July 19, 2005

Fluency and Automaticity

"Fluent readers know the words automatically and can spend their cognitive energy on constructing meaning."

In this chapter Kyleen Beers distinguishes between automaticity and fluency. When a reader has automaticity the process of decoding occurs instantly, without conscious thought. She compares it to the automaticity of typing or playing piano. No thought is required to know where to place your fingers. Fluency requires automaticity but it also involves the ability to read smoothly with good phrasing and expression. You may have students who have good word recognition but yet they do not have fluency. They may read too rapidly or read in a monotone ignoring punctuation. Comprehension is hampered even if there is automaticity.

In addition to examples of student reading styles, Beers gives methods for measuring the silent and oral reading rates of your students. She also gives five suggestions for helping students achieve fluency in their reading: improve knowledge of high frequency words; give varied options for hearing texts; teach phrasing and intonation; have students reread selected texts; prompt, don't correct

Posted by john6454 at 1:41 PM