SLA fluency and self-sustained reading TEKS talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--self-sustained reading. The student reads grade-appropriate texts independently. .

Have students select texts to read silently for an agreed-upon time period. Ask students to complete a written reflection or engage in a conference about the text. Observe and note whether students read independently for a sustained period of time. Consider having students use a reading log, stopwatch, timer, or graph to track sustained period of time across multiple reading sessions.


  • As needed, assist readers in selecting a text.
  • If a student is unable to sustain reading for an extended time due to reading ability or attention challenges, provide specific tasks such as reading for five minutes and then jotting down a note about what the student has read.

Further Explanation

Student readers should have the skills and strategies necessary to navigate challenging ideas or vocabulary they encounter in a text and successfully progress through the text independently for a sustained period of time. Encourage students to gradually increase the length of time they read independently.

Grade-appropriate texts are texts the teacher determines the average student can read with little or no instructional support.
Students should have the skills and strategies necessary to navigate challenging ideas or vocabulary they encounter to progress through those texts on their own for a sustained period of time. Students should do so without feeling the need to disengage from the material because they are struggling with too many concepts and require a teacher's assistance.
Reading independently using self-selected texts is an important part of developing students' reading proficiency. Students need to be familiar with various texts and their features to select texts to read for specific purposes.


1. Donnelly, P. (2019). A new guide for guided reading: More guided, more reading. Practical Literacy, 24(1), 9+. Retrieved from

Summary: The focus of this article is on guided reading, but it looks at the benefits of self-selected reading in the development of reading motivation and comprehension. The authors provide a list for scaffolding complex texts and recommend teachers follow up on the reading of complex texts through guided, sustained discussions in order to increase the academic benefit from interpreting and reinterpreting texts. For many students, scaffolding complex texts will accelerate reading skills; self-selected sustained reading will consolidate them.

2. Daniels, E., & Steres, M. (2011). Examining the effects of a school-wide reading culture on the engagement of middle school students. Research in Middle Level Education, 35(2), 1–13. Accessed online at

Summary: In this study, middle school educational leadership identified reading as a priority. Students were given choice over what they read and time to read on their own. Student engagement increased because reading was a school priority, but creating time and space to read was meaningless for students who did not have easy access to books at home. In response, teachers amassed books and created a reading network for students. The results were increased student engagement and the belief, among students, that reading mattered.