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Curriculum and Instruction

What Is Guided Oral Reading?

Guided oral reading is an instructional strategy that can help students improve a variety of reading skills, including fluency. This article explains how to implement it in your classroom.

Guided repeated oral reading is an instructional strategy that can help students improve a variety of reading skills, including fluency. There are a number of effective procedures that can be used in providing guided oral reading.

In general, a teacher, parent, or peer reads a passage aloud, modeling fluent reading. Then students reread the text quietly, on their own, sometimes several times. The text should be at the student’s independent reading level. Next, the students read aloud and then reread the same passage. Usually, reading the same text four times is sufficient.

Some examples of more specific techniques that involve rereading with feedback include these:

  • An adult or peer reads with the student by modeling fluent reading and then asking the student to read the same passage aloud with encouragement and feedback by the adult or peer.
  • A student listens to a tape of a fluent reader reading text at the student’s independent level at a pace of about 80-100 words a minute. The student listens to the tape the first time and then practices reading along with the tape until the student is able to read fluently.
  • The student reads with a peer partner. Each partner takes a turn reading to the other. A more fluent reader can be paired with a less fluent reader to model fluent reading. The more fluent reader can provide feedback and encouragement to the less fluent reader. Students of similar reading skills can also be paired, particularly if the teacher has modeled fluent reading and the partner reading involves practice.
  • Readers’ theater can be a motivating way to improve fluency. Students read scripts and rehearse a play to prepare for a performance. The practice in reading and rereading the scripts provides an excellent opportunity to improve fluency skills.

Excerpted from: “Questions about reading instruction,” The Partnership for Reading, (

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