Should the simple view of reading include a ﬂuency component?
SUZANNE M. ADLOF
, HUGH W. CATTS
and TODD D. LITTLE
Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders, University of Kansas,
Lawrence, KS, USA;
Life Span Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
Abstract. The Simple View of Reading states that reading comprehension is the product
of word recognition and listening comprehension. Whereas much research has focused
on word recognition accuracy, recent attention has been directed toward word recog-
nition ﬂuency. The current study investigated whether a separate ﬂuency component
should be added to the Simple View of Reading. A battery of reading and language
measures was administered to 604 children in second, fourth, and eighth grades.
Approximately half these children had language and/or nonverbal cognitive impair-
ments in kindergarten, but weighting procedures were used to reduce the potential bias
this sampling characteristic may have entailed. Structural equation modeling was used
to determine whether ﬂuency accounted for unique variance in reading comprehension
after controlling for word recognition accuracy and listening comprehension. Individual
proﬁle analyses were conducted to determine the number of individual participants
who had poor ﬂuency in the spite of good word recognition accuracy and listening
comprehension. Results showed that ﬂuency did not account for unique variance in
reading comprehension and that few individuals had problems in ﬂuency separate from
word recognition accuracy or listening comprehension. Thus, it does not appear that a
separate ﬂuency component should be added to the Simple View of Reading.
Key words: Fluency, Listening comprehension, Reading comprehension, Simple View of
Reading, Word recognition
The Simple View of Reading (Gough & Tunmer, 1986; Hoover & Gough,
1990) states that reading comprehension is the product of two processes:
word recognition and linguistic comprehension. Word recognition refers
to the ability to read printed words without the aid of context, and
linguistic comprehension refers to the ability to understand language.
Most studies of the Simple View have estimated the latter ability using
listening comprehension tasks, in which participants listen to passages
and answer comprehension questions. Research has shown that measures
of word recognition and listening comprehension skills account for a
large amount (45–85%) of the variance in reading comprehension (Catts,
Hogan, & Adlof, 2005; Dreyer & Katz, 1992; Hoover & Gough, 1990).
Reading and Writing (2006) 19:933–958 Ó Springer 2006