Building Reading Fluency

by | Aug 13, 2018 | 0 comments

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluent readers read aloud as if they are speaking. Readers who have not yet developed fluency read slowly, word by word.

Fluent readers can group words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read, rather than decoding each word. Less-fluent readers must focus their attention on figuring out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding meaning.

How Can I Help My Student Become a More Fluent Reader?

1. Model How To Read Fluently

You show a student how a fluent reader sounds during reading when you read effortlessly and with expression to them. Listening to good models of fluent reading helps students learn how a reader’s voice can help written text make sense.

  • Read a passage aloud and instruct your student to follow along. Then, ask your student to read the passage with you, in unison. Next, have the student read the same passage aloud by him/herself.
  • For early readers and struggling readers, it’s best to read only two sentences at a time, rather than the entire passage.
  • Help ensure your student is reading books at their reading level. If you think a book is too easy or too hard, ask the teacher for help finding an appropriate book.
  • Suggest the child ask a parent to call the library’s Dial-A-Story at 816.701.3456 to listen to stories read aloud. (Hopefully, the student will call it many times!)
2. Repeated Reading

It is also very effective to have your student repeat the reading passages as you offer guidance. After you model how to read the text, have the student reread it aloud multiple times. By doing this, the student engages in repeated reading. Students benefit from practicing their reading orally with an opportunity to receive guidance and corrections (if necessary).

  • Usually, having students read an unfamiliar passage four times, aloud, is sufficient to improve fluency. (Yes, having the student read the same passage aloud to you, multiple times really works!)
  • Remember, it is the actual time students are actively engaged in reading that produces reading gains.
  • Reading to children also increases their knowledge of the world, their vocabulary, their familiarity with written language (“book language“), and their interest in reading.
  • Remember to stay positive! Your student will make it with your kind support!


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