Basically, what I began doing was picking out books that had a rhythm to them; such as Doctor Seuss books, or books with rhymes, etc. I chose these books because when read with prosody, the reader can easily feel the rhythm; however, when read in a monotone voice, the beat/rhythm, is extremely difficult to make out. So, Alexa* and I would go to the media room and we would read and re-read these books together. I would start by reading the first two sentences with exaggerated expression and I would then have Alexa* re-read exactly what I just read; and so on. If she didn’t utilize the same expression that I did, I’d tell her to try again. Obviously, before we began these activities, I made sure to remind her that we’re doing this so she can develop her fluency and that I wanted her to be able to comprehend what she was reading. At first, Alexa* was REALLY annoyed with all of the repetition; but, as we worked together over the weeks, I think she really got into. She started utilizing a lot of expression in her voice without me even having to remind her.
Another strategy that we utilized was this…Alexa would read a story (at her level) on her own, then she would read it to me, THEN she would go to the back of the room and tape record herself reading it. Once she was through with that process, together, we would listen to the tape and pause and re-start to point out parts where she made mistakes or where she lacked expression.
I just wanted to point out some strategies that I’ve been using that have been REALLY helpful. It’s actually been a lot of fun helping Alexa* and seeing how quickly her fluency is improving.