The contribution of reading fluency and decoding on reading comprehension and the relation between reading fluency and writing fluency in upper elementary grades
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Reading comprehension is considered to consist of decoding and linguistic comprehension. However, some researchers have argued that a third component should be considered---reading fluency. Although reading fluency is an important component of reading comprehension, little evidence indicates how much variance in reading comprehension can be explained by reading fluency, or how much the difference in degree of variance is rooted in test format differences. Therefore, the goal of this study is to identify how reading fluency predicts reading comprehension using a multiple linear regression model for fourth and fifth graders. In addition, writing fluency may correlate with reading fluency, as reading and writing moderately correlate with each other. However, few studies have examined these assumptions. This study addresses the following research questions: 1. How do reading fluency and decoding contribute to reading comprehension in the upper elementary grades? Do the contributions of reading fluency and decoding differ depending on how reading comprehension is measured? 2. What is the relation between reading fluency and writing fluency in the upper elementary grades? Results indicate that reading fluency and decoding predict 40.4% to 57.4% of the variance of reading comprehension, regardless of how reading comprehension is measured. Specifically, reading fluency contributed 31.7% of the variance associated with the Gates-MacGinitie, 35.7% associated with the TOSREC, and 40.8% associated with WJ3 Passage Comprehension. An additional 8.9%, 8.3%, and 16.6% of variance for the Gates-MacGinitie, TOSREC, and WJ3 Passage Comprehension, respectively, can be explained by decoding. According to the second set of hierarchical regressions, 37.1%, 39.2%, and 54.8% of the variance of the Gates-MacGinitie, TOSREC, and WJ-III Passage Comprehension, respectively, can be explained by decoding. When reading fluency was entered as a step 2, an additional 3.5%, 4.8%, and 2.6% of the variance for the Gates-MacGinitie, TOSREC, and WJ3 Passage Comprehension, respectively, is accounted for by reading fluency. With regard to the relation between reading fluency and writing fluency, statistically significant positive medium correlations with a range of .448 to .488 were found, which is aligned with the findings from previous studies.