For Reading Comprehension and Silent Reading Fluency
The unique, computerized Reading Plus program is a dynamic approach to the development of Silent Reading Fluency.
We can ascertain how individuals read orally by asking them to read aloud. However, a typical standardized test must be read silently. So, how do we assess Silent Reading Fluency?
Watch the student’s eye-movement recording before intervention/training.
Now watch the the same student’s recording after four months of intervention/training.
VISAGRAPH™ EYE-MOVEMENT TECHNOLOGY quickly evaluates silent reading ability
State of the art technology in funky little computerized goggles! At BrainLinking, the Visagraph™ Eye-Movement Recording System has become an invaluable tool. The assessment takes ten to fifteen minutes. A student reads a selection at his independent reading level while wearing sensor-containing goggles that record his ocular motor (eye movement) performance. The Visagraph™ provides an objective means of recording and evaluating silent reading efficiency. In minutes, a detailed analysis of a student’s reading performance is generated. Data collected with the Visagraph™ provides unique insight into a student’s silent reading eye behavior, revealing what may be hindering development of independent reading comprehension.
The Visagraph™ assessment results are compared with National Norms established through research by Stanford Taylor in cooperation with 37 universities evaluating 12,000 students. The National Reading Panel Report (2000) documents the relationship between the eye-movement recording and silent reading fluency. The report states, “Research on the eye in the past two decades has provided a perspective from which to observe the fluent reading process.”
Reading Plus® provides “Targeted Instruction” in five critical elements defined by the National Reading Panel
- Vocabulary acquisition
- Reading comprehension enhancement
- Phonemic awareness
- Fluency in silent reading *
* Fluency building is what makes Reading Plus® unique and successful !! *
Reading Plus® exercises specifically develop the fundamental reading process (visual, perceptual and information processing skills) and provide extensive silent reading training.
This kind of reading help prepares students of all ages and levels with essential skills needed for academic and vocational success.
Reading Plus® SILENT READING FLUENCY Programs Develop:
- Accuracy in visual tracking
- Instant word recognition
- Rapid word association
- Visual memory
- Good reading comprehension with ease and comfort
DEVELOPMENTAL Reading Program
Reading Plus® is typically used on average three times weekly in 30 to 45 minute training sessions. BrainLinking offers a four-month series (40 or more lessons) in our lab and via your home internet. Progress is monitored and managed by a trainer to optimize every student’s efforts throughout the series.
Even the best teachers in the world can’t teach the physiological components of reading: binocular coordination and fusion (ability to use both eyes together), tracking across lines of print, sweeping from the right edge of the print to the beginning of the next line on the left, etc. Our children must be able to read and comprehend during silent reading just as they will be asked to do on standardized tests. They must be trained to read silently with fluency and efficiency, then practice with guidance and feedback.
Reading Help for All Ages
Reading Plus® is a unique, computerized reading program for all students who want to develop higher levels of reading competency. It includes:
• Activities for levels one through twelve as well as for college-age individuals
• Appropriate content for primary grade students and more mature content for older students
COMPLIMENTARY groups of PROGRAMS in Reading Plus® improve:
- Perceptual accuracy and visual efficiency
- Vocabulary and reading comprehension
- Motivation for reading
AVERAGE INCREASE of 2.2 grade levels in reading as measured by standardized tests
Our promise: During the 4 month course, the student will experience a . . .
• Minimum improvement of 1 to 5 grade levels of reading
• 20-6100 word per minute gain with reading comprehension of 80-100%.
Most clients are experiencing far greater growth than the minimum! Many adults and youth who have completed this program love it and the results they have experienced!
Reading Help – Training in Subliminal Skills:
• Attention and concentration
• Visual functioning
• Perceptual skills
They cannot be directed by a teacher nor controlled by a student. Only the manner of computerized fluency training involved in the guided reading program can develop and retain the high speed visual, perceptual and information processing skills a student employs in reading.
The silent reading fluency skills developed by Reading Plus® improve short term memory, literal understanding and the rate at which students can read comfortably with excellent comprehension. If students cannot perceive words accurately and quickly they will inadvertently make multiple eyes-stops to recognize each word. This delayed word recognition encourages visual wandering and reduced reading comprehension.
Reading Plus® is based on over 75 years of research that supports its various instructional programs as well as studies that demonstrate its effectiveness.
More than half a million students have benefited from Reading Plus® !
Reading Plus® is presently in use in over 4,500 schools throughout the U.S. and abroad, involving an estimated 420,000 students in over 100,000 classrooms and labs.
Questions & Answers about Reading Plus®
What is silent reading fluency?
One of five key areas of instruction identified by the National Reading Panel (NRP) is fluency, which must be developed to achieve reading proficiency. Fluency (which is actually a group of skills) refers to the ability to “take in” or to process language at an adequate rate with good comprehension. Oral fluency is assessed when a child reads aloud, commonly in the elementary grades where reading is taught. Some students need audio or kinetic input as an adjunct to their reading fluency. When silence is imposed on the reading process, these students are restricted in what they are able to “take in”. The other four key areas identified by NRP–phonics, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension and vocabulary—are somewhat more familiar components of reading, and are more commonly taught in a classroom.
Why is silent reading fluency so important?
Standardized testing requires that students sit quietly, reading questions and marking answers or writing essay responses to demonstrate their grasp of specific material. They must use only the concepts they understand during silent reading. With fluency skills, a student’s knowledge base will be tested. Without developed fluency, it cannot be determined from unsatisfactory exam scores whether the student did not know the material or could not process the test silently.
Please clarify how silent reading fluency impacts standardized testing.
A student who requires input from other senses such as auditory or kinesthetic sources will be frustrated in a standardized testing situation when he is deprived of oral cues and disallowed any method of understanding the written words other than by reading silently. We’ve all seen people who mumble or move their lips when they read, “quietly speaking” to themselves to “hear” the words. They need that auditory “input” to successfully acquire the information. Naturally, that need to hear it won’t be obvious when they’re reading orally to you or in class, or even when you’re reading to them. But take away auditory input, and the student will be measured on his ability to “take in” the language solely from his silent reading fluency skills. No wonder everyone is baffled when he doesn’t perform during the test! As the supportive and concerned parent, you went over those study questions with him, and you’re certain he KNOWS the material. But during the test, silently, the questions just don’t make enough sense to him. This can be extremely frustrating for parents, students and teachers!
How does BrainLinking assess silent reading fluency?
We use a funky pair of computerized goggles (Visagraph™) which allows us to measure the perceptual skills of the eyes, identifying difficulties with binocular coordination and fusion (ability to use both eyes together), tracking across lines of print, and sweeping from the right edge of the print to the beginning of the next line on the left. We get a pictorial graphing of what a reader’s eyes do as she reads silently. The unique reports show exactly the movements of each eye graphed side-by-side. A very revealing picture indeed! We test each student with the Visagraph™ in her initial Reading Plus® evaluation as well as upon completion of a four-month program.
How does Reading Plus® differ from what my child already gets in school?
It is surprising how many school-aged children are failing to make the transition between ‘word calling’ and fluent reading. When I ask teachers how this aspect of reading is being taught in their classrooms, I often hear the familiar approach called DEAR – “Drop Everything and Read”. We know from research studies that this method works fine for good readers – they do improve. But the same research confirms that struggling readers do not improve just by reading silently. They, in fact, actually get worse! Practicing something incorrectly many times does not magically turn it into something correct! Teachers with whom I talk are becoming more determined to address this challenge in the school setting.
We talk about an inability to understand phonemic awareness or vocabulary or comprehension or phonics. But often the problem is eye tracking or eye sweeping. These are difficult skills to evaluate, beyond the suggestion that “there’s definitely a problem somewhere.” The challenge lies in the fact that fluency is a set of physiological skills. Physiologic activities, those that are unconscious and which occur outside of our awareness, can’t be taught as a lesson. We must train these processes through specific exercises. When we add to that the difficulties in assessing the physiological skills, we don’t really know about a student’s struggle unless he performs poorly in standardized testing situations.
For these students, fluency cannot improve without direct skill training and practice. It isn’t a teacher failure; rather it is physiological components of reading that the best teachers in the world can’t teach. Developing silent reading skills for these students will need training, practice, guidance and feedback such as Reading Plus® provides.
During every Reading Plus® lesson, staff members at BrainLinking coach students in exercises and activities designed to strengthen and to develop other components of vision fluency training. Many activities in education and vocations require two-dimensional and three-dimensional skills. They include aspects such as the ability to quickly adjust the visual focal point from the front of the room to a flat writing surface on the desk. For some students this seemingly simple task can be daunting. Then add the fine motor skills of penmanship and simultaneously making all of those adjustments and remembering what was on the board, to boot! It’s a tall order, and a frustrating experience for those whose skills are lacking!
Could Reading Plus® be used in a school or classroom setting?
Yes, there are schools in Utah using Reading Plus®. Nationwide 500,000 students have already used it in their schools or lab settings such as the one at BrainLinking. As measured by standardized tests, an average semester improvement for lower achieving students is 1.8 grade levels. We have found that average or higher performing readers are showing even greater improvements in a few weeks of the Reading Plus® lessons.
Where else is Reading Plus® available?
There are Reading Plus® labs in several places across the US. The lab at BrainLinking is the first one in Utah. All the computerized reading labs are privately owned and operated, and services are purchased from Taylor Associates. BrainLinking includes the benefits of Reading Plus ® in its larger program of unique brain processing activities and equipment for developing optimum learning efficiency. Every student receives a BrainLinking Balance Board ® and associated activity kit to be used at home, as well as staff coaching in brain processing exercises at each lesson.
Since it’s online, can I do it at home?
Yes. Students will be encouraged to do at least one lesson per week in the BrainLinking lab in order to have the benefit of the coaching and adjunct activities. However, if travel or time precludes a student coming into the lab from time to time, they may have access to the Reading Plus ® online portion of the training from their homes via high-speed internet. Individuals may inquire about this option as need arises. BrainLinking staff-monitoring and adjustment (as required for optimal Reading Plus ® training ) is also provided for at-home online students.