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
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.
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.