Reading and Writing

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 517–542 | Cite as

Word reading fluency: A transfer appropriate processing account of fluency transfer

  • Sandra Lyn Martin-Chang
  • Betty Ann Levy


Word reading fluency, as indexed by the fast and accurate identification of single words, predicts both general reading ability and reading comprehension. This study compared the effects of context training and isolated word training on subsequent measures of word reading fluency. Good and poor readers were given 12 repetitions of two sets of words; 48 new words were learned in each condition. Words were presented in a story during context training and on a computer screen during isolated word training. Target words were read in isolation at test, randomly displayed within a series containing 72 untrained words. Results show that words trained in isolation are remembered longer and read faster when presented in isolation at test compared to words trained in context. Theoretical implications are discussed in relation to transfer appropriate processing.


Contextual facilitation Reading fluency Transfer appropriate processing 


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This paper was part of the first author’s doctoral thesis. We thank Ellen Gong, Joann Lim and our anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this paper, as well as the principals, teachers, and children for their continued support and participation. This research was supported by a graduate fellowship to the first author and an operating grant to the second author, both from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McMaster University HamiltonCanda
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMount Allison UniversitySackvilleCanada

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