What is reading fluency and why is it important?
Reading fluency is not about speed, it’s about comprehension and expression. Anyone who can confidently decode words can read a sentence quickly, but it doesn’t mean they understand what they’ve read. When someone becomes a fluent reader, the cognitive effort that they would have exerted in trying to decipher what the words on the page say can be applied to understanding what those words mean when put together.
Imagine reading a recipe really quickly. By the end of the page, you probably won’t remember the exact ingredients, quantities needed or method. Sure, you read the recipe quickly but did you fully absorb the contents? Unlikely.
To be a fluent reader, a person needs to read with intonation and take note of punctuation (which lends itself to adding expression to parts of speech). Acknowledging punctuation also helps the reader comprehend what they’ve read, particularly if a sentence or paragraph is long or complex.