Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio, Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Charles Bleiker

Third Advisor's Name

Mohammed K. Farouk

Fourth Advisor's Name

Joyce Fine


reading comprehension, oral reading fluency, prosody, reading proficiency, diverse learners

Date of Defense



Exploring the relationship between early oral reading fluency ability and reading comprehension achievement among an ethnically and racially diverse sample of young learners from low-income families, attending elementary school within a large public school district in southeast Florida is the purpose of this longitudinal study. Although many studies have been conducted to address the relationship between oral reading fluency ability and reading comprehension achievement, most of the existing research failed either to disaggregate the data by demographic subgroups or secure a large enough sample of students to adequately represent the diverse subgroups.

The research questions that guided this study were: (a) To what extent does early oral reading fluency ability measured in first, second, or third grade correlate with reading comprehension achievement in third grade? (b) To what extent does the relationship of early oral reading fluency ability and reading comprehension achievement vary by demographic subgroup membership (i.e., gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status) among a diverse sample of students?

A predictive research design using archived secondary data was employed in this nonexperimental quantitative methods study of 1,663 third grade students who attended a cohort of 25 Reading First funded schools. The data analyzed derived from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Oral Reading Fluency (DIBELS ORF) measure administered in first, second, and third grades and the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test of the Sunshine State Standards (FCAT-SSS) Reading administered in third grade.

Linear regression analyses between each of the oral reading fluency and reading comprehension measures produced significant positive correlations. Hierarchical regression analyses supported the predictive potential of all three oral reading fluency ability measures toward reading comprehension achievement, with the first grade oral reading fluency ability measure explaining the most significant variance in third grade reading comprehension achievement.

Male students produced significant overall differences in variance when compared to female students as did the Other student subgroup (i.e., Asian, Multiracial, and Native American) when compared to Black, White, and Hispanic students. No significant differences in variance were produced between students from low and moderate socioeconomic families. These findings are vital toward adding to the literature of diverse young learners.





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