Just Imagine

An Ear for Reading: Developing fluent, expressive readers

Promoting an enjoyable and meaningful  way of developing fluent, expressive reading in the context of good quality first teaching.

Fluent readers, read at an appropriate pace, accurately and importantly with expression.  A reader who decodes accurately but has not developed fluency is more likely to experience problems in comprehending a text, as their attention is focused on lifting the words from the page. We have devised resources and workshops centred on four approaches to developing reading fluency in the context of regular teaching: reading aloud, reading poetry, readers theatre and reading nonfiction.

An Ear for Reading website is an open access site with resources for all teachers, student teachers and librarians.

On the website you will find a series of short training films which can be used in staff meetings or for independent study, as well as a growing bank of practical teaching resources and recommended book lists.

An Ear for Reading is a working project with a scheduled programme of new resources being developed throughout 2019. Please revisit the website throughout the year to view new resources.

Course outline

This short course presents the case for developing reading fluency based on up-to-date research and outlines a set of core principles for developing fluent and expressive readers in the context of  reading and English lessons. Fluency is not an aspect of reading that is achieved in the transition from KS1 to KS2. Readers of all ages and levels of attainment may at some point find their fluency challenged. This course, therefore, considers the needs of pupils of different ages and levels of attainment.

Areas of focus

  • Why reading fluency is important to overall literacy
  • A brief overview of approaches to reading fluency and consideration of their merits and weaknesses
  • Presentation of four practical strategies for creating fluent readers
    • Reading aloud — ways to do it well. This is probably one of the most important things that teachers can do to help build an ear for reading, and yet it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Fortunately, there are some simple, practical steps we can take to develop skills and confidence in reading aloud well. No acting required! We also look at how we build children’s skills in reading aloud and support their developing fluency across a range of texts.
    • Readers Theatre — we look at the best ways of working with this established strategy, focussing on integrated approaches which allow for the development of comprehension and vocabulary as well as fluency.
    • The place of poetry — poetry allows us to explore the aural qualities of language in playful ways, tuning the ear for reading.
    • Becoming fluent with nonfiction. Nonfiction is often neglected when it comes to reading aloud or performance. We share the approaches that we have devised for developing fluency with nonfiction texts.
  • This participative workshop approach involves teachers learning practical tools and techniques. Come dressed for comfort and enjoyment.

Key Stage suitability

Can be tailored to cover any or all Key Stages from KS1 to UKS2

Course length

A one-day course. This training can be delivered as a series of workshop sessions.

Resources

A dedicated website has supporting materials for in school follow-up.  earforreading.org