Use decodable text (controlled lists of words, sentences and stories) to teach phonics and fluency.
Decoding accuracy and reading fluency are skills that develop over time with oral reading practice. It is critical for an individual at this developmental stage of reading to encounter words that are phonetically consistent and contain only those phonetic elements that he has already learned.
Research shows that the single best instructional technique for developing reading fluency is to provide guided oral reading practice using decodable text. Decodable text is text that is composed of words that primarily contain only those phonetic elements that have been previously introduced. Words containing phonic elements not yet taught in this program are not included in the text.
As an example if the consonant team ch has not yet been introduced in the program, then no word in the text will contain the ch team until that consonant team is formally presented in the program. All of the sentences and stories in our online program have been carefully developed to include only those phonetic elements that have been taught up to the particular point currently reached in the program. Some common sight words are also used.
Students are never presented with words containing phonic elements they have not yet been taught. This process of using controlled reading lists is essential. Students learn that the English language is predictable and governed by an underlying set of consistent rules. Most students who struggle in reading believe the language is illogical, inconsistent and arbitrary. Gradually, lesson-by-lesson, more and more phonetic elements are introduced. Once a new phonic element is taught, it is constantly reintroduced in subsequent lessons for purposes of review and consolidation. Eventually students learn all of the major phonetic constructions in English and thus are able to read and spell with accuracy, fluency and confidence.