Fluency has become a widely discussed topic in education today. There are many opinions among educators and researchers on what fluency means, and how it should be addressed in a classroom setting. I researched four articles from respected journals, and in this paper I will attempt to define fluency and measurement tools. I will also discuss Repeated Reading as a viable strategy for teaching Fluency in the second grade classroom. I chose this particular topic, because I felt it would be most beneficial in influencing my own literacy instruction. Fluency has been recognized by the National Reading Panel Report in 2000 (NRP; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000) as being an essential component for success in learning to read. “If children do not acquire the fundamentals of reading, which is based largely on reading fluency, at a young age it places them at a considerable disadvantage in their future academic pursuits.” The primary grades are the essential point to begin fluency instruction.
Fluency can be defined as the ability to read text fluently, automatically, and with proper expression, resulting in comprehension. Carnine, Silbert, Kame”ennui &Tarver, 2004 (as cited by Therrien & Kubina, 2006, p.156) state that, “Fluency serves as a bridge between decoding words and comprehension.” Therefore, fluency is not just reading quickly, but involves comprehension and prosodic features. Reading fluency has been shown to be a better predictor of comprehension than the use of other methods such as questioning, retelling, and cloze.
In an article by Nichols, Rupley & Rasinski (2009), they cite the work of Chall (1996), where he proposes that there are developmental reading stages for children preschool through eighth grade.
These stages are fluid and frequently overlap each other. The stages, as they pertain to the early school years, are as follows: Stage zero - Student grows in control of language. Children use picture clues and predictable language to decode text. This might be classified as the emergent level for beginning readers. Progression into stage one involves understandings about phonemic principles, such as onsets and rimes, syllables, and beginning and ending sounds. Often at this stage, readers are observed to “sound out” every letter in a word. Automatic decoding is a hallmark of stage two, therefore, freeing up more space in the brain for comprehension. Don’t mistake this stage as being the same as reading to learn, rather is it is where the child begins to integrate automatic reading and comprehension. Just as might be seen in the writing stages, beginning readers may be in between levels at any one time, showing characteristics of multiple stages. In knowing the developmental stages of fluency, a teacher is better able to adjust his or her instruction to the student. In my opinion, if a student does not master these three levels of fluency, it will be difficult for them to advance to...