Strategies for Improving Reading Rate & Accuracy

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  • 0:04 Reading Fluency
  • 0:53 Reading Fluency Analysis
  • 1:44 Strategies for Improvement
  • 4:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Vicki Duke

Vick teaches college Communications, and owns a Public Speaking consulting company.

In this lesson, we learn to identify a student's current reading rate, level of fluency and mastery, and most importantly, learn the necessary strategies to enhance these skills.

Reading Fluency

Reading is a lot more fun when you have the ability to understand what you are reading. This is what reading fluency is all about. Fluent readers are able to focus on the text and comprehend the information they are reading because they don't have to stop and decode every word in a text. Two important aspects of reading fluency are reading rate and accuracy. Reading rate is how fast you read. Accuracy is your ability to read without making mistakes. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at strategies that can be used to improve reading rate and accuracy.

But before we do that, let's talk about how you can analyze a reader's fluency. As a teacher or tutor, it's important to establish how fluent a reader is. This will help you determine which areas need work and will also give you a baseline that can be used to track progress. Remember, you want to focus on rate and accuracy.

Reading Fluency Analysis

Start the analysis by choosing a short book or reading passage that is fitting for the grade level or reading level of the student. Ask the student to read the text aloud. During this process you should:

  • Time the reader: Determine how long it takes the student to read the book or passage (without any assistance from you).
  • Identify points of error: Make a quiet, written note of each mistake that the student makes - but do not verbally correct or stop the student. Take note of any patterns that emerge. For example, does the reader stumble over large words? Does the reader struggle with the same word again and again?

Afterwards, analyze the results of this test. Identify weak areas and then make a list of goals associated with these areas. For example, if the reader struggles with compound words or contractions, one of your goals might be to help the reader become more comfortable with common compound words or contractions.

Strategies for Improvement

Now, let's examine four specific strategies that can be used to improve reading rate and accuracy. These strategies can be summarized with the mnemonic device FAST, which stands for:

  • Frequency: reading more frequently
  • Activities: making reading more fun
  • Student/Adult: reading with another student or an adult
  • Timed : timed repeated readings

Frequency

There is a correlation between the amount students read and their reading abilities. Typically, we see students that read more frequently having improved reading skills, in contrast to poor readers that don't read as frequently. Think of reading ability as a muscle. The more you use a muscle, the stronger it becomes. The same conclusion can be drawn in regard to increasing one's reading rate; the more we read, the more we are exposed to certain words, punctuation, tone, and sentence structure. It's often recommended that beginning readers spend at least 15-20 minutes each day reading.

Activities

Some students struggle with reading and other academic tasks because they don't consider these tasks fun. Young brains require curiosity to further their interest. In other words, it is important to make reading seem like a fun activity. One way to make reading into a game is to compare it to magic. Tell young readers that when they read both on their own and with guided supervision, they gather a new power each time. Each time they pronounce a word correctly, they earn an ability, like flying or mind reading; but each time they are incorrect, they lose a magical quality. The same technique can be applied using candies, one for each correct answer. The age of the reader determines which activities are more appropriate.

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