Parental involvement in their childrens reading culture is critical in enhancing their fluency and eventually their educational and life goals. According to Willis, fluency is the proficiency in reading text accurately and quickly (47). Parents have a vital role to play in promoting reading proficiency in their children given that they are their first teachers and role models. Parents are supposed to invest all their time and efforts in ensuring that their children can decode literature accurately, rapidly, have the ability to group words automatically correctly, and anticipate for punctuation cues when they are reading. Parents can help their children develop fluency when reading by establishing a family reading schedule which they can use to help children acquire skills that can promote reading with fluency. Among many ways of enhancing fluent reading, there are three ways that every parent should consider.
The first way through which parents can help their children improve reading proficiency is through encouraging them to spell and develop phonological awareness. There is a close relationship between spelling and reading based on the definitions of both. O'Sullivan and Ann define reading as decoding written language while writing is encoding or generating a written language (14). These definitions indicate that when children are learning to spell, they acquire the sound-letter relationships. If children improve on their spelling of their words, their reading ability consequently improves, and fluency is achieved. It is worth noting that a high spelling proficiency promotes making of sense when reading words. One technique that parents can use to improve spelling proficiency among children is the cover-compare method (Johnson, 11-13). In this technique children can be made to point to the words and then repeat the words they pointed. After that, those worlds should be covered, and then printed, compared with the correct model, and the mistakes corrected.
On the other hand, developing phonological awareness is the ability to register, practice, and categorize the sounds of a language at a pre-conscious level (O'Sullivan and Ann, 14). Phonological awareness and reading are closely related in that a child or any learner can only pronounce words after he or she is able to know their letter sounds. Parents should teach their kids to develop phonological awareness. Parents should encourage their children to spell phonetically because it helps them analyze the sounds they hear in words and come up with ways of presenting these words.
The second way through which parents can help their children acquire fluency in reading is through listening while they read aloud and make them practice repeated reading. Listening to children while they read can help identify oral mistakes. The identified errors can be corrected by offering constant assistance, and eventually, children whose oral mistakes have been rectified most likely become fluent readers (Norris, 27). On the other hand, parents can use repeated reading to promote their childrens reading fluency by making these children read a single article over and over until mastery. This method has been proved to be effective in enhancing fluent reading among children. However, as compared to the listening while reading method, repeated reading can promote boredom and end up not achieving its intended purpose (Norris, 27).
The third way through which parents can promote reading fluency in their kids is reading to them. Reading aloud to kids or using audiobooks can advance their literacy skills because children can be exposed to rich vocabularies which can positively impact their language, intelligence, and eventually literacy achievement. Parents should make it a daily routine to read aloud to their children for at least 20-30 minutes (Mink, 33-35). Reading aloud to kids should be followed by a brief discussion with the kids because such a session enables them to think critically about what was read to them. Besides promoting the childrens vocabulary base, reading aloud causes children to view their parents as their model of fluent reading and learn the pitch pattern of the language they are reading (Mink, 33-35).
To conclude, as childrens first teachers and role models, parents can highly influence fluent reading among their children. Promoting fluent reading at an early age is very important because childrens language, intelligence, and literacy achievement can be positively impacted. There are so many methods that parents can use to promote reading fluency among their children. The methods that this paper discussed are worth considering if parents want to discourage mediocre reading in their children. In parting shot, any child who wants to be successful in attaining reading fluency be aware that settling for average is not an option; always strive to learn all you can and be the best you can attaining knowledge with maximum determination.
Johnson, Mandi M. "The Relationship between Spelling Ability and Reading Fluency and Comprehension in Elementary Students." (2013).
Mink, Deborah V. Strategies for Building Fluency. Shell Education, 2009. Print.
Norris, Katherine E. L. Studying the Effects of Increased Volume of On-Level, Self-Selected Reading on Ninth Graders' Fluency, Comprehension, and Motivation. , 2008. Print.
O'Sullivan, Olivia, and Anne Thomas.Understanding Spelling. London: Routledge, 2007. Internet resource.
Willis, Judy. Teaching the Brain to Read: Strategies for Improving Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2008. Print.
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