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7 Nov 2006

The Effects of Text Difficulty on Second Graders' Fluency Development

Elfrieda H. Hiebert, University of California, Berkeley

Journal Article

Hiebert, E. H., (2005). The effects of text difficulty on second graders’ fluency development. Reading Psychology, 26(2), 183-209.


In this study, two groups of second graders participated in Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction (FORI) but their repeated reading experiences used different kinds of texts. One group — the Literature group — read texts from the district’s literature-based, basal reading program. The second group — the Content group — read from a set of science and social studies texts that were written to have few rare, multisyllabic, single-appearing words. Control group students read from the district’s literature-based program.

Both intervention groups made greater gains in reading rate than control group students and Content students made greater gains in reading rate than Literature students. Content and Literature groups outperformed Control students on the comprehension measure but did not perform significantly differently from one another. These gains on the part of Content classrooms were made in approximately half the amount of time allocated to reading instruction than in Literature classrooms.