I am a big advocate of having English Language Learners – and all students – partner up to read text (see A Look Back: Twelve Ways ELLs – & Anyone Else – Can Read & Demonstrate Understanding Of A Textbook Chapter – Add To The List!).

Plenty of research has shown that this kind of activity improves fluency and comprehension, and reading researcher Timothy Shanahan has regularly highlighted it.

He published his most recent post on the topic today in How to Improve Text Fluency in the Middle Schools and High Schools, and I highlighted a quote from it in the text box.

He’s written other posts that are also worth reading:

Oral Reading In The Mainstream & ELL Classroom

I Knew Encouraging Oral Reading Fluency Was Important, But I Didn’t Realize It Was This Important….

Here are some other related posts:

Study: “You are more likely to remember something if you read it out loud”

The Little-Known Truths About Reading Aloud



6 Paired Reading Strategies to Help Students Struggling With Reading is from Lexia.

My Middle School Requires Fluency Instruction: Help! is from Timothy Shanahan.

Teaching Oral Reading Fluency to Older Students is from Timothy Shanahan.

How to Provide Effective Reading Instruction is a new report by Timothy Shanahan and published by The World Bank.

I’m adding this post to:

The Best Resources On Reading Fluency (Including How To Measure It) (which includes links to even more of his posts).

The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More! (which also includes links to other posts he’s written)

This comes from Edutopia’s great “Research” newsletter. Unfortunately, there’s no way to just link to it:

Read Aloud to Boost Retention of Challenging Texts

Asking students to read material aloud can improve recall by 12 percentage points.

There’s nothing mysterious about how Sir Anthony Hopkins learns his lines—he reads them aloud, repeatedly, sometimes up to 200 times.

It’s a simple strategy that many actors swear by: To remember something, say something. It’s also a “versatile but flexible learning strategy” that can be broadly applied in the classroom to boost student memory, researchers explain in a 2018 study.

In the study, college students were shown a list of words and asked to read them silently, in accompaniment with recordings of the spoken words, or aloud to themselves. “There was a gradient of memory” across the conditions, the researchers found: Those who read the words aloud remembered 77 percent of the words they had encountered, a small but meaningful improvement over the 65 percent of words that the silent readers recalled.

That may seem insignificant, but reading is a high-volume activity, and even marginal gains can quickly add up. When dealing with complex or challenging texts, consider asking students to read aloud.

For example, literacy expert Timothy Shanahan recommends pairing students to “read sections of the text aloud to each other” and ask clarifying questions. Choral reading, meanwhile—teachers and students reading a text in unison—can improve reading fluency and vocabulary while increasing students’ confidence. As you end the lesson, close the loop by asking students to briefly recite, summarize, and discuss key ideas from a passage, a sequence of activities that can supercharge retention and encourage students to listen attentively.