Fluency Block

What is fluency block?

Some children develop a good ability to decode words, but are always stuck laboriously decoding them without it becoming fluent.

The reason for this seems to be that they are building a mapping of letter patterns to sounds with the letter patterns stored in their general visual memory, not the specialist “letterbox” cortex normally used by most readers.

Have you ever raed txet liek this that smeoone has scarbmled? Amzaignly you are geenrlaly able to raed it quite flnuetly.

The reason is that we are using the letterbox cortex that is able to do an instant anagram on the letters of the word. The scrambled text shows the power of this cortex. And the letterbox is able to do it so fast with normal text that it feels as if you are identifying the words by sight.

Symptoms of fluency block

The key symptoms are:

  • The child can decode words, but never becomes fluent
  • More practice just leads to faster and faster decoding

Solutions for fluency block

We find that two processes help fix this situation.:

  1. We always get the children rereading each phrase or sentence until it is fluent.
  2. We use an anagram game to get them looking for familiar patterns in apparent randomness.