Record students reading and have them
played back and listen and assessed themselves using the rubrics.
Having a fluency assessment rubric for the
students is necessary, as it provides feedback to the students on the areas he
or she is doing well or areas which he/she needs to improve on. The fluency
rubrics should include target areas like punctuation and pausing, expression,
rhythm and smoothness. In punctuation and pauses, the rubrics look at if reader
pause after the punctuation and if pauses are place at the right places in long
sentences. In expression, the rubrics look at if the reader reads with feelings
and voice goes up and down.
Another area I would like to target for
expression in fluency is focusing on word stress. When we stress on certain
words, it helps to show emphasis on its meaning and makes reading less monotonous.
Have students practice reading a sentence like, “He fidgeted so much that he inevitable caught Mrs Lim’s attention.”
Have them picked out a word that they would like to stress. The word could be
read louder, read longer or changed in pitch. For example one may read it as “He fidgeted so much that he inevitable caught Mrs Lim’s attention,” emphasizing
on the word ‘so’ by reading it longer. In this way, there will be up and down while
you read and making it more interesting for your listener.
Engaging students in theatre
In the class, teacher must model fluency,
reading out aloud to them helps them hear our expression and pacing. When
modelling, teacher can try reading it in a flat tone and reading it with emotions
by changing the volume and pitch so that students can hear the difference and
do a comparison. Students can practice through echo reading. Teacher will first
read a sentence or paragraph to them hear and then the students read it back to
Very often students encounter direct speech
in their reading passage, but they are unable to read these direct speeches with
expression. The following activities hope to engage the students in injecting
more life into their reading with variation of emotions, volume and pitch.
With regards to pausing, some students
exhibit issues with pausing at the right place for a long sentence. Students
can be given a long sentence to practice and have them decide where is a good
place to pause and read it to their partner. One simple rule that students can
follow is to look out for connectors and pause before the connectors and take a
small breath before they continue reading the rest of the sentence. It helps
students understand that in a long sentence, sometimes we break it into meaningful
understandable portion and we add a pause.
A followed-up activity will be to have
students work in groups and to give each group of students a poem. The poem is given
to them with all punctuations removed. Together as a group, they discuss and decide
where and which punctuation goes onto the poem. Once they are done, they read
their poems in their groups to their class. From their sharing, they may find that
they may place different punctuation differently and how sometimes although we say
the same word or same sentence, it has a different meaning each time we say it
according to the punctuation after it. To illustrate the point, for example
(No. No! No? Yes. Yes! Yes?)
To help learners develop in this area,
these are the few proposed activities that could be carried out in the classroom.
I feel that when it comes to expression in fluency, it is important to take
note of the punctuation first. The leaning outcome of this activity is to let
the students know that punctuation has an impact on our voices as we read. In
pairs, the students take turns to ask their partner a question. While listening to their partner, they are to
take note of their tone. Do their tone raises then come to a stop or drop and
comes to a stop? Do they pause and take a breadth after each comma? Have students note down their observations. Next,
we repeat with other statements, for example a statement that ends with an exclamation
mark, a statement that has a list of things separated by commas. Students will
have a feel what each punctuation can do to change the voices.
From my contract experience working with
Primary threes and fives students, I realized that that group of students I
taught generally have less issues with pronunciation with accuracy. They are
generally able to pronunciation their vowels and consonants when they make a
conscious effort to do so. However, one prominent issue is their lack of
expression. Their reading is mostly monotone, with no variation in their volume
and pitch. Even in reading direct speech in their passage, they show no change in
volume and emotions. Their reading is not able to capture the attention of
their listeners and they are not able to convey the meaning of the passage across.
One common mistake is their pacing at reading. They do not pause at the correct
place, particularly in a long sentence and they seems to rush through their
reading. Therefore, I would like to target this aspect of pronunciation which
is their pacing and expression to improve their fluency.
of pronunciation from the MOE EL syllabus that I would like to focus on is
reading aloud clearly and fluently using appropriate voice qualities to convey
meaning and expression.