Impress Method (NIM)
The Neurological Impress Method is a form of
paired reading in which a student and tutor read the same text
almost simultaneously. Sitting
side-by-side, the tutor reads a text slightly faster and louder than
the student while both follow the text with their fingers. Reading
along with a more fluent reader is thought of as "an impress,
an etching in of word memories on the natural process" (Heckelman,
1969). In addition, positive reinforcement from the tutor may help
build students' self-confidence and enjoyment of reading.
neurological impress method can foster fluency in struggling readers
on the Neurological Impress Method found that students significantly
improved their fluency after a relatively short amount
For example, a group of 24 struggling adolescent readers made
an average gain of almost two grade levels after about 7.5 hours
over an eight-week period (Heckelman, 1969).
In a more recent
study (Flood et al, 2005), twenty students in grades 3-6 received
NIM instruction for 10 minutes per day, four
week. These sessions included oral reading plus an added comprehension
After five weeks, the students' average oral reading rates
increased from 97 to 112 words per minute, and their comprehension
showed statistically significant gains.
Steps for NIM (adapted
from Flood et al, 2005)
- Select an instructional-level text (or
better yet, ask the student to select the text).
- Sit next to the
student so that you can speak into the student's ear.
- Move your
finger under each word as you read it. The student rests his
or her finger on top of yours.
- As you read the text aloud together, set
the pace by reading slightly faster than the student. Model
fluency and expression,
in meaningful phrases and pausing for punctuation.
- Gradually release the "lead" to the student as the
he or she becomes more comfortable with the text.
- NIM PLUS: After
reading, ask the student to retell the text to you and discuss
a few comprehension questions
How do you use the neurological impress method in your
class? Submit your
Resources and Links
Using the neurological Impress Method -- Describes
steps and process
Your Child At Home With The Neurological Impress Method of Reading -- Describes the NIM process and
tips for reading
to Use the Neurological Impress Method to Accelerate Reading Fluency
with "Books That Sing and Rhyme"
Reading Acceleration Program: A Schoolwide Intervention
by Victoria S. Feazell. Reading Teacher, Vol. 58,
Iss. 1, pp.
This article shares the research-based
instructional techniques used in a reading program (Reading Acceleration
or RAP) in a school
in which the majority of the students were English-language
learners and came from low-income families. In
this model, special education
and general education teachers collaborated in
order to intervene on behalf of struggling readers,
and low-performing general education students.
Aspects of the traditional neurological impress
employed in the
Phonemic awareness, music, rhythm, and fun were
components of RAP. Participating students showed
as demonstrated by scaled score results on California
Achievement Tests and on school-based
Flood, J., Lapp, D., & Fisher, D. (2005). Neurological
impress methods plus. Reading Psychology, 26, 147-150.
T. V. (2003). The fluent reader: Oral reading strategies for
building word recognition,
New York: Scholastic. Revised April 17, 2006