Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

Developing Fluent Text Processing with Practice: Memorial Influences on Fluency and Comprehension

Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

Developing Fluent Text Processing with Practice: Memorial Influences on Fluency and Comprehension

Article excerpt

A great deal of research has examined predictors related to the development of reading fluency and reading comprehension. Whilst a number of studies support the relationship between the development of reading fluency and subsequent improvements in reading comprehension, many studies have shown faster and more accurate decoding does not automatically lead to better comprehension. Often overlooked is the role of the text representation that is encoded in memory during reading and its influence on skilled reading comprehension. In this article, the authors review literature that explores the relationship between text representation and fluent reading. Based upon the results of this review, the authors suggest that the type of representation formed during reading is closely related to the development of both skilled reading comprehension and fluent reading.

Keywords: fluency, text representation, repetition fact, reading comprehension

The development of a skilled reader is a remarkable process. Over a relatively short period of time, a reader progresses from labourious word-by-word decoding to quickly and accurately understanding and constructing meaning contained in sentences, paragraphs, and entire passages. There has been considerable research on a number of predictors related to the development of reading comprehension, including phonological awareness, naming speed, and orthographic knowledge. However, the role of the text representation that is encoded in memory during reading and its influence on skilled reading comprehension is often overlooked. In this paper, we make the suggestion that the type of representation formed during reading seems to be closely related to the development of not only skilled reading comprehension, but also the development of reading fluency. To illustrate the relationship between text representation, comprehension and fluency, we start by reviewing literature concerning the kind of text representation laid down in memory. Following this, we explore the relationship between text representation and fluent text processing by outlining a recent model of text representation that can explain seemingly contradictory results. Finally, we review several studies that illustrate that the type of text representation influences both reading fluency and skilled reading comprehension.

To understand ideas regarding the nature of text representation, one must first understand the text repetition task, which is the procedure used to investigate the nature of text representation. Individuals read a passage and then read a version of that passage again. The measure of interest is known as the repetition effect/ benefit or transfer and is the difference in reading time between the first and second reading. Researchers have consistently found that readers of all ability levels display a repetition effect when reading the same text a second time (see Levy, 1993, 2001; Raney, 2003; Rashotte & Torgesen, 1985, for reviews). Upon rereading, the text is read more fluently (faster and more accurately) with no loss in comprehension. It is well accepted that this effect is attributable to a memory representation of the text formed during the first reading, which is recruited to facilitate processing during subsequent readings. Using this methodology, researchers can systematically manipulate perceptual, lexical, syntactic, and conceptual features between readings to investigate how texts are represented in memory. The size of the repetition effect is used as an index of how much the first reading facilitates processing during the second encounter. In conjunction with the experimental manipulations, a repetition effect serves as an implicit measure of the kind of text representation formed during the first reading (Levy, 1993).

Though a number of studies have investigated the nature of text representation, there is little consensus as to how text memory facilitates reading. At the heart of the debate is the question of whether the repetition effect is mediated by abstract word representations or by specific episodic text representations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.