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Reading fluency and adolescent students' reading processes during writing

, University of Washington, United States

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Washington . Awarded


Reading is an important part of the writing process, and mature writers frequently reread their developing texts as they compose. From basic proofreading to planning and idea generation, reading-during-writing processes can facilitate text production in many ways. If word-recognition processes are inefficient, however, reading-during-writing processes may be constrained. The primary aim of this study was to determine the effects of reading fluency skills on the reading-during-writing processes of adolescent students. One group of fluent (N = 18) and one group of less fluent (N = 18) 7th and 8th grade readers composed narrative and expository texts, while an eye-tracking device recorded students' eye movements during composing sessions to measure reading patterns. Eye movement patterns were coded as monitoring (eye fixations on the most recently composed words), reading (eye fixations on previously written text), prompt (eye fixations on the writing prompt), or off-text. Repeated-measures ANOVAs showed that although fluent readers composed higher quality texts, the reading-during-writing behaviors did not differ significantly across groups. In both groups, adolescent students exhibited high levels of monitoring and relatively little reading processes.

In a secondary analysis designed to examine the effects of writing skill upon reading-during-writing processes, students were grouped according to gender. Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed robust differences in reading-during-writing processes. When writing essays, girls employed more reading behaviors, exhibited less monitoring, and wrote higher quality texts than boys. These findings parallel national reports of persistent gender gaps in writing performance, and begin to explain how different writing processes (including reading-during-writing) contribute to this gap. Increased reading-during-writing processes may indicate “border crossings” into knowledge transforming approaches to writing (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1987), which rely upon frequent interactions with the developing text. Effective approaches to writing instruction and intervention may need to pay increasing attention to the development of reading-during-writing processes.


Beers, S.F. Reading fluency and adolescent students' reading processes during writing. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Washington. Retrieved July 27, 2021 from .

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