Seventh-grade students reading aloud: An examination of the relationship between rate and accuracy in oral reading and reading comprehension
Smith, Lori Rae
Many adolescents lack a necessary level of reading proficiency. Disaggregated data indicate severe inequities in reading outcomes for students in various demographic groups. This problem has serious implications for individuals and the nation and is difficult to address because there are multiple reasons why adolescents experience reading difficulty. Determining whether these students have acquired adequate basic reading skills is important. However, one of the challenges for educators is the scarce availability of technically adequate measures to inform decision making regarding when basic skills are adequate. This study examined the relation between students' rate and accuracy on a measure of oral reading administered in the fall and their comprehension, as measured by scores on the Oregon State Assessment of Reading and Literature taken in the spring. A total of 422 students in grade 7 participated. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine whether oral reading rate, and rate in combination with accuracy, predict scores on the state assessment, and whether these findings varied by subgroups. Additionally, a discriminant function analysis was conducted to determine whether rate and accuracy predict students' performance level on the state test while controlling for gender, ethnicity, economic status, and special education identification classification. Results indicated that rate of oral reading had a moderately strong correlation ( r = .62) and accuracy of oral reading had a modest correlation ( r = .48) with scores on the state reading test. Results of the multiple regression analyses indicated that 38% of the variance of scores on the state test was explained by rate. The addition of accuracy increased the variance explained to 40%. The discriminant function analysis resulted in a highly predictive model with 82% of students correctly classified. In addition, the discriminant function was strongly related to rate of oral reading, accuracy of oral reading, and special education classification. Gender, ethnicity, and economic disadvantage were not strongly related to the discriminant function. These results have positive implications for closing the achievement gap between minority and economically disadvantaged students and their peers. Implications for assessment and instruction are discussed.
- Theses and Dissertations