Restricted Access Thesis

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This research study investigates the role of reader's theater on the reading fluency and comprehension of English language learners (ELLs). According to Kuhn and Stahl (2000), fluency directly affects comprehension by bridging the gap between word recognition and comprehension. This study explores reader's theater as a means of improving that fluency and comprehension. The case study was conducted 45 minutes daily for six weeks with three first-grade ELLs. Using reader's theater, explicit instruction was provided in timing, stress, intonation, and comprehension strategies. The value of this instruction and degree of student learning were measured through student self-reports, student interviews, digital recordings, anecdotal records, fluency evaluations, and retells. The study demonstrates that explicit instruction with reader's theater appears to increase the oral reading fluency and comprehension, as well as being a motivating strategy for ELLs.