Individual differences in oral reading fluency improvement captured in an oral book reading activity

Individual differences in oral reading fluency improvement captured in an oral book reading activity

First Author: Zuowei Wang -- Educational Testing Service
Additional authors/chairs: 
Anastassia Loukina; John Sabatini; Beata Beigman Klebanov; Tenaha O'Reilly
Keywords: Development, Book Reading, Individual Differences, Fluency, Text Complexity
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose. It is generally believed that reading more books is beneficial to reading development. Less is known about how book reading affects reading development in individuals. The purpose of this study is to examine individual differences in reading development when grade 3-5 children read aloud a book.
Method. About 100 grade 3-5 students read the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Lexile level: 880L, comparable to end of grade 5) in the mobile app RelayReaderTM, in which they took turns with a recorded professional narrator reading aloud the book. Children’s oral reading responses were captured and scored. Oral reading fluency as reflected by word-correct-per-minute (WCPM) was monitored as children read aloud the book. Longitudinal modeling was performed to examine WCPM changes across the book. The relation between students’ reading level and growth rate in WCPM was examined.
Results. Longitudinal modeling showed that students on average gained 8 WCPM with each 100 oral reading turns, which is equivalent to about 6 months of oral reading development at that age (Hasbrouck & Tindal, 2006, using Fall norms). The longitudinal modeling also showed that students who had higher WCPM (intercept) tended to show slower growth rate (slope), indicating that the book reading activity particularly benefited less fluent readers.
Conclusions. Results suggest that monitoring reading development from children’s oral book reading activities is promising. Importantly, the benefit of book reading for students’ oral reading fluency development may be dependent on students’ reading level (relative to the text readability of the book.