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Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kenneth L. Beauchamp

First Committee Member

Roseann Hannon

Second Committee Member

Carolynn Kohn

Abstract

Previous research provides support for the use of Readers Theater as a way to teach literacy and improve reading comprehension. Readers Theater involves listening to a story, engaging in repeated readings of the story, and performing the story using vocal intonation, reading rate, facial expressions, and body movements to accurately portray the meaning of each line. An empirical demonstration of the effect of Readers Theater on reader self-efficacy has yet to occur. Further, previous research rarely evaluated the magnitude of improvements associated with Readers Theater with the magnitude of improvements associated with maturation and traditional classroom instruction. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of a Readers Theater intervention on improving reading comprehension and reader self-efficacy in elementary students, beyond that related to maturation or traditional classroom instruction. It was expected that participants receiving the Readers Theater intervention would exhibit greater improvements in reading comprehension and reader self-efficacy when compared to a control group. It was also anticipated that when the second group received the intervention, the findings would be replicated. Participants were 24 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. Results support the use of Readers Theater as a supplemental technique for reading instruction. Participants displayed some improvements in reading comprehension and various aspects of reader self-efficacy. Further research is needed to extend the findings to a larger population and refine techniques to maximize benefits.

Pages

101

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