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One of the most revealing diagnostic devices used in the elementary school is oral reading. By using oral reading the teacher can evaluate the child's ability to respond to punctuation marks, to apply phonics, to recognize basic sight words, to phrase correctly, and to apply other reading skills. The child's strengths and weaknesses can easily be determined through the use of oral reading, and an individual improvement program can be based on an evaluation of reading skills as reflected by oral reading. Without question, oral reading is an essential activity for effective teaching. Oral reading, however, is not an extensively used activity. Oral reading is not often utilized outside the classroom. Most reading is silent, and, even in the classroom, silent reading is used more often than oral reading.

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