A fluency intervention is appropriate for students who are accurate< in their reading of grade level texts, but lack automaticity. The three components of fluency – appropriate speed (rate), accuracy, prosody (expression) – can be addressed through instructional strategies such as repeated readings, partner reading, choral reading, technology-assisted reading, timed reading, phrased reading, and echo reading.
What is Fluency?
Fluency is defined as reading with sufficient accuracy, rate and expression to support comprehension (Hasbrouck & Tindal, 2006).
Explicit Intervention in Fluency
Did You Know? In an intervention for fluency, it is important that lessons support skills in all areas of fluency (accuracy, rate, and expression) and employ instructional strategies that integrate phonemic awareness, decoding, spelling, vocabulary, and morphology into intervention lessons.
Preparing to Implement the Intervention
Before delivering an explicit intervention in fluency, establish that the students can read at least 95% of words accurately on a grade-level passage. Students who are accurate in their reading but lack automaticity are good candidates for explicit intervention in fluency.
Plan explicit instructional routines, such as those presented in the video, that model fluent reading and allow for students’ meaningful practice with decoding, high frequency words, and target vocabulary found in readings or content lessons.
Elements to Include in a Fluency Intervention
Phonemic Awareness, Decoding, and Vocabulary
Vocabulary and Morphemes
Instruction targeting phoneme fluency— identifying first sounds, blending, and segmenting sounds in spoken words— including the printed letters that represent the target phoneme and word meanings
Instruction that develops the layers of language— sound, meaning, context, and spelling— and that builds understanding of vocabulary words and their meanings
Instruction based on students needs that includes continuous progress monitoring of skills so content is mastered with accuracy and automaticity
Frequently Asked Questions
Why intervene with reading fluency?
There is significant evidence from research that reading comprehension is limited by slow, laborious reading. To gain meaning from text, students must be able to read words quickly and effortlessly.
What is the goal of explicit intervention in fluency?
The goal should be to get students to read texts at a reasonable speed to support comprehension and to make the reading sound like language (using appropriate emotion when reading aloud, pausing for periods and commas). There is evidence that suggests a benefit to reading at or near the 50th percentile rank for reading fluency.
What are common characteristics of students in need of fluency intervention?
You may notice that students who need fluency intervention have developed adequate word reading skills but read at a very slow rate. These students may read word-by-word, ignore punctuation, appear unmotivated, or lack sufficient vocabulary.
Additional Learning Opportunities
Dr. Laura Stewart shares phonics teaching techniques in PART 3 of this Zaner-Bloser webinar series.