Students learning to read in more than one language, or emerging biliterates, are becoming increasingly common in schools. Early screening and identification of reading difficulties may lead to better outcomes for emerging biliterates as well as monolingual English students. Oral reading fluency (ORF) is one tool shown to be both a reliable measure of reading and an accurate method of identification of students at risk for poor reading outcomes. This project sought to build validity evidence for the use of ORF as a screening tool with emerging biliterates. Study one, a systematic review of literature, sought to synthesize available validity evidence for ORF with emerging biliterates. Studies were included that were empirical investigations about the use of ORF with emerging biliterate students in grades K through 8. All included studies (n = 25) were conducted with English language learners. Results suggested that although ORF is correlated with reading outcomes, the accuracy of ORF to identify emerging biliterates at risk of poor reading outcomes did not meet criteria. The strength of validity evidence differed by language proficiency of participants. Finally, there were substantial flaws in the quality of the reviewed studies. Study two, an empirical study at a German immersion school, sought to evaluate the use of ORF as a reading screening tool across German and English for students in third (n = 60), fourth (n = 60), and fifth grade (n = 42). Students were given ORF in English and German in winter, and a German proficiency and English reading exam in the spring. ORF in English, the first language of participants, was a good measure of reading and an accurate screening tool when predicting English and German outcome measures. English ORF outperformed German ORF as a predictor in all instances. Overall, results of the present studies suggest that though ORF has promise as a screening tool, more evidence is needed before it can be considered a valid, accurate screening tool for emerging biliterates.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2018. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisors: Robin Codding, Amanda Sullivan. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 127 pages.
An evaluation of the use of oral reading fluency as a screening tool with emerging biliterates.
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