Are you looking for ways to enhance reading in your classroom? Why not try Listening While Reading (LWR)! It is a technique that involves reading a text while also listening to an audio version of the same text. It has been shown to improve fluency and reading comprehension. This article will explain the benefits of LWR and provide tips on how to make the best use of this useful technique.
Fluency refers to the ability to read smoothly and accurately with an appropriate level of expression1. As a fluent reader, a student should be able to read and recognize words automatically without noticeable effort. For some students, such as developing readers and English Language Learners, achieving a high level of fluency can be difficult. However, LWR can help to boost fluency.
When reading, the narrator, be it a live speaker or audio recording, serves as an exemplary model. The narrator models appropriate dictation and pronunciation while also showing the pace at which the text should be read. In the end, a narrator can help students to achieve more fluency compared to if they read silently and independently2.
Reading comprehension refers to the ability “to read text, process it and understand its meaning.”3 It is a skill that relies on mastery of decoding4 and can therefore be a difficult task for emerging and developing readers, as well as English Language Learners. While students become master decoders, LWR can be used as an effective technique to support their comprehension abilities.
When a student listens to and reads a text, they are engaging multiple senses. Doing this offers a deeper level of engagement which can help students to retain more of what is being read. This is because they are forced to devote significant attention to the text and what is being read aloud, rather than solely focusing on decoding. Of course, students need to become master decoders but while they are doing so, they still need to work on their comprehension skills. So, until students become master decoders, listening while reading can help them master comprehension skills.
What To Do Next:
Are you ready to try out listening while reading in your classroom? Start by exploring over 1200+ audiobooks on Fathom Reads. Whether you assign specific books, or students choose what to read on their own, there are endless options to choose from to support core-subject learning.
After students read, explore the video record & playback feature. We suggest having students submit a video of themselves reading a text aloud so you can track their fluency progress. Or to test their reading comprehension, we suggest using our quiz feature! We have over 1500 premade quizzes however you have the option to customize those or create your own from scratch to meet your needs.