Does your child fumble when asked to read? Are you able to comprehend the mumbling words & sentences your little emergent readers utter when attempting to read aloud from a book? Well, if you have been trying to improve your child’s reading fluency, but not been too successful with it, we are here to help.
What exactly is reading fluency?
Reading fluency is when the child is able to read accurately, using proper pronunciations without faltering in the middle. Fluent reading feels smooth, almost as if someone is conversing with you. A fluent reader understands punctuations and knows where to pause for a bit, before resuming the sentence. With some practice, the child even learns to add expressions and voice modulations to reading. This stage is reached only when the readers are able to comprehend the meaning of words and make sense of the printed characters before them. As they read, they need to be able to apply their existing knowledge and concentrate on the comprehension. Even the pace at which the child reads is important to note. Reading too fast or too slow won’t solve the purpose. So here are a few tips that can help you as parents of educators to improve upon the child’s reading skills
Here are a few tips to help your child read more fluently:
Read Aloud to Your Child Daily
We are aware that children mimic adults and hence one needs to be at their best behavior especially when your child is watching you. The same is applicable for reading. When you read with fluency, the child observes and tries to copy the same. Chalk down a schedule and allocate 15 to 30 minutes each day to sit by your young reader and read a story aloud. As you read aloud the child picks up new words, thereby increasing his vocabulary. And as the pool bank of words increases, the child will be in a better position to read accurately sooner than others. To make this daily reading session more participative, take turns to read. Maybe you could read a page aloud, and then ask the kiddo to read the next page aloud. Parents can use the Reading Eggs App or subscribe to physical copies which features numerous kid-friendly books and increase the level of difficulty as per the pace of the child. This multi award-winning app also features a read aloud option where the audio recording helps children hear fluent, expressive reading.
Allow the Reader to Choose a Book
No one likes to read a novel that is of interest to them! Similarly, children have their set of preferences. Some like to read about adventure, some like stories that teach a moral, while others like to escape into fantasy land. Give the child a book he wants to read and you will notice how engrossed he gets. The Reading Eggs App and book packs spoils them for choice, as there are dozens & dozens of age-appropriate books which capture the reader’s interests right away. Do not worry about the authenticity, as many Schools across the Middle East including UAE, Dubai, and GCC, recommend Reading Eggs to parents to improve their student’s reading skills. Developing an interest in a particular genre at first, may positively impact the child’s interest in learning to read correctly.
Use Echo Reading Technique
Echo reading is a technique where you read a sentence aloud to you child and then ask him to read it for you. Run your finger under the word that you are reading, so that your child replicates the same and develops a habit to do so. Start with short sentences, and then proceed to echo read paragraphs. While you read ensure to take pauses wherever required, and use correct expressions, because this is what your child is going to pick up. The way you read is creating a foundation for your child, so make sure it is a strong one.
Keep the Excitement Alive
Anything that becomes mundane, is no fun! Even reading can become boring at some point. So, bring about variation by introducing games and activities to spice things up. For example; If you are using the Reading Eggs App, the child can be asked to solve a word puzzles, challenge their classmates by competing over educational games, and solve worksheets. By this the child develops confidence and proactiveness. Another recommendation is to record the voice of the child as he practices reading and then play it aloud to him. This helps the student become aware of his own glitches and the adult can recommend suggestions to improve the level of fluency.
Practice and Repetition is Key
Practice makes a man perfect, and definitely does greater good for kids! Fluency comes with practice and the most fluent readers weren’t born in a day. So, do not skip even a day of reading. Encourage your child to read sign boards when you go out with him. Get them to help you shop at a supermarket, by asking him to read the label on various products. When reading from a book, practice reading the same passage twice-trice or even ten times, until your kid gets comfortable reading it without any breaks. The ultimate goal is to make reading as effortless as possible.