Reading Fluency and Its Effect on Reading Comprehension

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Reading Fluency and its Effect on Reading Comprehension

Topic Selection As an elementary teacher, I have often thought reading fluency plays a large role in a child’s reading development. Few reading programs give fluency the recognition it deserves. Reading fluency has been a prominent and reliable benchmark for me, even when students have comprehension difficulties. Once fluency is assessed, the results were used to place students in their reading ability group. Often times, the fluent readers were placed in the high ability reading groups. In the past, our district used a reading program that gave very little focus to reading fluency and few strategies for improvement. It assessed fluency based on rate and
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Reader’s theater brings a new, more exciting approach to repeated practice. Like repeated reading, reader’s theater focuses on all three elements of reading fluency.
Reader’s theater requires students to reread, memorize, and perform the text, which are key components to improving fluency. Adding dramatic performance to a student’s reading experience will positively affect the student’s expression, or prosody, a key component to reading fluency (Nathan & Stanovich, 2001). Modeling fluency is essential so students can better understand what reading fluency sounds like. Proper modeling focuses on accuracy, rate, phrasing, and prosody (Worthly & Broaddus, 2001). Evanchan (2010) suggested proper modeling gives students exposure to vocabulary above their independent reading level. Modeling allows students to be engaged with text they may wrestle with independently, and comprehension is also enhanced (Worthly & Broaddus, 2001). The student’s engagement and evidence of comprehension suggests students’ listening comprehension level is at a higher level than their independent reading levels (Evanchan, 2010).

How does reading fluency affect reading comprehension? There are five essential components to reading. They are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Evanchan (2010), referred to the components as links in a chain, and comprehension is the link that secures the chain; however, if one of the four
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