© A. Etges/Mercator-Institut

Reading and writing fluency –

Conceptualization, assessment and support

The ability to understand and write texts in academic language is one of the core skills in an information society. An effortless command of lower-order skills is a key prerequisite for higher-order reading and writing proficiency: only a person who is able to read and write texts fluently will have sufficient free cognitive capacity to cope with demanding tasks such as the understanding or planning of texts.

Nonetheless, not all pupils have an adequate command of lower-order skills, with the result that they are unable to cope on their own with many everyday tasks in the classroom, regardless of the subject being taught. To address this, these skills need to be appropriately assessed and the right support provided. There is a lack of relevant assessment tools and intervention programmes in the German-speaking world, however, and this is particularly true in secondary education.

The research project Reading and writing fluency – conceptualization, assessment and support therefore aims first to develop suitable methods for assessing reading and writing fluency in secondary education; these will be made available as assessment tools for educational practice and for further research, but will also be needed for an interventional approach that is to be designed and implemented in the second project phase. The test and intervention are targeted at pupils whose first or second language is German. The expected scientific findings include in particular insights into the relationships between lower- and higher-order skills and between reading and writing skills.

Reading and writing fluency – conceptualization, assessment and support is a joint project of the Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education and of Professor Hilde Haider at the Department of Psychology at the University of Cologne. The project is designed to run for three years and is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the joint governmental and federal initiative Education through Language and Literacy (ELaL).

At a glance


The objective of the project is to develop assessment methods and support concepts with respect to reading and writing fluency in secondary school pupils. In addition, insights will be gained into the relationship between fluency aspects and higher-order skills such as the planning and understanding of texts.

Funded by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research


November 2015 - April 2019

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Michael Becker-Mrotzek

Prof. Dr. Hilde Haider

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Roth

Project Team

Dr. Evghenia Goltsev
Valerie Lemke
Dr. Sabine Stephany

back to top