A previous study (Brady, Shankweiler, and Mann, 1983) demonstrated inferior speech repetition abilities for poor readers with degraded stimuli. The present study, in contrast, used clear listening conditions. Third-grade average and below-average readers were tested on a word repetition task with monosyllabic, multisyllabic, and pseudoword stimuli. No group differences were obtained on speed of responding, and the lack of reaction time differences between reading groups was corroborated on a control task which measured verbal response time to nonspeech stimuli. However, below average readers were significantly less accurate at repeating the multisyllabic and pseudoword stimuli. This evidence is compatible with the hypothesis that encoding difficulties contribute to the memory deficits characteristic of poor readers.