Friday, December 2, 2011

Fluency Part 5 Highlight Phrases

Fluency is not just about reading words accurately and with speed, it also includes prosody and comprehension. Prosody is reading with expression and it includes using appropriate intonation, pitch, modulation and pausing. There would seem to be a close relationship between prosody and comprehension.

A major problem that can minimise reading comprehension is slow word-by-word reading. This style of reading eats up limited working memory resources and stifles expressive reading. One effective way to maximise working-memory resources and to enhance prosody is to chunk the reading by reading whole phrases rather than individual words.

This can be done by using a highlighter to highlight phrases on a photocopy of a storybook page (or a highlighted word doc.). The reading guide then models the reading by reading each phrase and using the appropriate expression. The child then reads by following the expert reader's example.


  1. Love the highlighting! I've been using slashes to separate phrases, but the highlighting is so much more attractive. Thanks for the idea.

  2. The children generally respond well and it seems like fun.

  3. Now to get the highlighter off the computer screen.