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Reading Fluency
While not a complete reading program itself, reading fluency is as an essential element of every reading program (National Reading Panel, 2000). Fluent reading is one of the defining characteristics of good readers, and a lack of fluency is a common characteristic of poor readers. A lack of reading fluency is a good predictor of reading comprehension problems. .
Fluent reading is made up of at least three key elements: accurate reading of connected text at a conversational rate with appropriate prosody (expression). A fluent reader can maintain this performance for long periods of time, retains the skill after long periods of no practice, and can generalize across texts (Hudson, Lane, & Pullen, 2006, 702).
Each element of reading fluency, accuracy, rate and prosody, has a clear connection to reading comprehension.
  • Without accurate word reading, the reader will not have access to the author’s intended meaning, and can lead to misinterpretations of the text.
  • Slow, laborious reading in the text taxes the reader’s capacity to construct an ongoing interpretation of the passage.
  • Poor prosody can lead to confusion through inappropriate or meaningless groupings of words or through inappropriate applications of expression.