Reading fluency Importance, and Ways to Promote it.

Fluency is the ability to read a text at a certain speed while pronouncing and expressing the words accurately. Fluency has been studied for many years as it is one of the most crucial reading skills a person should have. It is a complex process that involves both phrasing and expression with a proper reading speed.

But why is it so important for children to develop fluency?

Is there any correlation between oral reading fluency and better reading comprehension?

Is the ability to read fluently related to an improvement in academic performance?

How can we improve this particular skill?

At Spimbey, we care about many aspects of child development, so we want to cover this topic and help you and your children on the journey to learn new things. Let us deep-dive right into the reading fluency importance and how you can nurture this ability.

The importance of it.

As mentioned before fluency has been studied for many years as an independent reading skill, but why?

First of all, we need to talk about “paying attention”. Even though our brains can function while doing several things at the same time, it is also true that as time goes by, our ability to concentrate decreases, therefore, our results or productivity as well.

Reading is a very complex process, and finally, the main goal when reading something will always be to understand it.

Struggling readers usually face difficulties because they read slowly or have problems with word recognition. When this happens, our children’s brains have to concentrate even more to do the “mechanic part” of reading, sidelining the cognitive component where you actually understand what you just read.

This study tried to establish a correlation between reading fluency and school outcomes. Here is what they found:

More importantly, this study contributes to re-evaluating the role played by reading fluency, and confirms that effortless and automatic reading fluency frees up important cognitive resources for the comprehension activity, a high-level and demanding process (Fuchs et al., 2001; Pikulski and Chard, 2005; Tichá et al., 2009; Nese et al., 2013).

The efficacy of reading fluency is especially significant for subjects in which literacy skills and textbook studying play a primary role (i.e., Italian, English, History, Geography, Mathematics, and Sciences).

These researchers found evidence that reading fluency also has an impact on children at different stages of schooling. They concluded the following:

As the effect of reading fluency on school outcomes does not fade after primary school, secondary and high school teachers should not underestimate the negative impact of ineffective and non-automatic reading fluency has on students’ learning.

As you can see, fluency is a complex yet very crucial component in the development of our children; it will allow them to have a better understanding of the things they read about instead of just “going through the motions”.

And what about reading fast?

We must understand that reading fast is not the same as understanding what you just read. Sometimes as parents, we tend to confuse these two abilities.

Yes, reading at a proper speed is one of the three variables included in the concept of fluency, but improving just that will not do the trick. From the same previous study we extract:

More specifically, reading accuracy appears to be more strictly associated with reading comprehension than reading rapidity, confirming that reading “fast” does not help children to adequately process the information included in the text.

It is important to address a deep form of reading fluency, according to which this construct is part of a developmental process of building decoding skills that are reciprocally and causally connected with reading comprehension, rather than just be considered as “fast reading” (Pikulski and Chard, 2005).

This means that we need to find the proper balance between reading at a certain speed and later understanding the different subjects children read about.

Ways to improve reading fluency.

When it comes to reading fluency, there are several tasks we can do to improve this ability. Notice that for better results, we should progress monitoring our children.

Read together

Choose a book that is not too long and read passages while your child listens and follows the story in the book. Then read the same book or passage together several times.

Lead by example

Read to your children to show them what fluent reading sounds like. Choose stories and books that might interest them. Read naturally, with emotion and tone of voice appropriate to what you are reading. If you are busy, you can give them audiobooks so they can listen to the story as you read the book.

Repeated reading.

Choose a short book or story passage slightly above your child’s reading level. Have her read it. If your child incorrectly reads a word or hesitates for more than five seconds, say the word aloud and have your child repeat it. Then your child should continue reading. When you finish the book or passage, have your child read it three or four more times.

Use positive reinforcement.

Despite this is not an actual tip to improve fluency, we should always strive to build a positive environment where our children feel safe and not punished when making a mistake. Positively celebrate their successes. Be patient since this is a complex process that will require lots of time.

Spimbey is here for you every step of the way. We want to enter your home and join you in the process of watching your children grow and become great persons.

Visit our shop, give joy and celebrate the family unit with Spimbey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *