The role of reading fluency in the development of comprehension skills on children and adults in the literacy acquisition

The role of reading fluency in the development of comprehension skills on children and adults in the literacy acquisition

First Author: Kadine Saraiva de Carvalho -- University of Santa Cruz do Sul
Additional authors/chairs: 
Rosângela Gabriel; Marilane Gregory; Régine Kolinsky; José Morais
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Fluency, literacy acquisition, Cognitive skills, TIL/Lobrot
Abstract / Summary: 

According to the simple view of reading (Hoover & Gough, 1990), reading is the product of decoding and linguistic comprehension. Nevertheless, phonic instruction is criticized by supporters of the global approach in Brazil, even students presenting low performance in reading comprehension tests compared to other countries (PISA, 2018). Therefore, further studies considering the influence of decoding skills in proficient reading are necessary. This study aims at investigating the relation between fluency and comprehension by Brazilian children and adults in the literacy acquisition. The study was carried out in South of Brazil with a) 40 children in 1st year (C1); b) 35 children in 2nd year of elementary school (C2); c) 18 illiterate and late literate adults (ILLA); and d) 25 literate adults (LA), matched in socioeconomics status (SES). Three tests were conducted: word and pseudoword reading; fluency in word and pseudoword reading and reading comprehension (TIL/Lobrot). While there was a slight difference between words and pseudowords reading in the first test in all groups, the difference became more evident when fluency was considered (words and pseudowords read in 1 min). Performance of ILLA group in TIL/Lobrot test was similar to children in C2. The study suggests that fluency predicts ability in reading comprehension. Thus, variations in fluency have an important role in reading comprehension since the beginning of literacy and should be considered in children and adults beginning literacy programs (Baddeley, 2000; Cardoso-Martins & Navas, 2016; Gabriel; Morais; Kolinsky, 2015).