Reading Comprehension and Fluency

and the Relationship Between the Two

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What is reading comprehension?

Comprehension is understanding the meaning and the context behind the passage that they just read.

What is Fluency?

According to, fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression.

There are two types of fluency: Oral Reading Fluency and Silent Reading Fluency

Strategies for Teaching Fluency and Reading Comprehension

Effective Strategies:

  • Assisted reading
  • Paired reading
  • Reading together
  • Incorporating technology
  • Extra instruction at after school programs
  • Peers tutors
  • Differentiating instruction
  • Summer reading programs

Ineffective Strategies:

  • Popcorn reading
  • Giving a child text that is too difficult for them
Help a child organize their thoughts with a story map!

Click the button to find that a story map is a great way to see if a child comprehended the story that they were reading.

Use this graphic organizer to help organize a story

Silent Reading Versus Oral Reading

Silent reading can often be forgotten when teaching a child how to read, but it is extremely important! A person will use silent reading in their life more than they will read orally. Strong oral reading skills is an important trait to have, but silent reading skills are used to comprehend the material. Silent reading can be difficult to teach because some students participate in "fake reading," or pretending to read. When the teachers question the students that are fake reading about the content, the student cannot answer because they did not read the material. It is beneficial to give instruction on silent reading, but to make sure you are doing it in the proper ways.

is fluency really more important than reading comprehension?

Why is it that fluency seems to play a greater role in students instruction than reading comprehension? Fluency is a more easily measured skill. You can sit and listen to a child read and automatically know if they are fluent but to check a child's reading comprehension you must have questions about the material prepared or tests/quizzes to give them. If a child can read quickly and clearly, that is fantastic, but that is not the main goal of reading instruction, comprehension is.
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