How to Improve Reading Fluency in Adults

by Erica Roth

Adults who have trouble reading and comprehension, have difficulty with reading fluency. Fluency is crucial to everyday life. For example, sometimes in the car you need to read and understand a sign quickly before turning on to a different road. Reading warning labels on foods and medication is another instance in which fluency can be very important. Improving reading fluency in adults is much like helping children with reading skills. Assisting a burgeoning reader without making the student feel inadequate or embarrassed is important.

Dedicate a minimum of 10 minutes daily to improving your reading fluency. John Strucker, a researcher at Boston's nonprofit World Education, explains that students should practice reading without other disturbances for best results. Hire a babysitter, send the kids outside to play or practice reading at night after your children's bedtime.

Pick material that you are familiar with or have interest in, such as the sports page of the newspaper, a current best-seller or a favorite magazine. Improving your reading fluency is more effective when you are interested in the topic.

Choose short pieces to read, ranging from 50 to about 200 words in length. One of the common methods used to boost your fluency and understanding is repeated reading. You will have an easier time repeating shorter sentences and paragraphs than lengthy essays.

Enlist a friend, spouse or other adult who is already a fluent reader to help you. Follow along silently as your reading partner reads out loud. This method can help you increase your speed and fluency when it's your turn to read out loud, in part because you are already very familiar with the vocabulary in your selection.

Ask your reader to read your selection out loud, a few sentences at a time. After he has read the sentences, read the same selection along with your reader. Your helper should read more loudly when he sees you need some help and more quietly when you are reading well without problems. After reading together you should read the selection on your own, out loud.

Record yourself, or a helper reading a portion of a book or an article. Listen to the recording while following along silently, then play the recording again and read aloud with your recorded voice. Repetition helps you learn appropriate reading speed, inflection and difficult vocabulary.

Things You Will Need

  • Reading material
  • Tape recorder

About the Author

I have written many pages for eHow and Livestrong through other freelancing opportunities and would be happy to work on those sites as well as other Demand Studios projects.

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