Reading fluency, which is one of the five pillars of reading, is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. Reading fluency greatly influences reading comprehension. Children must be able to read fluently in order to comprehend what they read, whether they are reading aloud or silently. Fluent readers read in phrases and add appropriate intonation when reading aloud without needing to pause to decode words or look up definitions.
Fluency plays a key role in comprehension and is essential in keeping young learners motivated. When children are reading fluently, it frees up mental resources to allow them to improve their comprehension of what they are reading.
Research has shown that students need frequent opportunities for substantial practice at their instructional reading level in order to achieve an appropriate level of reading fluency. Silent reading does not accomplish this goal. Frequent oral reading opportunities along with regular progress monitoring by a teacher, tutor, family member, or even peer are needed to guide the child toward improved fluency.
It is also just as important to choose the appropriate text or reading material when trying to improve fluency. Slower reading fluency rates are often the result of spending too much time decoding individual words. This can lead to not having enough time to understand a passage or text as a whole. Hence, it’s important to choose materials that are within the student’s independent reading level. This means picking out books or texts that contain familiar words that the reader can decode with ease.
Once appropriate reading materials are chosen, a reading teacher or tutor will:
We determine reading fluency by examining both reading speed and expression of the text. Very fluent readers are able to read text automatically and without effortful decoding of letters to sounds. Children must build a strong decoding base as well as a foundation of sight words that are recognized automatically in order to increase their fluency rates.
Slower reading rates can lead to difficulties in school, as they are often the result of spending too much time decoding individual words. This can lead to not having enough time to understand a passage or text as a whole.
Tutors may work on phrasing, intonation, and echoed and repeated readings.
At Manhattan Letters , our goal is to improve your child’s reading fluency with individualized lessons geared at boosting decoding skills. Our reading specialists provide Orton-Gillingham and Wilson tutoring services to help your child become skilled readers. We offer doorstep or at-home and online tutoring.
(Click here to get to know our literacy specialists and find out more about reading tutoring services.)