Reading fluency is something that develops gradually with practice. It is the ability to read with accuracy, speed and proper expression, providing a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers don’t have to concentrate on decoding words, therefore they can focus more attention on what a text means, which is critical to developing comprehension skills.
Some of the best ways you can help your child improve their reading fluency include:
If your child has just begun reading, memorising short books, nursery rhymes or poems can help build their confidence and familiarise them with the rhythm of fluent reading. By memorising text a child will feel like they are reading fluently, and because it will come easily to them, they can also practise using expression and modulating the speed at which they read.
2. Echo Reading
To learn how to read fluently, a child first has to hear what fluent reading sounds like. When reading with your child, try reading a passage first, then ask your child to read the same passage. This will provide your child with a vocal model of fluent reading that they can emulate. You can also help them build their vocabulary by asking them to follow the words on the page with their finger, so they know what the spoken words look like in their written form.
3. Silent Reading Time
Silent reading time is something that takes place regularly at school. If your child learns better independently, you can set them a fixed amount of time where they can read an interesting book to themselves silently. It’s important that your child be allowed to choose what they read during this time in order to increase their motivation and ability to focus.
Audiobooks can also provide a model of fluent reading for your child. They are especially beneficial for reluctant readers, who can listen to the audio while following the text on the page. Audiobooks can make reading far more engaging, and they can teach children how to be expressive and modulate their reading speed.
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