The Importance of Fluency and Strategies for Developing Fluency

The research demonstrates fluency to be a strong indication of reading comprehension. Fluency includes accuracy, automaticity and prosody.  Without fluency, readers will read slowly and choppy. Less fluent readers must focus their attention on figuring out the words. This leads to little time in figuring out the text.

Here are some strategies for developing and increasing fluency. One strategy is to model fluent reading. The instructor should take a moment to discuss reading behaviors such as phrasing, rate, and intonation.  Next, have students echo read after the instructor. Following echo reading, have the students choral read. Doing group readings like these can be effective strategies for promoting fluency because all students are actively engaged. Students may be less apprehensive about making a mistake because they are part of a community of readers, rather than standing alone. Next, promote phrased reading.  Phrased reading activities will teach poor readers to chunk certain words together which lead to a better understanding of meaning.

Multi-sensory reading programs such as Orton-Gillingham and the Wilson Reading System teach poor readers that there is a system to the English language.  In multi-sensory reading programs, students have opportunities to work on fluency with a passage that is controlled to have words they should be able to decode. Additionally, students are directly taught a penciling technique to chunk text into meaningful phrases, and practice fluently reading connected texts with accuracy, automaticity, and prosody.

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