Why reading fluency matters
Reading fluency is the key to comprehension. It allows students to make a connection, or bridge, between word recognition and understanding a text as a whole. When this process occurs smoothly, reading becomes effortless. When reading is effortless, it can be fun. Fluency is the first requirement for a lifelong love of reading.
Without fluency, students need to spend a disproportionate amount of time and effort on decoding words, which doesn’t allow for an easy path to comprehension. Reading can quickly become frustrating and be viewed as a chore. But does it matter if a child doesn’t love to read due to a lack of fluency? Is reading really that important? Yes!
Beyond the joy that reading for pleasure gives, reading fluency is also critical for self-confidence and success in school. A lack of fluency in reading can hinder the development of a child’s vocabulary, leading to a domino effect of falling farther and farther behind due to insufficient language skills. If a student can’t read efficiently to comprehend, then reading-heavy subjects like social studies will be difficult. Even subjects like math require adequate reading fluency to understand and complete basic word problems and follow intricate directions.