Reading fluency is the ability to read quickly and accurately. A person with good reading fluency is able to comprehend more because they instantly group and recognize words. Doing this instantly frees up the brain for comprehending what is actually being read. Good reading fluency will help people learn more and excel at school or on the job. It is common for people to struggle with this. There are, however, specific training programs that allow an individual to strengthen their reading fluency.
An individual struggling with fluency can be extremely frustrated with learning because they have to spend extra time trying to understand what they are reading. This can negatively impact people in a school or professional work setting. When a person struggling with fluency reads out loud their reading will typically be slow, choppy, and without natural expression.
Besides having difficulty reading aloud an individual who struggles with reading fluency may also notice that they identify words in a list well, but they can't read the same words fluently in a phrase. It is vital that you help students move from word recognition in isolation to reading fluency in context. This can be accomplished with the proper testing, training, and practice.
The National Institute for Literacy said on their website that, "Repeated and monitored oral reading improves fluency and overall reading achievement." This is one of the two steps researched by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The second step they found for improved fluency is silent reading done independently by the students. Practice is one of the key factors to an improvement in reading fluency.
The NAEP has also laid out their definition of reading fluency. They define it as: "the ease or 'naturalness' of reading."
In 1995 the NAEP found that 44% of United States fourth graders were on the lower end of the fluency scale. The study also confirmed that reading fluency and reading comprehension are directly related to each other. It has been proven that many American classrooms neglect to teach or train students to become more fluent readers. This in turn affects student's reading comprehension in the present and carries over later in life.
To help your child or a loved one become a more fluent reader it is important to have them take a simple reading fluency test at a quality learning training center. This test will help you understand their strengths and weaknesses on the fluency scale. After the test the learning training center can put together a plan of action for helping to improve the reading fluency. This includes having your child receive professional feedback on their reading. This training process has proven to help improve reading fluency for a lifetime.