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December 2007 Discussion

As had been stated earlier, this discussion page is an evolving process.  Besides responses to the initial question, several questions/comments have been posted in relation to many of the professional development activities that have recently occurred for Montana ABLE.  The goal is to make this page more user friendly.  Therefore, you will see a chart (below) at the top of each of the main postings for the month.  All you need to do is click on the topic you would like to read more about.  Then just scroll up to read the postings in sequential order on that topic. 

Fluency:  December



 Webcast  Oral Reading




Oral Reading Suggestion


It was suggested earlier that the more we get our students to talk math, the more they learn.   Lauren Resnick and Susan Omanson (1987)  Today a staff member mentioned that a student was going to use the amplifier while taking a test.  That seems to fit here.  Remember - some people need to hear themselves in order to understand.  NP =)


Taken from English Language Discussion Group's Discussion on Oral Reading
Interesting discussion on the pro's and con's of reading aloud.  I agree with the ideas that there are some instances where it's helpful.  With beginning readers, it can help to find out if they are really reading the written words, or instead depending on their memory or pictures to say what they think the words are.  But I do that check when small groups are working.  Only volunteers read aloud to the whole class, and it's usually just a sentence or two.
In a completely different context, and as a very individual activity, I sometimes suggest to higher level students that they read their own writing aloud to catch what is not working well.  I run into people who speak pretty well, but in writing, they revert to translating from their first language into English, and when they do that, they ignore everything they know.  Sometimes if they "listen" to it, they catch things that they weren't noticing before.  I wouldn't do this in class where they are exposing their mistakes to the whole class.  It's more a strategy they can use independently. 
Annette Stofer
ESL Instructor
South Seattle Community College



Webcast for Reading Assessment Part 2:  Specific Instructional Strategies for Fluency and Vocabulary

WHEN: Friday, January 11, 2008

TIME:     1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Eastern Time
                12:30 PM - 1:45 PM Central Time
                11:30 AM - 12:45 PM Mountain Time
                10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Pacific Time

Please join us on Friday, January 11, 2008 for Part 2 of "From Assessment to Practice: Research-Based Approaches to Teaching Reading to Adults" webcast.  This follow-up webcast will focus on specific instructional strategies for two other components of reading, fluency and vocabulary. The presenters will show how all four components provide a natural framework for assessing adult
students' reading ability, and how assessment results can lead seamlessly to a program of instruction to improve students' reading.

Click here to register.

This seventy-minute webcast is a part two for the webcast presented on
September 28, 2007: From Assessment to Practice-Research-Based Approaches to Teaching Reading  to Adults
<>. The main purpose of the first webcast was to present a compelling rationale for the use of research-based principles for adult reading instruction. The presenters used two components of reading, word analysis and comprehension, as examples to illustrate research-based practices, focusing on specific instructional strategies derived from the research.

For more information, please contact or call 202-233-2025 or visit us online at:

Jo Maralit



More Fluency Resources

Just thought you might like another couple of teaching strategies for fluency!  Click on the titles to download and print.  NP =)

#1  Echo Reading

Echo reading is a form of modeling oral reading where the teacher reads a line of a story and then the student echoes her model by reading the same line imitating her intonation and phrasing.

#2  Neurological Impress

The impress method uses unison oral reading between the teacher and the student.  The teacher and student sit side-by-side with the teacher reading out loud slightly louder and ahead of the student modeling fluent and expressive oral reading.


Fluency Resources


There is a great resource for working on fluency that I have been using with a dyslexic man here at the Center. It is a program called Read Naturally.

It is a program that was developed to increase K-5 fluency, but it works well with adult readers too. It is graded by reading levels and I purchased the third grade reading level for him. The content themes are not childish (science, heroes, disasters, etc.) and are high interest.  You take a "cold 1minute timing"" of the one minute text. Then the student works on reading along with the CD.. I do a "hot 1 minute timing Day 1 score" after he has read along with the CD, which gets progressively faster with each reading. Then I send the text and CD home with him and he practices his story each day for 3 minutes. At the next tutoring session we do a hot timing, and his score goes up significantly each time. Then we add an additional story from the CD and he adds that to his assigned reading, so there is a constant review fo the old and focus on new stories. His fluency is improving greatly and so is his confidence level as he improves each week on his 1 minute readings.  
I believe I purchased the homeschool packet with 5 CDS and 5 stories per CD for  aprox. $100 and feel it was well worth it!  Check it out!

Ellen Guettler, Bozeman


Thought this site may be interesting to us as we look at improving
reading ability. 

Suzette Fox, Billings


Fluency and Comprehension

An important distinction needs to be made between fluency and comprehension.  There is a strong relationship between the two; however, that relationship is not always what it seems.  We frequently assume someone who demonstrates a high level of fluency as having an equally proficient grasp of comprehension, in many cases this is not true.  Any teacher can cite examples of students who were extremely fluent, that is, they read rapidly, fluidly and with prosody, yet they lacked even a basic understanding of the text.  The opposite is also true.  The fact that an individual has strong comprehension does not automatically mean they are extremely fluent.  Many students may be slow readers, yet they have a strong grasp of the meaning of the text.  The key is to be both a fluent and comprehending reader.  Never assume a fluent reader is a comprehending reader.

Jerry Guay, Hardin ABLE


Fluency and Math

To add a bit to the research, according to Lauren Resnick and Susan Omanson (1987), a positive relationship exists between the amount of verbalization and the amount of learning.  In other words, the more we get our students to talk math, the more they learn.  But more importantly, the deeper the understanding of math concepts.

Kathie Daviau
Billings Adult Education Center