Reading Fluency


Reading fluency describes a complex action used by effective proficient readers. Fluency describes the sound, and speed of reading. It is often seen as an indication of a reader who is in control of the text and is expressing the author’s meaning. Contributing factors of fluent reading include; appropriate phrasing of the language in text, the stress or emphasis placed on words (expression), prosody (the rhythm and intonation of speech) the speed of word recognition/word solving (Rapid Automatised Naming (RAN)) and the appropriate use of pace during the reading. These elements are generally agreed upon as supporting the reader to comprehend the text. Text difficulty is an important consideration when assessing fluency. The easier the text, the easier it will be to achieve fluent reading. The more problem-solving required on unknown words the slower and more halting the reading will sound. Fluency has been linked to proficient reading (Snow, Burns, and Griffin 1998) and in a 1995 study high correlation was found between phrased and fluent oral reading and comprehension (Pinnell, et al.). The issue that is often raised in terms of assessing fluency is that these complex observable features (phrasing, expression and speed of responding) are only indicators that the reader is comprehending text and are not necessarily a set of skills that can be assessed then taught in isolation.