Fluency consists of two parts: (1) the ability to read text at a standard reading rate, and (2) the ability to read text with proper pauses and expression. Fluent readers can recognize words automatically and effortlessly. They group words into phrases and meaningful chunks as they read, creating vocal expression and fluidity.
Fluent readers connect ideas within a text and connect texts to their background knowledge to form meaning. Less fluent readers expend much energy on decoding, leaving little energy to devote to comprehension.
Findings and Recommendations
Fluent readers read words as wholes without much conscious effort, and can focus instead on comprehension.
The following approaches contribute to improved fluency and overall reading achievement:
- Repeated and monitored oral reading with guidance
- Instructor modeling of fluent reading followed by student re-reading
- Repeated practice with familiar passages and books at the student’s independent reading level
- Graphing reading rate over repeated readings
- Buddy reading, partner reading, and student-adult reading
- Performance of reader’s theater scripts
- Good readers develop automaticity, or the ability to read words as wholes, with little conscious effort, and thus have the mental attention and thinking capacity to focus on comprehension. (Share and Stanovich, 1995)
- Fluency develops gradually over considerable time through substantial practice. (Armbruster and Osborne, 2002)
- Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. (Armbruster and Osborne, 2002)
- A close relationship exists between fluency and reading comprehension. (NAEP Study, 2000)
Reading A-Z Alignment with Research
Reading A-Z provides hundreds of developmentally appropriate Leveled Books. They are easy to access and can be downloaded and printed for pennies. This means that students can keep the books for repeated reading.
Reading A-Z also provides leveled fluency passages written at graduated reading levels. These passages can be practiced, timed, and graphed to promote fluency.
Reader’s theater scripts are play scripts that provide practice in oral reading, fluent delivery, and correct expression through characterization.
Reading A-Z Resources
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