Students who are struggling with reading frequently have low fluency. Fluency is measured using Oral Reading Fluency (ORF).
Oral reading fluency (ORF) assessments have been described as being like a thermometer, which detects a fever but does not reveal its cause. Low ORF indicates a reading difficulty but does not immediately tell us why the student is struggling. Further investigation may be needed to identify the underlying skill deficit and determine the appropriate intervention. Fluency is among the most difficult components to rectify among older struggling students, and early intervention is more efficient and effective than are later attempts.
Students whose low ORF is due to poor word reading accuracy will require phonics-based interventions to improve their word reading automaticity, as well as fluency instruction. Automaticity exercises include letter-sound and word sprints using decodable and high frequency words.
Rapid Automatised Naming (RAN) is also associated with oral reading fluency. Children with low RAN ability in quickly naming letters and numbers are more likely to have reading difficulties. It can be useful to screen students for RAN ability as it will indicate a need for more intensive fluency practice and intervention.
For students who can read words accurately but struggle to achieve a reading rate that is sufficient for comprehension, fluency interventions using evidence-based practices are recommended.
Many studies have found Repeated Reading to be a highly effective fluency intervention for students with reading difficulties and reading disabilities. Read some of these studies here, here, and here.
These studies found that
A step-by-step outline of a Repeated Reading lesson is here.
When listening to a student read, it is important to provide them with the right feedback. Reinforced Reading is a strategy for providing guidance to a student as they read aloud. Reinforced Reading does not involve repeated reading of a single passage of text so it allows students to read an entire book over a number of sessions.
In Reinforced Reading,
Reinforced Reading uses Pause, Prompt and Praise (PPP). The PPP procedure is a way of supporting and encouraging a student’s reading. It provides feedback and error correction in a positive way, instilling good reading habits with minimal disruption to the reading flow which reduces frustration for the student.
In fluency sessions, the text should be one that the student can read with a high level of accuracy, so the student should make very few errors. If and when they do, the PPP procedure should be used to help them.
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