The relations among oral and silent reading fluency and comprehension in middle school: Implications for identification and instruction of students with reading difficulties


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relations among oral and silent reading fluency and reading comprehension for students in Grades 6 to 8 (n = 1,421) and the use of fluency scores to identify middle school students who are at risk for failure on a high-stakes reading test. Results indicated moderate positive relations between measures of fluency and comprehension. Oral reading fluency (ORF) on passages was more strongly related to reading comprehension than ORF on word lists. A group-administered silent reading sentence verification test approximated the classification accuracy of individually administered ORF passages. The correlation between a maze task and comprehension was weaker than has been reported for elementary students. The best predictor of a high-stakes reading comprehension test was the previous year's administration of the grade-appropriate test; fluency and verbal knowledge measures accounted for only small amounts of unique variance beyond that accounted for by the previous year's administration.




Copyright 2011 Scientific Studies of Reading. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Denton, Carolyn A., Amy E. Barth, Jack M. Fletcher, Jade Wexler, Sharon Vaughn, Paul T. Cirino, Melissa Romain, and David J. Francis. "The Relations Among Oral and Silent Reading Fluency and Comprehension in Middle School: Implications For Identification and Instruction of Students with Reading Difficulties." Scientific Studies of Reading 15, no. 2 (2011): 109-135. doi: 10.1080/10888431003623546. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author's permission.