Dyscover has combined 2 hours worth of traditional assessment into a 5-minute online reading test, providing assessors with an accurate score for multiple reading measurements.
An important component in reading fluency is accuracy. Word reading accuracy is the ability to read words with very few or no mistakes and is the most essential skill of reading fluency. Therefore, an increase in accuracy leads to better fluency and comprehension.
Accurate word reading is a skill that must be mastered if students are going to be able to “read to learn”. If students cannot accurately identify words, they will continue to struggle while reading.
Syllabication is the act of dividing words into syllables and can be described as a ‘beat’ or ‘beats’ within a word. As an example of syllabication, take the word ‘fantastic’. Dividing it into beats gives us three clear syllables: fan/tas/tic.
More than 80% of words in English have more than one syllable. It is much easier to read a new, unfamiliar word in chunks than to try to sound out all the letters in one long, continuous string. Chunks are easier to hold on to than small, individual bits of information and reduce the cognitive load. A lighter cognitive load frees up working memory which is important because learning new skills requires a lot of working memory.
Sight words, also known as high frequency words, are words that a reader needs to recognise easily. Some sight words are ‘irregular’ or have letter-sound relationships that are uncommon, while some follow the generalisations or rules of the English language and can be sounded out once a student has been explicitly taught those rules.
Sight word recognition plays an important role in learning to read fluently, and although not a substitute for the critical skill of being able to decode unfamiliar words, recognising frequently occurring words automatically or on sight, contributes to reading effortlessly and with understanding.
Phonetic Decoding is the learned ability to “sound out” words that don’t look familiar and is a key skill for learning to read. It requires both the knowledge of letter-sound relationships, as well as an ability to apply that knowledge to successfully identify written words and make meaning. An example of this would be when the letter c is followed by the vowels e, i, or y, it usually makes its soft sound, as in cell, city, and cypress. With other vowels, the letter c makes a hard sound, as in cap, code, and cut.
The ability to phonetically decode is the foundation upon which all other reading instructions, such as fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension are built.