I would like to welcome you to the new school year!  As an Academic Specialist, I provide Dyslexia Instruction to our virtual learners and serve as campus test coordinator. I look forward to working with and giving your child the boost that will help in all his/her schoolwork.

Fluency and Why Is It Important?

"Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension" (National Institute for Literacy, 2001). 

Fluency is extremely important in reading.  More fluent readers read text faster and have more time to think about what they are reading.  This leads to a higher comprehension of the text.  Slower readers have inappropriate phrasing, lower word recognition skills and little change in their voice tone.  Slower readers tend to have more difficulty with comprehension due to the time spent decoding words in the text. 

Fluency is a skill that students are always trying to improve.  As students continue to learn, the expectation of fluency continues to rise.  Readers who are more fluent can read at a rapid pace (speed at which oral or silent reading occurs), automatically recognize words (efficient decoding skills) and phrase correctly (ability to read a text orally using appropriate pitch, stress and phrasing). 

Average readers need a minimum of five exposures to a new word before they automatically recognize it. Some students require over 40 exposures to new words before they recognize the word.  As teachers we have students read books at their independent reading level.  This provides practice reading with the majority of the text at the students reading level.  This helps build confidence for the student and automatic word recognition. 

Some ways to help your child at home with fluency: 
  • Reading Aloud   By reading aloud, students hear you model proper phrasing and pitch.
  • Paired Reading  Read the text together.  As you read, students will keep up and practice proper speed.
  • Echo Read  With this strategy, you read a little bit then the student reads.  They could read the same passage or continue reading in the book. 
  • Poetry  Poetry is naturally full of expression and rhythm.  Pick a poem and read it at least four times.  With each reading, the student will become more fluent. 

Happy Reading,
Patrice Lowe