Justin Wise and colleague examined the reading comprehension of students with differing problems in reading fluency. Some of the students only had difficulty with reading connected text fluently, but others had difficulty in reading connected text and individual words fluently. They found that for both groups the ability to read individual real words fluently was the strongest predictor of reading comprehension.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine whether different measures of oral reading fluency relate differentially to reading comprehension performance in two samples of second grade students: 1) students who evidenced difficulties with nonsense word oral reading fluency, real word oral reading fluency, and oral reading fluency of connected text (ORFD), and 2) students who only evidenced oral reading fluency of connected text difficulties (CTD).
Methods: Participants (ORFD, n = 146 and CTD, n = 949) were second grade students recruited for participation in different reading intervention studies. Data analyzed were from measures of nonsense word oral reading fluency, real word oral reading fluency, oral reading fluency of connected text, and reading comprehension collected at the pre-intervention time point.
Results: Correlational and path analyses indicated that real word oral reading fluency was the strongest predictor of reading comprehension performance in both samples and across average and poor reading comprehension abilities.
Conclusions: Results of this study indicated that real word oral reading fluency was the strongest predictor of reading comprehension and suggest that real word oral reading fluency may be an efficient method for identifying potential reading comprehension difficulties for a more comprehensive evaluation.
Wise, J. C., Sevcik, R. A., Morris, R. D., Lovett, M. W., Wolf, M., Kuhn, M., … Schwanenflugel, P. (2010). The relationship between different measures of oral reading fluency and reading comprehension in second grade students who evidence different oral reading fluency difficulties. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, published in advance. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0093)