n Mousaion - Harry Potter and the reluctant reader : strategies for encouraging reading fluency

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



It is a truism that learners in the foundation phase learn to read while those in the intermediate phase read to learn. However, this paper examines research indicating that a high percentage of learners never manage the transition from reasonably accurate to fluent reading, and suggests possible strategies for addressing this problem area within a South African context. These strategies include setting aside more time for reading aloud to children in the intermediate phase; addressing the shortage of novels in indigenous languages suitable for older children in South Africa; and countering adult prejudice against popular fiction such as JK Rowling's books and Stephenie Meyer's series. It will be suggested that works such as these, which are relatively long but fast-paced and generically unchallenging, can be very helpful in developing reading fluency : and that widespread adult resistance to them may actually be preventing young readers from accessing the very texts best suited to encouraging them to bridge this crucial divide.

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