Volume 40, Issue 3 (2011)
Effects of Reading Comprehension on Passage Fluency in Spanish and English for Second-Language Learners
Doris Luft Baker, Mike Stoolmiller, Roland H. Good III, and Scott K. Baker
Abstract. We empirically examined the effect of reading comprehension on passage fluency in English and Spanish in the context of Cummins interdependence hypothesis (1979) and Perfetti’s blueprint of the General Components of Reading (1999). Participants were 96 second-grade English learners being taught to read in Spanish and English. Measures in both languages were used to assess word reading, passage fluency, and reading comprehension. Results of structural equation modeling (SEM) indicated that (a) Spanish and English passage fluency are both affected by comprehension even after taking word list fluency into account, and (b) the structure of the relation of word reading fluency and reading comprehension to passage fluency appears to be constant across languages. These findings support passage fluency as an indicator of reading proficiency in two alphabetic languages that vary in the transparency of their orthographies. Implications for school psychologists are discussed.
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