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Reading to Learn With Letterland

Becoming a fluent reader means being able to read words so effortlessly that your child is free to give full attention to the meaning in every sentence and to read with expression. This is the important stage of moving on from learning to read to the ultimate goal – reading for enjoyment!

This is the life skill we all want for our children so that they become learners for life. Fluency is the ability to read a text quickly, accurately, and with proper expression. Comprehension is about actively seeking out and understanding the meaning of the text. In fact, reading with expression only works when your child fully understands the message in each sentence and paragraph. An important way to help develop fluency and comprehension is through rereading.

Read on to find out more about fluency and comprehension, then head over to our shop to grab your new resources!


Aiming for fluency

Some children seem to read words fluently but have little understanding of the story. Although they may seem fluent, in fact they may be concentrating so much on decoding the words that it is difficult for them to focus on the meaning of whole sentences at the same time.

If so, they may need to spend more time in mastering the sounds made by two letter and three letter spelling patterns like ar, ew, oa, igh, etc. to broaden the number of words they can read without hesitation. With each one they learn well, hundreds of words containing that same spelling pattern will become easy to read. So the more sounds your child knows well, the fewer words there will be to stumble over and the easier it will be to focus on what the words mean.


Tips for fluency and comprehension

  • Model fluent reading. When your child reads to you, help them to read with ‘flow’ and expression by taking turns. You read a sentence with expression. They copy your voice and go on to the next sentence, ideally still keeping up the expressive tone of voice. Change your voices when characters speak, or lower them when a story gets scary. This will not only give your child practice in reading fluently, but will also bring the story to life.

  • Read it again. Reread favourite stories and poems together, with your child focusing on using their voice to make the reading sound interesting for others to hear. Take turns to keep it lighthearted.

  • Focus on meaning. Practise by asking your child to get ready to answer one or two questions you will ask them after they reread a section to you. Give questions about what’s happening, or what they think might happen next. Help them with suggestions like, ‘Could you say that…?’.

  • Focus on text. As your child becomes more confident with their reading and writing, you can read longer and more exciting stories together. You can also talk about details of the text, for example, to notice different endings on verbs, to obey punctuation marks of all kinds. Missing a comma can completely change a sentence’s meaning! So accuracy is important for both fluency and comprehension.

  • Focus on the author. Draw your child’s attention to the person behind the words they are reading. What was he or she saying? Have we understood their message? Good readers think all the time as they read.

  • Wonder together. Take a problem or event in the story and wonder out loud together, ‘What would you do if…?’ ‘Do you think the author wanted to surprise you with the way the story ended?’ Do interrupt the story to answer any question your child may ask.

  • Motivate. Make sure to have good books on hand that they will want to read so they continue to get better at reading simply by doing more of it! The more they read independently, the more they are experiencing firsthand how many places they can ‘go’ and things they can ‘do’ – just by getting absorbed in a book – and what a useful and enjoyable skill reading actually is!


Featured Products

Go on a reading adventure with your Letterland friends in this series of 26 books! Carefully designed imaginative stories allow you to share the reading experience with levelled sections for your child to read with minimal support.


Letterland Stories - Level 2 combines easily decodable words with a few essential high-frequency words. Great for guided or shared reading and independent practice of initial and final phonemes and short medial vowels.


This entertaining selection of bedtime stories will captivate young children's imaginations and introduce them to the wonderful world of Letterland. Join the 26 Letterland friends as they dive the ocean deep in search of hidden treasure or blast into space with an alien adventurer. Great for reading aloud at any time of day!

Teacher's tip: This book is ideal for encouraging speaking skills as well as identifying initial letter sounds!


Other Letterland products that help encourage fluency and comprehension:


We hope you found this article useful. If you'd like to use Letterland to help your little learners with fluency and comprehension, head over the our website to grab all these brilliant resources.

Want to read more? Check out our post on using Letterland to teach alphabet sounds and shapes, making words or handwriting practice.

*Discount code applies only to web orders, purchased with credit/debit card.


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