Degree Date

12-2003

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Reading and Language

First Advisor

Dr. Camille Blachowicz

Second Advisor

Dr. Peter Fisher

Third Advisor

Dr. Jan Perney

Abstract

A descriptive study of second language adults studying ESL at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels in a post-secondary academic program revealed that their oral reading fluency had a significant, low-to-moderate correlation with scores on a measure of silent reading comprehension. The correlation was slightly stronger for measures of accuracy than speed, and strongest for miscue ratio. The correlation increased as proficiency level increased. Among different first language groups, the correlation was highest for Hispanic learners, and lowest for Chinese. Furthermore, all fluency measures correlated better with a listening measure than with the silent reading comprehension measure. When a system of using words correct per minute was contrasted with a fluency rubric using descriptive measures of expressive reading, the correlation with silent reading was found to be almost the same, but the system of words correct per minute had higher reliability. A miscue analysis of seven intermediate learners' oral reading indicated that speed does not necessarily increase as silent reading proficiency increases, but accuracy does; Chinese students are a "special case" who do not fit the profile of the other language groups; and the value of miscue analysis with this population is somewhat limited because of the foreign accent problem. It was also found that the fluency tools mirrored overall progress in proficiency level, and listening comprehension predicted silent reading comprehension better than any fluency measure or combination of measures, with little increase in predictive power by adding fluency measures.

 

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