Effects of Fluency Training on Second Grade Students' Reading Comprehension

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Journal of Educational Research



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For years researchers have posited a strong relationship between developing students' reading fluency and concurrent improvements in reading comprehension. Although moderate-to-strong correlations between developing reading fluency and improved reading comprehension have recently been reported, no study has shown that direct training of students' reading fluency would result in improved reading comprehension ability. This study assessed the effects of developing second-grade students' oral reading fluency using the oral recitation lesson (ORL) and the effects that fluency training may have upon students' resulting reading comprehension. Subjects were randomly assigned to treatment groups, and instructional treatments were used for a full semester. At the conclusion of the study, second-grade subjects' fluency and comprehension in the ORL group and the round robin (RR) reading control group were compared. Results showed statistically different levels of fluency as measured by errors per minute (EPM) and statistically different levels of reading comprehension on three of four comprehension measures favoring the ORL treatment group over traditional RR reading. These results provide tentative evidence for a causal effect of fluency training upon students' reading comprehension as well as an argument against the use of a RR reading approach for developing either fluency or comprehension.