Menu

Fluency

Fluency

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. They group words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking. Readers who have not yet developed fluency read slowly, word by word. Their oral reading is choppy.

Because fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding the words, they can focus their attention on what the text means. They can make connections among the ideas in the text and their background knowledge. In other words, fluent readers recognize words and comprehend at the same time. Less fluent readers, however, must focus their attention on figuring out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding the meaning of text.

Featured Video: Fluency

For Teachers

Screening, diagnosing, and progress monitoring are essential to making sure that all students become fluent readers — and the words-correct per-minute (WCPM) procedure can work for all three. Here's how teachers can use it to make well-informed and timely decisions about the instructional needs of their students.
Fluency develops gradually over time and through practice. At the earliest stage of reading development, students' oral reading is slow and labored because students are just learning to "break the code" – to attach sounds to letters and to blend letter sounds into recognizable words.
The best strategy for developing reading fluency is to provide your students with many opportunities to read the same passage orally several times. To do this, you should first know what to have your students read. Second, you should know how to have your students read aloud repeatedly.
What should fluency instruction look like? And, what can teachers do to help students whose fluency is far behind their peers'? This article should help practitioners use of fluency-based assessments and select instructional practices.
Learn what reading fluency is, why it is critical to make sure that students have sufficient fluency, how we should assess fluency, and how to best provide practice and support for all students.
Sign up for our free newsletters about reading
Advertisement
Reading Blogs
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo