Reading fluency is the ability to read text quickly, accurately, and with good expression. In order to read fluently, a student must be able to rapidly identify and automatically decode the words they encounter.
Why is Reading Fluency Important?
Reading fluency is the bridge between reading and comprehension. If readers struggle to decode words, their focus shifts from what is being read to the actual process of reading. As a result, reading comprehension falls away. Once a reader becomes fluent, reading is automatic and becomes simply a vehicle to understand what is being read. Reading fluency leads directly to reading comprehension – the ultimate goal of reading!
What Makes a Fluent Reader?
For some fortunate children, reading fluency comes easily. But for others (including children with dyslexia, poor working memory, ADD/ADHD, and other issues) attaining fluency can be a significant challenge. Imagine learning to play the piano. Some students are naturally gifted at reading music and playing songs while others require more sustained effort and guidance to help the notes flow. Reading, like playing the piano, requires practice in order to flow.
How We Improve Reading Fluency at Syllables Learning Center
At Syllables Learning Center, reading fluency training is approached as a skill to be refined. Research shows that in addition to strong reading prerequisites, repeated oral reading with teacher guidance and constructive and supportive feedback provide for the strongest outcomes in fluency development. Fluency readings of the same letter combinations, words and phrases lead to an ever-broadening bank of over-learned material. Readers are considered fluent when this over-learned material aids them in recognizing words and phrases without the need to literally decode each word in a passage.
The fluency exercises in Syllables’ curriculum use only the sounds and spellings that have already been covered in previous lessons. During one-on-one instruction, our reading tutors incorporate timing drills into fun lessons until automaticity is achieved.