Accuracy (word): Everything You Need to Know

Refers to the ability to read a word correctly the first time one sees it. It is an important trait for eloquence and full understanding. Accuracy is the most important skill of reading fluency. If a kid is reading a passage quickly, but they are changing or skipping over every other word, they aren’t getting the full meaning and won’t be able to understand what they have read.

Several factors go into increasing accuracy. First and foremost, children must be able to decode and read words quickly. If they cannot quickly decode words, they’ll continue to struggle while reading. They also need to have the ability to quickly read undecodable sight words to improve their accuracy.

When one decodes a word, they use knowledge of the relationships between speech sounds and letters and properly blend them together to form a word. Initially, learners do this in a conscious way. After they’ve decoded a word several times, it becomes a sight word. When kids know many sight words, they’re less likely to be awkward readers.

The rate at which learners read is crucial because slow reading obstructs comprehension. However, reading speed doesn’t suddenly go from slow to fast. For kids who’re learning to read, their speed improves with repeated practice as they develop their reading stamina and orthographic memory. Students can read more quickly when they’re able to quickly break texts into semantic and syntactic phrases and clauses. When teaching fluency to children, it’s better to focus on reading rate instead of speed per se. If the learners think that the main objective is to read as quickly as possible, they might not focus on meaning. The objective is to attain a pace that allows for correct phrasing and acknowledges changes in tone and punctuation but which is adequately quick to enable comprehension.

When students efficiently read words and break the texts into meaningful semantic and syntactic units, they become able to read with expression (known as prosody). For a child to read with prosody, they must possess some understanding of the text as they read it if they know the proper pitch and intonations to use. Similarly, by reading with prosody, the child is more likely to be processing the information as they read it, which results in better comprehension and retention. Additionally, children who demonstrate good prosody in oral reading tend to have better comprehension scores from silent reading.

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