Reading Big Words: Instructional Practices to Promote Multisyllabic Word Reading Fluency


Poorly developed word recognition skills are the most pervasive and debilitating source of reading challenges for students with learning disabilities (LD). With a notable decrease in word reading instruction in the upper elementary grades, struggling readers receive fewer instructional opportunities to develop proficient word reading skills, yet these students face greater amounts of texts with more complex words. Poor decoders, even those who can fluently read monosyllabic words, often have difficulty with multisyllabic words, yet the average number of syllables in words that students read increases steadily throughout their school years. As such, it is necessary to identify instructional practices that will support the continued reading development of students into the upper elementary years. This article discusses the difficulty involved in multisyllabic word reading and describes five research-based instructional practices that promote the multisyllabic word reading fluency of struggling readers, particularly those with LD.


Toste, J. R., Williams, K. J., & Capin, P. (2016). Reading big words: Instructional practices to promote multisyllabic word reading fluency. Intervention in School and Clinic. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/1053451216676797