Oral Reading Fluency Model: An Investigation of Reading-aloud Strategies, Assessment Methods and Factors Affecting Students’ Oral Reading Fluency in Private Schools in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Oral reading fluency skill is considered to be the bridge to reading comprehension. However, it has been neglected in public schools in the UAE despite the fact that different theories (including behaviorism, information processing model theory, automaticity theory, and Ehri and McCormick’s word learning theory) have shed light on this skill. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate this skill in private schools, which focus on teaching and assessing oral reading fluency. This study has four aims: (1) to explore reading-aloud techniques used to build and improve students’ oral reading fluency, (2) to investigate assessment techniques used for evaluating students’ oral reading fluency, (3) to investigate factors affecting students’ oral reading performance, and finally (4) to create a model that presents and illustrates best teaching practices that are used to address students’ oral reading fluency skill. According to the consulted literature, few studies have been found on oral reading fluency, in particular, in the UAE context. Therefore, this research addressed the gap in the literature in the UAE and Gulf Countries Council (GCC). This study adopted a sequential exploratory mixed methods design. The data were collected in two phases. The first phase focused on the qualitative data, which were gleaned from document analysis, classroom observations, and interviews in two private schools in Fujairah city. The second phase focused on the quantitative data. Therefore, a questionnaire was administered to all private schools in five cities. One hundred ninety-three teachers responded to the survey. The results of the first phase showed that there was great emphasis on teaching and assessing oral reading fluency. Various reading-aloud techniques and assessment methods were used to address oral reading fluency. Moreover, various factors were found to affect students’ oral reading fluency. Concerning the survey, the results confirmed the data that was obtained in the first phase. Those results were used to build a model to address students’ oral reading fluency skill that will be proposed to the MOE in the UAE.
Oral reading -- Ability testing., reading-aloud strategies, Private Schools, United Arab Emirates (UAE)