4.5 Fluency

Learning Intentions

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the nature and importance of word-level reading fluency
  • Describe the basis for reading fluency
  • Understand why many fluency-related efforts fail, and what can be done about that


View Session 5 below.

*Please see the Transcripts resource folder located in Module 0 for a text copy of the transcript from this video. 


  • Fluency involves fast, accurate, and expressive reading
  • Conventional views about fluency are not consistent with more recent research on reading development
  • Reading practice, per se, has limited benefits for students with fluency problems
  • Fluency is best understood as a byproduct of the size of a student’s sight vocabulary
  • Efforts to boost fluency should be directed toward helping students build their sight vocabularies by being efficient orthographic mappers
  • Reading practice is the only way to develop reading skills when students are good orthographic mappers

Reflect & Connect

How has your perspective been changes, if at all, based upon these ideas about fluency? How might your teaching differ?