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ERIC Number: EJ1054613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
The Effects of Student and Text Characteristics on the Oral Reading Fluency of Middle-Grade Students
Barth, Amy E.; Tolar, Tammy D.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Francis, David
Journal of Educational Psychology, v106 n1 p162-180 Feb 2014
We evaluated the effects of student characteristics (sight word reading efficiency, phonological decoding, verbal knowledge, level of reading ability, grade, gender) and text features (passage difficulty, length, genre, and language and discourse attributes) on the oral reading fluency of a sample of middle-school students in Grades 6-8 (N = 1,794). Students who were struggling (n = 704) and typically developing readers (n = 1,028) were randomly assigned to read five 1-min passages from each of 5 Lexile bands (within student range of 550 Lexiles). A series of multilevel analyses showed that student and text characteristics contributed uniquely to oral reading fluency rates. Student characteristics involving sight word reading efficiency and level of decoding ability accounted for more variability than reader type and verbal knowledge, with small, but statistically significant effects of grade and gender. The most significant text feature was passage difficulty level. Interactions involving student text characteristics, especially attributes involving overall ability level and difficulty of the text, were also apparent. These results support views of the development of oral reading fluency that involve interactions of student and text characteristics and highlight the importance of scaling for passage difficulty level in assessing individual differences in oral reading fluency.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: P50 HD052117; K08 HD068545-01A1; K99HD061689; R305F100013