Reading and Writing

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 475–494 | Cite as

Revisiting assumptions about the relationship of fluent reading to comprehension: Spanish-speakers’ text-reading fluency in English



Despite the growing body of research investigating the nature of text-reading fluency and its relationship to comprehension among monolingual children, very little is known about text-reading fluency for language minority (LM) learners reading in English. The present study investigated the nature of text-reading fluency—its relationship to reading comprehension and its predictors—for 76 Spanish-speaking LM fifth graders. Text-reading fluency explained unique variance in reading comprehension above and beyond word-reading fluency and oral language competencies, but its effect was not robust. The impact of text-reading fluency on comprehension was moderated by an interaction such that only students with proficient text-reading fluency and well-developed oral language demonstrated skilled comprehension. Word-reading fluency and decoding skill were significant predictors of text-reading fluency. The results suggest that existing assumptions about the relationship between text-reading fluency and comprehension may not readily apply to LM learners.


Language minority learners English as a second language Fluency Reading comprehension Oral reading 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and EducationHarvard Graduate School of EducationCambridgeUSA

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