What is fluency?
You will often hear your child's teacher discuss how their reading fluency is developing. In simple terms fluency is the ability to read words accurately and with expression.
Why fluency is important
- Fluency is important for several reasons. First, fluent reading is a foundation for good reading comprehension (understanding what they read). Because fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding words, they can focus their attention on what the text means. They can make connections between the ideas in the text and their background knowledge.In other words, fluent readers recognise words and comprehend at the same time.
- Reading fluency also affects a child's motivation to read. Children (and adults!) typically do not enjoy activities that feel burdensome and difficult. When children’s reading is not fluent, they often don’t enjoy reading, and they are less inclined to practice reading, which may contribute even further to a decline in their reading skills.
- In addition, learning to read fluently helps children become better prepared for the demands of the rest of the curriculum. Children are usually expected to do a lot of independent reading as they grow older. Even if students can read accurately, if they are not fluent, they may take much longer to complete their work.