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The basics of early reading: Fluency

Fluency is one of the four essential reading skills. Find out if your second or third grader is on track.

By GreatSchools Staff

Fluency describes the flow and ease of a child's reading style. Reading fluency has been called the bridge between decoding and comprehension, since decoding skills are necessary to master reading fluency and in turn fluency is essential for reading comprehension. A child with weak decoding skills will read haltingly, and her poor fluency will inhibit reading comprehension. A child with strong fluency skills reads smoothly and naturally, in a voice similar to her speaking voice, with appropriate speed and expression.

An early reader with good fluency skills can:

  • Read smoothly, and at the speed of normal conversation
  • Read with appropriate expression and phrasing (using punctuation in the text)
  • Self-correct and re-read when there is a mistake
  • Read grade-level texts with accuracy and understanding

Other necessary reading skills:

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