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Children’s Reading Comprehension and Oral Reading Fluency in Easy Text

Abstract

This study explored third-graders’ oral reading fluency (ORF) in easy text in relation to their third- and fourth-grade reading comprehension. It also examined the children’s performance on two different measures of text exposure, a self-report questionnaire and a title-recognition test. Although third-graders’ ORF related significantly to their reading comprehension, oral language comprehension accounted for most of the variance in reading comprehension, whereas single word reading speed accounted for most of the variance in ORF. Third-grade reading comprehension and ORF each predicted unique variance in children’s scores on a fourth-grade state-mandated reading comprehension assessment. Scores on the self-report questionnaire correlated significantly with third-grade ORF and fourth-grade reading; the self-report accounted for reliable variance in ORF even with all of the other reading ability variables entered first. Results are consistent with the viewpoint that text exposure affects reading fluency. They also demonstrate that ORF is a valuable predictor of middle-elementary children’s reading comprehension, even when the ORF measure employs very easy text in which children achieve near-perfect word accuracy.

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Correspondence to Louise Spear-Swerling.

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Spear-Swerling, L. Children’s Reading Comprehension and Oral Reading Fluency in Easy Text. Read Writ 19, 199–220 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-005-4114-x

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Keywords

  • Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Reading
  • Text exposure