Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fluency part 8 Prosody

Instruction in fluency should include practice in the prosodic features of reading. Prosody is a linguistic term that is used to describe the tonal and rhythmic qualities of spoken language. Prosaic features are variations in pitch (intonation), stress patterns (syllable prominence), and the duration (length of time) that contribute to expressive reading of a text. The research evidence supports the notion that when children read expressively they are more likely to understand and enjoy what they are reading. Thus, reading comprehension and prosody are intertwined.

Some ideas to help with developing prosody are:

  1. Model prosody by emphasising the tonal and rhythmic qualities of spoken language (in contrast show how reading in a monotone would sound).
  2. Use a taped audio or digital recording for your child to read-a-long (or listen to at bedtime - see earlier blog about bedtime reading).
  3. Use the highlighted phrases method (see earlier blog).
  4. Look for high quality descriptive texts at the library for your child to read in their own leisure time.
  5. Limit the amount of TV watching and provide good books for bed time reading.
  6. Read a passage to your child by modeling expressive reading and leave the book with the child at an interesting point in the book.

The chat below could be used as a guide for developing prosody.

Reading Fluency Scale retrieved from

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fluency Part 7 - Repeated Reading Technique.

Reading fluency encompasses the ability to read fluently at a good rate while using appropriate expression. This will also involve reading words automatically without conscious attention while comprehending what is being read.

Most people have a constant reading rate with which they comfortably read most reading material. However, it should be noted that reading rate will change according to the purpose of the reading and the difficulty level of the text.

Using repeated readings is for children who have adequate word recognition but read slowly. To begin with select a reading passage of approximately 100 words and with 90 - 96% word accuracy level for the child. Have the child read the passage and count the number of words read correctly and time the child  as he/she reads the passage.  This can be repeated 3 or 4 times on the same passage. Plot the child's progress on a chart and note reading rate improvement. Use other passages from the same book to keep the passages at the same level. When the child's reading rate improves and he or she feels more confident move on to a slightly harder book and follow the same procedure.

Reading rate scores are based on data from

For more information about this procedure go to