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Why Is Reading Fluency Critical?

Learn why reading fluency is critical from reading specialist Anne Glass in this Howcast video.


Hi. my name is Anne Glass. I'm a reading and learning specialist at a private school in New York City and I work with Kindergarteners through 3rd graders on Reading, Word Study, and Writing Skills. In addition to be a reading specialist and learning specialist, I'm also a parent and today I'm going to talk to you about topics in reading

Reading fluency has become a pretty hot topic in reading research and it's also something I get asked about alot by parents. Fluency in reading refers to how skilled readers sound when they are reading aloud. Readers read with accuracy at the word level, a quicker pace, and persotic conversational inflections. It's basically conversational, natural sounding reading. The only way that you can achieve fluency in reading is by having acurate decoding as your foundation. It is for that reason that fluency needs to start being addressed as early as possible, at the word level, and even when children are being taught to learn their letter names. The fact is that fluency depends on automaticity at the word level and that this is really a critical piece of reading instruction that should be included in instruction right from day one. Becoming automatic at the word level is something that takes practice starting in kindergarten and continues through first grade. If you have automaticity in word identificaton and you can read words accurately and quickly, you'll progress from word level accuracy to phrasing, to sentances, and to extended text lengths, as in paragraphs and chapters. Fluent reading is critical to skilled reading because it provides the foundation for building comprehension skills. If you are putting too much effort and spending too much time decoding at a word level and you are doing it in a way that is laborious and time consuming and requires all of your attention, then you are not going to have any cognitive resources free to address what the text is about that you are reading.

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