EDPT 525 Chapter 7


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accuracy The reader’s ability to independently and correctly recognize and decode words.

automaticity The ability to carry out a task without having to give it much attention.

fluency The ability to read with automaticity, appropriate rate, good expression, and good comprehension.

prosody The ability to read with proper expression and includes aspects such as volume, phrasing, pitch, stress, and juncture. Intonation is the melody of language that results from the use of stress, pitch, and juncture in speech.

readers theater Reading aloud from scripts in a dramatic style.

reading rate Speed of reading, often reported in words per minute.

scaffolding Providing support through modeling or feedback and then withdrawing support gradually as the learner gains competence.

scanning Moving the eyes rapidly over the selection to locate a specific bit of information, such as a name or a date.

skimming Reading selectively to pick up main ideas and general impressions about the material.

verbal efficiency theory  Readers who can easily and rapidly recognize words can devote their attention to comprehension. Conversely, readers with limited word recognition skills will have difficulty comprehending. This theory is attributed to Charles Perfetti (1985).

zone of proximal development The span between a child’s actual skill level and potential level; a period when assistance should be provided.


Chapter 7 begins with a brief explanation of the National Reading Panel’s report and its influence on the prominence of fluency in reading instruction. The remaining sections of the chapter address each of the components of fluency: accuracy, prosody, and rate; the last section looks at these three in a comprehensive manner, providing information about simultaneously assessing and teaching them.

Accuracy is the reader’s ability to independently recognize and decode words. Automaticity is integral to accuracy. Perfetti’s verbal efficiency theory indicates that readers who can easily and rapidly recognize words can devote their attention to comprehending the text. Contrarily, readers who have difficulty with word recognition will also have difficulty comprehending the text. Games are helpful for increasing sight=word vocabularies, particularly games that promote repeated exposure to target sight words. It is also important for readers to possess decoding strategies, so they can quickly and independently decode words that are not in their sight-word vocabularies.

Prosodic reading requires attention to sentence structure, including aspects such as punctuation, conjunctions, and quotation marks. In addition, reading with prosody requires comprehension of the overall mood of the selection as well as individual characters’ moods and motives.

Although faster readers comprehend better than those who read at a slower pace, proficient readers are flexible and adjust their reading rates according to their purposes for reading and the types of material. Readers can use skimming and scanning when they are seeking the main idea or specific pieces of information.

Accuracy, prosody, and reading rate are interrelated; thus, they should be assessed simultaneously when possible. Teachers can use anecdotal records/notes, running records, informal reading inventories, and self-assessment. Echo reading, choral and shared reading, and readers’ theater are strategies that can be used to teach fluency in a comprehensive manner.

Your Task to Do

  1. In the beginning of the Accuracy section pp 171 of text is a short passage from Chaucer Canterbury Tale

“A gentle Manciple  was there of a temple ….. buying of .

Of which achatours mighte take example

For to be wise  in  buying of vitaile

For whether that he paid,or took by taile

Algate he waited so in his achate

That he was aye before in good estate,,” (Chaucer,2000,The Manciple Tale)

a. After reading the piece, what were some of the challenges you faced while reading it?

b. Could you translate the meaning of the tale?

c. How did this experience relate to that of beginning readers?

d. How did it relate to Perfetti’s verbal efficiency theory?

2. Define Fluency and substantiate on its components.

3. Explain the four strategies to use to enhance children’s fluency.

4. As a teacher how can you assess fluency using Running Record and Anecdotal Record

5. When and how do you use skimming and scanning pg 176 ? Do you think this is a skill that elementary students should learn? Why or why not?


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