The fluent reader is “one whose decoding processes are automatic, requiring no conscious attention.” (LaBerge and Samuels 1974)

How fluent are the readers in your FL class? What do they need BEFORE they can be fluent readers?

They need language. And they need to have acquired it, not just feel like maybe they’ve heard that word somewhere before.

You can’t automatically decode what you haven’t acquired. In the 21st century rush to teach more faster to younger students, the ideas of teaching narrow and deep and teaching for mastery have been lost.

If your kids can’t pick up a reader at their level and read it as easily as they read something in English, try this: stop. Take a reader, and pre-load every single word in that reader through intensive TPRSĀ® — 100% comprehensible input. Teach those words and structures until the students could be awakened at 3 am and still tell you precisely what each one means without even really waking up.

Then give them a book. You’ll be astonished what a difference it makes when they read instead of decode.