If your child struggles with reading fluency and you find it difficult to listen to him or her read aloud, this blog post is for you!
This is the second blog post in my series on reading fluency. If you haven't already, I recommend you start with the first blog post titled "Why does my child read like a robot?" It explains why reading fluency is important to becoming a proficient reader.
Fluency is essential for academic success and increases reading enjoyment and satisfaction.
But what exactly is reading fluency?
This blog post will discuss:
What is reading fluency?
What are its main components?
What is Reading Fluency?
Reading fluency is the necessary step between automatic word recognition and comprehension. This is because once a child can read fluently, they can focus their attention on understanding what the text means rather than decoding.
And fluent reading is more than just reading quickly. Instead, it means that when your child reads, he or she is all EARS…
Your child can read with:
Automatic word recognition
Rhythm and phrasing
This acronym from Timothy V. Rasinski and Melissa Cheesman Smith's book Megabook of Fluency helped me better understand what it means to read fluently.
Let's take a closer look at each component of fluency.
Expression- reading expressively with appropriate rhythm and phrasing that reflects the meaning of the text.
Expressive reading is linked to comprehension because your child must be able to understand the meaning of the passage or story to read it with good expression and rhythm.
Expressive reading provides clues about the speaker's attitude or affective state. For example, "yeah, that was a great party." can mean the speaker liked the party or the exact opposite depending on the speaker's tone.
Automatic word recognition- being able to accurately and automatically recognize words.
Automatically being able to recognize words is essential to reading comprehension. When your child can do this, it means that they can focus their attention on the meaning of the text rather than decoding words.
Even if your child can accurately decode words, if he or she cannot recognize the words automatically, they will struggle to read fluently.
Rhythm and Phrasing- reading in meaningful phrases and chunks instead of reading word by word.
To read with proper phrasing, your child must use punctuation marks as a guide and understand the purpose of each punctuation mark.
For example, look at the following sentence:
The children thanked their parents because they were able to go to Disney World.
It would be tiring to listen to your child read the same sentence word by word at the same pace.
Fluent readers naturally group phrases, like this:
The children thanked…their parents because…they were able to…go to Disney World.
Smoothness- the ability to recognize or decode words accurately and self-correct errors quickly.
The more smoothly your child reads, the faster and more efficiently he or she can process the text. This allows them to better comprehend the author's meaning and remember the information.
Oral Fluency Improves Reading Comprehension
So, what does all this mean?
When it comes to reading fluency, if your child is all EARS, he or she can:
recognize words more quickly and accurately.
process the text more efficiently.
stay engaged with the text.
draw meaningful connections between the different parts of the text.
and most importantly, comprehend what he or she is reading.
How do I get my child to be all EARS?
Reading is important not only for success in school but success in life. I've worked with many parents who desire their children to be able to read without crying or feeling stressed. And I'm sure you desire the same for your child.
Reading is a skill that some children struggle with. Fortunately, there are non-stressful things you can do to help your child become a more fluent reader.
I’ve put together this guide for parents who want to help their child improve their reading fluency.
Download your free guide here: FREE PARENT GUIDE and help your child improve their reading fluency today.