The information in this article can be used by educators to improve adult education, because it underlines the importance of testing successful teaching strategies in the adult sector, using children or adolescent educational theories and research, it provided practical measures for improving reading fluency among adult learners, and it demonstrated the need for greater research on adult education literacy skills. First, this study showed that successful adult teaching strategies can be based on children or adolescent educational theories and research, although with some modifications. For instance, the topics of the reading materials were based on the interests of the adults, since this can improve the probability of reading. Second, the study gave practical tools and strategies for enhancing reading fluency among adult learners. RR and LWR conditions already have step-by-step procedures that can be easily applied to adult learning settings. These steps were also simple and feasibly applied for resource-stricken and time-limited adult education programs and centers. Third, the study recognized the gap in adult education research, such as lack of reading strategy studies for adult students. This points the direction for future studies, which include identification and evaluation of existing reading fluency