Computerized silent reading rate and strategy instruction for fourth graders at risk in silent reading rate

Jasmin Niedo, Yen Ling Lee, Zvia Breznitz, Virginia W. Berninger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fourth graders whose silent word reading and/or sentence reading rate was, on average, two-thirds standard deviation below their oral reading of real and pseudowords and reading comprehension accuracy were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 7) or wait-listed (n = 7) control groups. Following nine sessions combining computerized rapid-acceleratedreading program (RAP), which individually tailors rate of written text presentation to comprehension criterion (80%), and self-regulated strategies for attending and engaging, the treated group significantly outperformed the wait-listed group before treatment on (a) a grade-normed, silent sentence reading rate task requiring lexical- and syntactic-level processing to decide which of three sentences makes sense and (b) RAP presentation rates yoked to comprehension accuracy level. Each group improved significantly on these same outcomes from before to after instruction. Attention ratings and working memory for written words predicted posttreatment accuracy, which correlated significantly with the silent sentence reading rate score. Implications are discussed for (a) preventing silent reading disabilities during the transition to increasing emphasis on silent reading, (b) evidence-based approaches for making accommodation of extra time on timed tests requiring silent reading, and (c) combining computerized instruction with strategies for self-regulation during silent reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Data collection funded by a Binational Science Foundation Grant BSF Grant 2009053 (Israel and United States) awarded to Zvia Breznitz and Virginia Berninger. Data analyses and manuscript preparation were supported by HD P50HD071764 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


  • At risk
  • Instructional
  • Reading
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Health Professions
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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