Why is fluency an important part of the reading process?
Fluent readers are better able to comprehend because they process information quickly (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974).
Oral reading rate and accuracy (i.e., fluency) are closely related to reading comprehension (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2005).
Fluency … should be part and parcel of how we teach reading and how we teach teachers of reading. In other words we should be as explicit in how we help a child learn to read fluently, as we are in teaching a child to decode a word accurately (Wolf, 2003).
To develop good fluency, the reader must be strong in the foundational reading skills. Reading is a complex, multi-tasking activity that can be impacted by the following: cognitive skills, behavior, vocabulary, auditory processing, auditory discrimination, attention, early literacy, speech, memory, hearing, vision, visual processing, independent reading practice, learning evironment, home environment and emotional well-being. If a reader is struggling to attain success with the foundational reading skills, it is important for direct, explicit instruction to occurr that provides strategies and supports. All adults in the reader's life can influence success. Patience and consistency is important. There is no quick fix. Acceptance that intervetion is an ongoing process is essential. For successful intervention to occur with reading fluency it is necessary to ask what is the reader's learning profile? What foundational skills are lacking? What other factors could be impacting the reading process?
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