Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fluency Part 6 Neurological impress method

The Neurological Impress Method (NIM).

Before the reading the reading guide should ask the child to scan the cover and title of the book. The reading guide should then ask the reader to look at the illustrations and think about similar life experiences. After browsing through the book and discussing each picture he/she is then asked to predict what what he/she thinks will happen in the story.

The reading guide then reads the story to the child by modeling fluent and expressive reading. This will familiarise the him/her with the flow of the language. It makes the reading much more predictable because the meaning of the story will have been dealt with before he/she has to to read. The reading guide then discusses various aspects of the story with the child to clarify and elaborate on interesting features. Unfamiliar vocabulary is also identified and explained.

The next step involves reading orally in unison. The child should be directed to keep pace with the adult reader even if some of the words are not read correctly. If the child happens to trip on a word he/she must catch up to the reading guide to maintain the reading flow. This will develop the ability to read ahead rather than reading word by word. It also enhances fluency because the reader must predict and sample larger chunks of text to maintain the pace and flow.

Often unskilled readers are quite surprised by how quickly their reading improves after only a few sessions.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fluency Part 5 Highlight Phrases

Fluency is not just about reading words accurately and with speed, it also includes prosody and comprehension. Prosody is reading with expression and it includes using appropriate intonation, pitch, modulation and pausing. There would seem to be a close relationship between prosody and comprehension.

A major problem that can minimise reading comprehension is slow word-by-word reading. This style of reading eats up limited working memory resources and stifles expressive reading. One effective way to maximise working-memory resources and to enhance prosody is to chunk the reading by reading whole phrases rather than individual words.

This can be done by using a highlighter to highlight phrases on a photocopy of a storybook page (or a highlighted word doc.). The reading guide then models the reading by reading each phrase and using the appropriate expression. The child then reads by following the expert reader's example.

Fluency Part 4. Prefixes

Following on from part 3.

In the previous blog we looked at the root words to develop chunks of meaning within words. We discovered that the identification of the root word could be used to help make the reading of some longer words more automatic. 

There are also parts of words that are meaningful such as prefixes. Prefixes are added to the beginnings of words to change their meaning. Thus, developing an awareness of prefixes and root words can enhance your child's ability to decode word's and their meanings. In fact, if your child learns  re-, in-, dis-, un- he/she will have a key to the decoding of approximately two thirds of all English words that have prefixes.

One activity that you could be used with your child is to set up a cork pin board with collection of words that have been discovered in your  reading together sessions. 

N.B. Make this a fun activity - reading at home should be enjoyable. Make it into a game, you could call it word detective.