School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Jessica Talada


alphabetic knowledge, grapheme, lexical quality, oral reading fluency, orthographic knowledge, phoneme




The purpose of this quantitative, predictive correlational study was to explore the predictive ability of beginning of the year scores of Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF), Oral Reading Fluency (ORF), and scores from a Primary Spelling Inventory (PSI) at mid-year ORF scores for second-grade students in a rural school district in central Pennsylvania. Because reading skills are strongly linked to positive academic and life outcomes, the identification of students who may have reading difficulties is a critical task for schools. Alphabetic and orthographic knowledge is central to reading development and essential for educators to understand the reading aptitude of students. This study included a convenience sample of 124 second-grade participants from two elementary schools in rural Pennsylvania. A linear multiple regression analysis was used to determine how accurately can ORF scores can be predicted from a linear combination of scores from the beginning of the year reading and spelling benchmarks. The null hypothesis was tested and rejected at the 95% confidence level, where F(3, 120) = 327.12 and p < .001. There was a significant relationship between the combination of predictor variables and the criterion variable. Approximately 89% of the variance of the criterion variable can be explained by the linear combination of predictor variables. Only beginning of the year ORF was found to significantly predict mid-year ORF scores (p < .001). Limitations, implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

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