Text Reading Fluency and Text Reading Comprehension Do Not Rely on the Same Abilities in University Students With and Without Dyslexia


  • Brèthes Hélène
  • Cavalli Eddy
  • Denis-Noël Ambre
  • Melmi Jean-Baptiste
  • El Ahmadi Abdessadek
  • Bianco Maryse
  • Colé Pascale

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Developmental dyslexia is a specific learning condition characterized by severe and persistent difficulties in written word recognition, decoding and spelling that may impair both text reading fluency and text reading comprehension. Despite this, some adults with dyslexia successfully complete their university studies even though graduating from university involves intensive exposure to long and complex texts. This study examined the cognitive skills underlying both text reading comprehension and text reading fluency (TRF) in a sample of 54 university students with dyslexia and 63 university students without dyslexia, based on a set of tests adapted for an adult population, including listening comprehension, word reading, pseudoword reading (i.e., decoding), phonemic awareness, spelling, visual span, reading span, vocabulary, non-verbal reasoning, and general knowledge. The contribution of these skills to text reading fluency and text reading comprehension was examined using stepwise multiplicative linear regression analyses. As far as TRF is concerned, a regression model including word reading, pseudoword reading and spelling best fits the data, while a regression model including listening comprehension, general knowledge and vocabulary best fits the data obtained for text reading comprehension. Overall, these results are discussed in the light of the current literature on adults with dyslexia and both text reading fluency and text reading comprehension.

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