The best single measure of a child's reading proficiency in the elementary grades is oral reading fluency (ORF). ORF has been shown to be a powerful predictor of overall reading competence and comprehension.1
Children were given a passage of connected text to read aloud in one minute. An assessor kept track of the time and whether or not any mistakes were made. Mistakes were subtracted from the number of words read. The number of words read correctly per minute (CWPM) is the ORF score.
The numbers shown represent the regions of Egypt that participated in the study. See map of study regions.
|Average Oral Reading Fluency - correct words per minute|
|Percent Who Could Not Read A Single Word of Connected Text|
1 Jan Hasbrouck and Gerald Tindal. "Oral reading fluency norms: A valuable assessment tool for reading teachers." The Reading Teacher Vol. 59, No. 7 April 2006.
Results based on fewer than 10 cases are not shown in the figure.
Statistical significance is based on a p≤0.05.
Reading Comprehension and Oral Reading Fluency
- Grade 3 students had an average oral reading fluency (ORF) rate of 22 words per minute (WPM).
- Twenty-two percent of grade 3 students were unable to read a single word.
- More than one third (36 percent) of grade 3 students were unable to answer a single reading comprehension question.
- Reading comprehension improved as average oral reading fluency improved. The average reading fluency rate for students answering one to six comprehension questions increased from 17 WPM (one question) to 26 WPM (two questions) to 54 WPM (six questions).