Literacy, fluency and reading comprehension all play a crucial role in determining how learners acquire skills within the classroom. This paper will review a number of scholarly literatures that give more details about fluency and reading comprehension.
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Over a long period of time, the ability of a learner to read educational materials fluently has been taken as the most thorough learning method through which the learner can acquire literacy. Kuhn, Schwanenflugel and Meisinger (2010) argue that reading fluency should not only focus on automatic word recognition as a way to assess the ability of a learner (p. 231).
The authors argue that there should be other methods to assess reading fluency through prosody, which can influence the rhythm of spoken language. Automatic word recognition helps a learner to read with speed, limited effort, with autonomy and without having to be conscious. All these attributes make the reading fluency of a learner to improve.
Dewitz, Jones and Leahy (2009) state that comprehension reading instructions in classrooms does not always meet the standards that have been set by educational experts (p. 107). The comprehension programs adopted do not provide learners the time to practice what they are learning through the comprehension because learners are given too much material to learn.
Learners are at a disadvantage because they may probably not complete the core curriculum topics as outlined in the study guide. The programs cover a lot more topics than before, which make instructors to rush learners through the curriculum before a clear assessment of learners’ internalization of what they are taught is done.
Rasinski (1999) states that one of the most effective ways to assess a learner’s reading ability is for the instructor to listen to the learner reading (p. 19). This offers a very good way through which the instructor can determine the reading ability of a learner and therefore an instructor can help a learner to improve on his skills. Learners can have reading partners who can offer them confidence to improve on their reading skills.
By doing so, an instructor offers the learners the chance to nurture their skills in comprehension, vocabulary, fluency. All these skills are vital for a learner to acquire the proper educational abilities that can have a lasting impact on the learner’s ability. The instructor can help a learner to succeed in a reading program by offering the learner a chance to decode the meaning of the words read easily through practice.
Pikulski and Chard (2005) argue that reading fluency can prove to be a vital bridge for a learner to perfect his or her skills in reading comprehension (p 511). Therefore, the ability of the learner to read the instructional material fluently is likely to have a direct impact on the same learner’s ability to decode the meaning behind the statement read. Fluency therefore makes it possible for learners to acquire the necessary skills that can foster their ability to read and understand comprehension easily.
Fluency equips a learner with accurate word recognition abilities that can be central in the way the learner interprets the meaning that is carried across the literature read. The instructors therefore can help learners improve on their fluency by offering constant practical reading session, which can give these learners a chance to become better in comprehension (Pikulski & Chard, 2005, p. 515).
There is a growing need for instructors to help students to become more accurate and expressive in their reading. Kuhn (2005) states that it is vital for instructors to ensure that learners read connected text more widely for them to acquire the necessary ability to interpret meaning in the comprehension (p. 339). Learners need also to practice their skills in regulating their pitch, tone and stress while reading as this will be helpful in making them understand the link between oral language and written language.
Nichols, Rupley and Rasinski (2009) argue that for a learner to interpret the meaning of the written text, repeated reading is not at times effective (p. 3). The authors argue that learning strategies, which make learners to read for multiple reasons go beyond becoming fluent. Instructors must therefore formulate reading programs that recognize the different learning stages through which learners go through for them to have the necessary impact on the learners.
The learner must be very aware of the language used as a medium of study, which is a very crucial guide to word recognition and the forms of expression to be used. Learners must have the ability to identify the different patterns and sounds that are distinct with these particular words.
This can prove crucial in helping learners to get the necessary skills (Nichols, Rupley & Rasisnki, 2009, p. 3).Text structures in the literature that serves as a reading instruction has a direct impact on a learner’s fluency and comprehension skills.
The ability of a learner to recall and retell the text that he or she read serves as a positive indicator of the learner’s ability to understand the mode of the instruction well (Cohen, Krustedt & May, 2009, p. 103). This enables a learner to identify the structure of the text he is reading to get to interpret the meaning behind it.
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The focus on reading speed as a means through which a learner’s performance can be assessed is also one of the key factors that should be considered. Rasinski (2000) states that a learner’s reading rate is able to show an instructor the level of proficiency a learner has in reading (p. 146).
A slow reading rate makes a learner to use a lot of time in the reading process, which makes them to use more energy which can make it difficult for them to achieve positive outcomes while reading. Students who read slowly are likely to have slow progress in fluency and comprehension because they become more frustrated in the activity, which they may perceive as punishing (Rasinski, 2000, p. 149).
Boudouris (2005) emphasizes that peer tutoring can help learners who have learning weaknesses to overcome them more easily (p. 11). Students who participate in peer tutoring programs within their classrooms are able to have improvements in their learning abilities thereby achieving positive outcomes.
Students with lower learning abilities can be paired with those that have higher learning abilities and from this, the students can be able to learn new ideas from a very unique source and perspective.
Slavin et al. (2008) states that reading formats that combine the normal classroom activities with technology aided appliances make it easy for a reader to have positive learning outcomes (pp. 291-294). Programs, which can be able to make it easy for middle and high school students to read their instructional text more easily can be effective in helping them to do their coursework easily.
Benjamin and Schwanenflugel (2010) argue that text complexity and reading prosody affects the level of fluency that is shown by the learner (p. 45). For the learner to achieve the desired level of fluency, he or she must not only be able to read accurately the highlighted text but must also be able to exercise prosodic interpretation of the text.
The learner must be able to have the ability to show variations in sound, pitch and duration for him to have the necessary reading qualities. This is vital in relaying the meaning that is highlighted within the text and helps the learner to comprehend the theme of the literature under study more easily (Benjamin & Schwanenflugel, 2010, p. 49).
Rasinski and Hoffman (2003) emphasize that oral reading is very important in improving learning outcomes especially in the elementary classes (pp. 510-512). The two further argue that oral reading as a form of educational instruction has become a very important aspect of teaching and learning in many schools.
Round- robin reading in particular was found to offer benefits to the learner because one can get picked out of a group randomly without preparation to read a passage. Therefore, this makes it easy for teachers to guide learners on better reading techniques, which improve a student’s reading skills and proficiency. However, round-robin reading has been found to minimize the amount of text that a class can read in any given session.
Benjamin, R. G., & Schwanenflugel, P. J. (2010). Text complexity and oral reading prosody in young readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(4), 388-404.
Boudouris, C. (2005). Peer-tutoring: Positive peer interactions. Ohio Reading Teacher, 37(1), 11-20.
Cohen L., Krustedt, R., & May, M. (2009). Fluency, text structure ad retelling: A complex relationship. Reading Horizons, 49(2), 101-124.
Dewitz, P., Jones, J., & Leahy, S. (2009). Comprehension strategy instruction in core reading programs. Reading Research Quarterly, 44(2), 102-126.
Kuhn, M. (2005). Helping students become accurate, expressive readers: Fluency instruction for small groups. The Reading Teacher, 58(4), 338-345.
Kuhn, M., Schwanenflugel, P., & Meisinger, E. (2010). Aligning theory and assessment of reading fluency: Automacity, prosody and definitions of fluency. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(2), 230-251.
Nichols, W. D., Rupley, W. H., & Rasinski, T. (2009). Fluency in learning to read for meaning: Going beyond repeated readings. Literacy Research and Instruction, 48, 1-13.
Pikulski, J., & Chard, D. (2005). Fluency: Bridge between decoding and reading comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58(6), 510-520.
Rasinski, T. (1999). Reading first: Fluency is fundamental. Scholastic Instructor, 113(4), 15-20.
Rasinski, T. (2000). Speed does matter in reading. The Reading Teacher, 54(2), 146- 152.
Rasinski, T., & Hoffman, J. (2003). Oral reading in the school literacy program. Reading Research Quarterly, 38(4), 510-522.
Slavin, R., Cheung, A., Groff, C., & Lake, C. (2008). Effective reading programs for middle and high schools: A best-evidence synthesis. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(3), 290-322.