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June 2, 2019

For reading to be fluent it must be accurate, at a reasonable rate and prosodic (Kuhn and Stahl, 2003).  Accuracy and speed pertain to decoding automaticity and the word superiority effect (Reicher, 1969 – more here) but prosody (the ability to make oral reading sound like authentic oral speech (Rasinski et al., 2011)) is more nuanced and demanding to identify.

Prosody focuses on the features of speech that are layered...

September 1, 2018

By the late nineteenth century in the United States the vice-like grip of the whole-word method on initial reading instruction and the reliance on the McGuffy Reader was starting to diminish as the long-term effects of the method were starting to become evident.  Pupils made apparently huge initial strides in reading fluency in the early grades, but as Smith notes from a contemporary journal ‘…pupils in the higher grades are not...

December 17, 2017

You want your students to go university.  Of course you do.  That's why you track them so carefully.  So what are you tracking?  Well, you track them against standardised scores and grade outcomes in the hope you can predict their SATs results and GCSE and A-level grades, but do you track their reading automaticity and fluency?

Thought not. 

In primary schools they track phonic competency until the end of year one (...

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