What is fluency anyway?
Types of Fluency
- Reading fluency is the ability to read in a foreign language and understand what is being read easily. If your child can read Chinese characters like like 一(one) , 不(no/not) and 还 (still/also), they’re on the way to developing reading fluency. You can also see reading fluency beginning to form in your language learner when they read short sentences from their Key Babel worksheets and correct their own mistakes when reading.
Oral fluency is the ability to speak easily and understandably, and to respond well when others speak. Your child will show they are beginning to develop oral fluency by responding to the teacher’s Chinese questions during class time, asking questions, and experimenting with new words and sounds in Chinese. You can help with this skill by asking your child to tell you new words they learned in class. See if they can teach you the pronunciation tricks they’ve learned!
- Oral-reading fluency is similar to oral fluency, but it includes the ability to read out loud at a natural speed and tone. You’ll see your child’s oral fluency begin to show when they can read Chinese from picture books and their worksheets out loud smoothly, with natural intonation. They’ll sound native in no time!
- Written fluency is the ability to write well and expressively without using a dictionary very much. You’ll see your language learner demonstrate the early stages of writing fluency by practicing their Chinese characters in their workbook, or keeping notes in their Key Babel Chinese study planner. Encourage your child to keep a Chinese journal and write about their daily thoughts in Chinese--it will help them develop great writing skills!
Fluency is not just:
Reading really fast
Repeating things perfectly
Having perfect grammar 100% of the time
Never making mistakes
Impressing native speakers
Overnight language success
Mel Watkins is a freelance writer and blogger based in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a passion for language and literacy which can be seen on her blog EqualOpportunityReader.com.
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