Modeling Oral Reading Fluency Development in Latino Students: A Longitudinal Study Across Second and Third Grade

Stephanie Al Otaiba, Yaacov Petscher, N. Eleni Pappamihiel, Rihana S. Williams, Allison K. Dyrlund, Carol Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


This study examines growth in oral reading fluency across 2nd and 3rd grade for Latino students grouped in 3 English proficiency levels: students receiving English as a second language (ESL) services (n = 2,182), students exited from ESL services (n = 965), and students never designated as needing services (n = 1,857). An important focus was to learn whether, within these 3 groups, proficiency levels and growth were reliably related to special education status. Using hierarchical linear modeling, the authors compared proficiency levels and growth in oral reading fluency in English between and within groups and then to state reading benchmarks. Findings indicate that oral reading fluency scores reliably distinguished between students with learning disabilities and typically developing students within each group (effect sizes ranging from 0.96 to 1.51). The growth trajectory included a significant quadratic trend (generally slowing over time). These findings support the effectiveness of using oral reading fluency in English to screen and monitor reading progress under Response to Intervention models, but also suggest caution in interpreting oral reading fluency data as part of the process in identifying students with learning disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-329
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • English language learners
  • progress monitoring
  • reading development
  • reading fluency
  • response to intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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