In the standard method of Repeated Reading, students re-read the same text multiple times. Numerous studies conducted over the past several decades have found that this practice is effective for improving fluency among typically developing students and students with reading difficulties.

Recent research has found that a method called Varied Practice is also effective in improving reading fluency for students in upper primary, especially students in the low to middle achievement group.

Varied Practice is much like Repeated Reading; however, students do not read the same exact passage multiple times. In Varied Practice, the passages read by students are very similar — 85% of the words in the passages are the same. This allows students to practise reading almost all of the same words in texts of the same syntactic difficulty, but with some variation.

From a practical perspective for teachers, while Varied Practice is an effective method for fluency development, obtaining texts of the necessary level of vocabulary overlap can present a challenge. Nonetheless, this practice is recommended if possible.

A set of three varied practice passages

Source: Iowa Reading Research Centre