Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Develop English Fluency for Fluent English Speaking

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking. Readers who have not yet developed fluency read slowly, word by word.

Because fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding the words, they can focus their attention on what the text means. They can make connections among the ideas in the text and their background knowledge. In other words, fluent readers recognize words and comprehend at the same time. Less fluent readers, however, must focus their attention on figuring out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding the text.


Fluency Development
It is observed that repeated reading as the key strategy for improving students' fluency skills (NICHD, 2000). Repeated reading has two essential elements:
  1. Giving participants the opportunity to read and then re-read the same text and
  2. Having participants practice their reading orally with an opportunity to receive corrections.
Research has also determined that having students read aloud along with a model of well-paced, expressive reading and receiving specific feedback through systematic progress monitoring also helps improve participant’s fluency skills.

Knowing the meaning of a word is useful, but knowing how to use it in context is vital. Words aren't used in isolation and will often form part of an expression or fixed set of words. Speaking English fluently is not just about making corporate presentations and giving long speeches. It is about expressing your views on the most mundane of things. The ability to make small talk is very important in business and social conversations. Topics for casual conversation could include the weather, sports, current affairs, arts, hobbies, travel, etc. Read up on your area of interest and try framing sentences expressing your opinions. Talk about it with someone close to you so you can check for grammatical accuracy.
  1. Fluency is the ability to read most words in context quickly and accurately.
  2. Fluent readers recognize words automatically when reading silently.
  3. Fluent readers read with expression when reading aloud.
Thus, fluency plays a crucial role in all the sectors at the personal as well as professional. Other essentials for encouraging voluntary reading include a plentiful library of books. For gaining fluency, quantity is more important than quality.

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