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How to teach fluency

Unit 9


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Fluency is an important strand of becoming a confident and competent reader, and is something that can be taught in its own right. We see how fluency can be described by the acronym EARS - which stands for expression, automatic word recognition, rhythm and phrasing, and smoothness - and where it links to the English programmes of study. We explore the difference between fluency and automaticity, and how regular reading by the teacher to the class models fluency and helps children to become fluent readers too. A range of strategies for teaching fluency are then introduced, starting with using wordless picture books and then moving on to experimenting with where to place the emphasis within a sentence. There are some games to play too, such as adding punctuation to the alphabet to change the way it is read, and we cover core teaching methods that include choral reading and reader’s theatre. The session ends with some recommendations for KS1 books that will support lessons on playing with fluency, and a suggestion for follow up reading.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

.pptx file

Training Handout - Download

.pdf file

Course Creator

Image of Shareen Wilkinson

Shareen Wilkinson

An experienced primary school teacher and senior leader, Shareen currently runs a successful education consultancy in London. Working with LAs across the country, she has an extensive track record of raising standards in English. Writing and advising for Letts, HarperCollins, Rising Stars and OUP, Shareen also acts as a subject expert on reading and grammar for the DfE.

About the Course

These sessions focus on deepening and developing subject knowledge in primary English. Key areas (e.g. grammar, writing and spelling) are explored in depth, so that teachers can feel confident when delivering them in the classroom, and there are plenty of practical ideas to try too.

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