Date of Award

Spring 2001

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Robin E. Umber

Second Advisor

Luther E. Smith

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker


Reluctance to read is an issue that many young students face, as well as one which can negatively influence learning outcomes in a vicious cycle. Among other interventions devised for reluctant readers, role-playing has benefits for the student that include incorporating play, increasing feelings of competence, adding intrinsic value, and prompting visualization to aid in reading comprehension. The author conducts a qualitative study with a single student, who receives therapy for disabilities associated with an injury, and has demonstrated significant reluctance to read. The student reads at below his grade level. Incorporating role-play interventions into the student's reading instruction results in an increased interest in reading during the role-play exercises involving high-interest materials. However, the student's overall attitude towards reading does not change, as the student continues to associate "reading" with reading exercises the student describes as boring and difficult. The student displays an increased confidence and responds to increased feelings of autonomy in role-play exercises, and describes sounding out words as "easy" following the intervention. The author suggests that role-play activities combined with high-interest, age-appropriate materials as a possible benefit to reluctant readers.