The ability to detect fluctuation in students' comprehension of text would be very useful for many intelligent tutoring systems. The obvious solution of inserting comprehension questions is limited in its application because it interrupts the flow of reading. To investigate whether we can detect comprehension fluctuations simply by observing the reading process itself, we developed a statistical model of 7805 responses by 289 children in grades 1-4 to multiple-choice comprehension questions in Project LISTEN's Reading Tutor, which listens to children read aloud and helps them learn to read. Machine-observable features of students' reading behavior turned out to be statistically significant predictors of their performance on individual questions.
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