Oral Reading Versus Silent Reading

Research on instruction in oral reading fluency clearly shows its benefits. Research on instruction in silent reading (what’s sometimes called “guided silent reading”) does not provide similarly positive results. Fortunately, however, studies have found that instruction in oral reading fluency also helps students when they read silently (Kuhn & Schwanenflugel, 2018).

There’s one caution. Occasionally a child can read aloud fluently without appearing to comprehend what he or she is reading. Perhaps the child has a problem with recall or with understanding complex concepts. Explicit instruction to build comprehension skills might be helpful for such a student. The next unit talks about ways to teach reading comprehension.