Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fluency Part 1

Fluency is important for comprehension because words are more meaningful when read in relation to other words.

One way to increase fluency is to use the repeated reading strategy. This strategy is often used to help make texts sympathetic to the reader. What is required is that a more expert reader will read the passage first to the child. Expert reader modelling will expose the child as to how a particular text should be read. The first reading should demonstrate speed of reading, expression, and intonation.

Before the initial reading of the passage the reading guide/expert should ask the child if he/she can see any difficult or unfamiliar words in the passage. If the child places a finger on each unfamiliar word and all the fingers on one hand are used (assuming that there are at least 100 words on the page) then the passage may be too difficult for the child. However, the technique of repeated readings can overcome this problem to some degree because the child can hear and see the word as it is being read aloud. However, each unfamiliar word should be discussed and put into context by giving examples of how it is used. It is important to browse through the passage and talk about the pictures in order to link the text ideas to the child's background knowledge or experiences. This is made more effective when the parent or caregiver strategically uses the new word while relating the text to the pictures. These strategies will enhance the child's ability to construct meaning during the reading.

 When it is the child's turn to read he/she has already processed the meaning and developed a feel for the language of the book. The child will be more able to predict and speed up the reading because to some degree he/she knows what is coming up in the story. This makes decoding easier because it is easier to decode a word that you expect to see. This process reduces the load on working memory and allows the child space to think about the story at the ghist or global level.

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