Reading Fluency by Megan Lamb

Why is fluency important?

Reading Fluency Leads to Reading Success!

“Words are not only recognized automatically, but are also combined into sentences and read with appropriate expression, so that an experienced reader is able to take the marks on a page and produce something that resembles spoken language” (Stahl & Kuhn, 2002).

What is Oral Reading Fluency?

Oral Reading Fluency is the ability to project the natural pitch, stress, and juncture of the spoken word on written text automatically and at a natural rate. Being apt in reading fluency not only increases reading comprehension, but also increases a students relationship with reading.

Recognizing Reading Fluency

Why are some students more fluent than others?

  • Fluent readers have models of fluent reading at home.

  • Fluent readers are asked to focus on expression while struggling readers are asked to focus on isolated reading skills (phonics, word recognition, etc).

  • Fluent readers are given more opportunities to read aloud during class.

  • Fluent readers read more texts that are on-level while struggling readers read more texts that are above their reading level.

  • Fluent readers have more time or take more time for silent reading.

  • Fluent readers understand the importance of accuracy AND expression.

Practices to improve reading fluency:

Oftentimes, teachers do not explicitly teach 'reading fluency,' but it's important that we take part of our class time to focus on improving our student's oral reading fluency. These are a few practices that can be implemented in your classroom!

  • Modeling
  • Repeated reading
  • Paired oral reading
  • Choral Reading
  • Oral Recitation Lesson -- teacher reads orally, provides discussion on prosodic elements in text, students practice these elements, then students perform a reading of the text.

It's important to remember that these practices should incorporate teacher guidance and instruction! Also, reading fluency methods should still focus on and be rooted in reading comprehension.


Richards, M. (2000). Be a good detective: Solve the case of oral reading fluency. Reading Teacher, 53, 534-539.

Stahl, S. A., & Kuhn, M. R. (2002). Making it sound like language: Developing reading fluency. Reading Teacher, 55, 582-584.