Question: How improve fluency through understanding phrase boundaries?
Answer/Quote: “One approach for helping students develop their ability to phrase texts essentially involves making visible those normally invisible phrase boundaries for students. We have noticed that public speakers, when giving a speech, will often mark phrase boundaries in the written texts of the speeches they are reading, as visual cues to assist them in phrasing their oral rendition of the speech. If this benefits fluent speakers when reading, a text, would it not benefit children learning to become fluent readers?” p. 253.
Quote: “Find a relatively short passage (100-400 words in length) from a text that students have previously read or will be reading …. With a pencil, mark what you believe are the appropriate phrase boundaries in the text where reader would pause with slash marks—one slash mark for short phrase boundaries and pauses within sentence and two slashes for boundaries (longer pauses) between sentences.” P. 253-254.
Example of phrase markings for a story: from Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne: “My grandmother did great things.//Betty lived during World War II/ but she did not fight in it.// She took fencing for fun/ and played basketball/ on the first girls’ team in her state/ and went to France/ To take harp lessons/ from a famous harpist there.//
Sequence of activities: “First, read the text to students while having them follow along silently…. Then, chorally read the passage with your students, again placing emphasis on expressive and phrased reading…. Next have students practice the passage on their own….. Finally have selected students individually, in pairs or in small groups read the passage in performance for the other students.” P. 254.
Comment: Interesting idea—if it translates into fluency when reading silently. RayS.
Title: “Building Fluency Through the Phrase Text Lesson.” T Rasinski, K Yildirim and J Nageldinger. The Reading Teacher (December 2011/January 2012), 252-255.