Why is Reading Fluency Important? The Role of Fluency in Your Child’s Development

Why is reading fluency important for your child’s development?

Reading fluency is important because it gives your child time to focus on comprehension and not just word recognition.

It helps develop a bridge between what they are reading and their background knowledge, which lets them concentrate on reading for meaning.

In this article, you’ll learn about the role of reading fluency in your child’s development and how it can help them with their language skills, memory abilities, and more.

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What is fluency in reading?

Fluency is the ability to read accurately, quickly, and with expression.

Fluency is essential for reading comprehension because it allows readers to get through texts more quickly and with less difficulty.

However, fluency does not always mean comprehension. A fluent reader may only be able to understand some of the text they are reading.

However, fluency acts as a crucial bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Many reading programs, such as Children Learning Reading, help build a solid reading foundation resulting in fluent reading skills.

Fluency is essential for proficient reading and writing.

What are the 3 components of fluency?


Prosody is the use of intonation and phrasing in reading.

It can affect fluency by affecting how stress is applied to individual words within a sentence. Proper prosodic reading involves:

  • Paying attention to punctuation signs.
  • Assigning appropriate stress to words.
  • Altering voice intonation to match the meaning of the text.

Improper expression during reading can lead to difficulty comprehending the text. This is because pronunciation impacts meaning; if the meaning changes, it can be difficult for a listener to understand what is being said.


Accuracy is the percentage of words a reader can read correctly.

High accuracy is crucial for reading fluency. A child with low accuracy makes mistakes when reading. So they have to stop and correct themselves, which disrupts their fluency.


Rate is a measure of how quickly a reader can read text.

To be considered fluent in reading, one’s rate must be at or above a certain threshold. This is usually measured in terms of words read per minute (wpm).

Why is fluency important?

It predicts future reading success

Reading fluency is important because it is a predictor of future reading success.

In other words, if a child struggles with reading fluently, they will likely have difficulty comprehending what they read and be less successful in school. This is because vocabulary and comprehension development are stunted when fluency skills are weak.

Fluency helps readers develop comprehension. It motivates them to read more and ultimately leads to better reading skills.

The more fluently a person reads, the easier it becomes to read deeper and with greater comprehension. This increased understanding lays the foundation for future reading success.

Fluent readers can read quickly and without interruption, allowing them to move on to more complex texts.

Students struggling to read fluently will likely begin to dislike reading and become reluctant readers. This can have a significant impact on their education and future prospects.

A young boy and girl reading out aloud together

It lets readers focus on understanding

Good reading fluency allows readers to focus on the meaning of individual words and the overall message of what they are reading rather than on decoding words.

This allows them to gain a deeper understanding of the text.

Whereas less fluent readers spend more time trying to decode each word rather than understanding what the sentence is saying.

It leads to better results

Reading fluency is vital for both comprehension and pleasure when reading.

Fluent readers have a better vocabulary and understanding of what they’re reading.

This makes learning, in general, easier for them. Resulting in better grades and higher test scores, setting them up for a lifetime of success.

All in all, fluent readers have many opportunities available to them that non-fluent readers do not.

If you want your child to succeed in school and beyond, it is vital to help them develop strong reading fluency skills.


It safeguards against the negative effects of poor reading

Poor reading fluency can have many negative impacts on students.

It can lead to frustration, poor self-esteem, and a lack of success in school and life.

Students who cannot read fluently often dislike reading, have low motivation to read, and are reluctant to participate in reading activities. This can ultimately lead to them having difficulty achieving their academic goals.


Oral reading fluency assessment

Oral reading fluency assessment is a way of assessing how well a student can read aloud.

The assessment usually lasts for a minute or two, and the students are given a passage to read that is grade-appropriate. The assessment checks for accuracy, rate, expression, and phrasing.

The student reads aloud from a passage of text.

The assessor then looks at factors such as:

  • how well the student reads without losing syntax or expression
  • how well they read with appropriate pitch variation and intonation
  • and how well they phrase and group words together.

This type of assessment is highly recognized and emphasized in the field of reading education today because it can help educators identify reading difficulties early on.

Oral reading fluency scores measure the level of expression and accuracy of a reader’s pronunciation.

How to improve reading fluency at home

Reading aloud

Reading aloud to each other can help improve reading fluency.

You should gently correct any incorrect intonation or pronunciation when your child reads the words. This will help the child develop fluency and vocabulary.

Reading aloud also helps children develop a love of reading. Shared reading is a great way to improve reading fluency.

Reading aloud to each other helps build a strong parent-child bond, which helps develop reading skills.

Read with expression

Encourage your child to read with exaggerated expressions and hand movements. This will help them enunciate properly and articulate the words they are reading. This will also help with inflection and pitch, making the reading more expressive. Encouraging children to express their reading is key to improving fluency.


Repeatedly reading the same stories helps improve reading fluency for several reasons.

Firstly, students become more familiar with the story’s words and flow. This leads to smoother reading and enhances confidence.

Secondly, repeated reading helps students to focus more on the meaning of the story rather than on decoding individual words. This deepens comprehension and understanding.

Finally, re-reading familiar stories allows children to practice their expressive reading skills, such as intonation, volume, and pacing.

All of these factors contribute to improved reading fluency.


Why fluency is important

Reading fluency is a critical ingredient in your child’s reading development.

It allows them to focus on comprehension, develop language skills, and use their time more effectively. To help your child become a better reader, encourage them to practice reading fluency.

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