Fluency EDC424 What Is Fluency? Fluency refers to how a person reads orally (out loud). It is thought that oral gives us a gauge on silent reading. There are many definitions of fluency. Many people think of fluency as accuracy (how correctly one reads) and rate (how fast one reads), but that’s not all there is to it! Fluency Includes: Automaticity (reading words effortlessly and automatically, no need to sound out) Rate (speed/pace of reading) Accuracy (correctness) Prosody (phrasing, smoothness) Intonation (using proper pitch and stress) Expression (emotion) Comprehension (understanding reading) What People Might Not Know About Fluency Fluency is not just related to reading paragraphs, chapters, and other texts. Fluency involves every process and sub- process of reading: Letters Letter sounds Word patterns Words Vocabulary Fluency Accuracy Automaticity Prosody Sight Word Guessing Recognition Decoding Stress Pitch Phrasing from context After it is fully developed, reading fluency refers to a level of accuracy and rate where decoding is relatively effortless; where oral reading is smooth and accurate with correct prosody; and where attention can be allocated to comprehension. Wolf, M., & Katzir-Cohen, T. (2001). Reading fluency and its intervention. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 211-239. Wolf and Katzir-Cohen’s Developmental Definition (p. 219) In its beginnings, reading fluency is the product of the initial development of accuracy and the subsequent development of automaticity in underlying sublexical processes, lexical processes, and their integration in single word reading and connected text. Fluency requires the child to use phonics and spelling knowledge automatically Fluency requires the child to automatically integrate phonics and spelling knowledge to recognize entire words Fluency requires the child to link recognized words into natural phrases, with appropriate enunciation and emphasis Fluency in Connected Text (textual) Fluency at the Word Level (lexical) Fluency within Words (sublexical) Automaticity Theory Two requirements of reading – automatic word recognition AND constructing meaning The more energy spent with decoding, the less remaining for meaning construction Laberge & Samuels (1974). Toward a theory of automatic information processing in reading. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 293-323. Ages and Stages: Chall’s Model 4. Comprehension of multiple Stage 4 perspectives Highschool 3. Comprehension of a single Stage 3 Grades 4 to 8 perspective Stage 2 2. Fluency Grades 2 and 3 1. Phonological recoding Stage 1 Grades 1 and 2 0. Alphabet knowledge Stage 0 Birth to K . Chall, J.S. (1983). Stages of reading development. New York: Why is Fluency Important? Fluency is linked to overall reading ability Improved comprehension Improved vocabulary Increased ability to remember what is read How does fluency contribute to comprehension? Automaticity theory Prosody How does fluency contribute to comprehension? Automaticity theory accuracy automaticity Prosody Fluency and Comprehension Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension Fluency does not guarantee comprehension, but if a reader needs to stop and decode words, reading becomes long and laborious, and meaning can be disrupted Students who read fluently are able to put their energies into understanding and analyzing what they read. Each component of fluency is important to comprehension Prosody is comprised of a series of features including pitch or intonation, stress or emphasis, tempo or rate, and the rhythmic patterns of language. Prosody A woman, without her man, is nothing. Maybe not so Easy to See the Connection Between Prosody and Comprehension Consider “I wanted spring. to come I / went out. to find that corner. // I walked. Down the path / in the woods. until // I came to / a corner. I went around the corner. to see // if spring was on. // the other side -versus- “I wanted spring to come. I went out to find that corner. I walked down the path in the woods until I came to a corner. I went around the corner to see if spring was on the other side.” Since parsing indicates that the reader can transfer her/his knowledge of speech to text, it can be viewed as an indicator that s/he understands what is being read by maintaining the important features of expressive language. Poor readers are not as prosodic in their reading or as facile with their use of appropriate phrasing as are good readers. This is true for adults as well as for children and adolescents. However, studies indicate that poor readers at all age levels demonstrate improved comprehension when text is presented in a manner comparable to speech; that is when it has been organized into appropriate phrase units for the reader. So to tie these findings back to fluent reading, I would argue that … Fluency Comprehension Walking Across the Bridge: Fluency’s Impact on Comprehension Neurochemistry Oxytocin is involved in the control of maternal behavior. It is synthesized inside magnocellular neursecretory cells as a precursor protein that is processed by proteolysis to its shorter active peptide form. Specific parts of the brain such as the supraoptic nucleus produce oxytocin which acts on cells in locations such as the ventral pallidum to produce the behavioral effects of oxytocin. We didn’t understand that not because of fluency, but because we don’t know anything about neurochemistry! Let’s take something easier … Why such a connection? We have limited cognitive attention Attention taken up with decoding (sounding out words), prosody (figuring out punctuation, etc.), and intonation/expression takes up valuable cognitive attention Leaves less attention left over to truly analyze and create meaning from the text Four components of good fluency instruction Model fluent reading Use guided repeated oral reading instruction. Give students ways to practice and perform. Implement word study activities to build accuracy and automaticity. Ideas for Improving Fluency Important Points Not all students need fluency instruction!! Fluency instruction usually begins in the middle of first grade. Transitional readers/within word pattern spellers Online resources: http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/ units/fluency.htm Model fluent reading Students need to see and hear what fluent reading sounds like. Ways to Model: Read Aloud: An adult reads aloud a text to the whole class. Books on Tape: Children can listen to stories on tape as they follow along in a book. Buddy Reading: An upper grade child reads aloud to a lower grade child. Guided repeated oral reading instruction Choral Reading: All students, lead by the teacher, read aloud together. Peer/Paired Reading: Students work as pairs. Each student reads their text silently. Then the students take turns reading the passage three times orally to the other student. The listening student acts as the teacher by giving suggestions and feedback. Echo Reading: The teacher reads a sentence, paragraph, or page aloud and then has the students chorally reread that segment. More suggestions for guided repeated oral reading instruction Tape Assisted Reading: Students listen and read along with a tape. Buddy Reading: An upper grade student listens to a lower grade student read, giving appropriate feedback. Phrase Reading: Teacher and students break text into short phrases that match speech pauses (natural chunking) and reread until fluent Lots of practice & performance Repeated Reading: Short passages (200-300 words, depending upon grade); poems and rhymes are great for repeated reading Teacher models reading the passage fluently Teacher discusses reading behaviors such as phrasing, rate, intonation, etc. Students practice reading the text several times until fluency has developed. Often times the teacher has students work in pairs One student reads text the first time while other student times rate with a stopwatch and records expression, prosody, and accuracy on a rating sheet. Students switch. Students practice reading with their partner throughout the week Students time and use rating sheet again at end of week. & performance Lots of practice Children choose Independent Reading: text on their independent level to read silently. Reader's Theater: Oral performance (reading) of scripts usually based on authentic literature. In order to “perform” their script, students need to interpret the meaning (to use expression, etc.) and read and re-read to gain fluency. Lots of practice & performance Fluency practice in literacy centers Listening Center: Listen to books on tape. Poetry Center: Copy and read poems. Song Center: Read and sing songs. Recording Center: Read a story on tape. Word Study Help students recognize words automatically Build sight word knowledge Work on decoding and patterns Ideas to increase accuracy and automaticity Speed drills Flashcard practice Word Walls Sight Word games Vocabulary Activities (from Text Talk, for example) NAEP FLUENCY SCALE 4 Large and meaningful phrase groupings. Preserves author’s syntax and includes expressive interpretation. 3 Three- and four-word phrases. Mostly appropriate and preserving syntax. Little or no expressive interpretation. 2 Two-word phrases. Occasional larger groupings, but awkward and unrelated to larger context. 1 Word by word. Occasional two-word or three-word phrases. Guided Oral Reading But why can’t we just do what we’ve always done Round Robin Oral Reading Each child reads too little; Instructional Engagement is low time is wasted Teacher-provided feedback is of low quality Four Simple Alternatives Choral The teacher leads the entire class or group reading aloud Reading in unison. Echo The teacher reads a sentence and then the class rereads Reading it aloud. Partner Pairs of readers alternate reading aloud by a set protocol. Reading Whisper Reading Each child reads aloud (but not in unison) in a quiet voice. How should we measure fluency? Fuchs, L. S. Fuchs, D., Hosp, M.K., & Jenkins, J. R. (2001). Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 239-256. Good, R. H., Simmons, D.C. & Kame’enui, E.J. (2001). The importance of decision-making utility of a continuum of fluency-based indicators of foundational reading skills for third-grade high- stakes outcomes. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 211-239.
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