How does fluency contribute to reading success?

Reading fluency refers to the ease with which children read. When reading aloud, fluency is affected by accuracy, rate and expression. To assist children to practise reading fluently in the early years of school, teachers often ask them to read aloud easier or familiar books. This lets children read confidently as they automatically and accurately recognise words, read at a rate that sounds more like spoken language, and use a range of expression, intonation, pauses and rhythm.

Fluency makes oral reading lively and allows the author’s message to be communicated clearly. Reading fluently gives young readers confidence in their own ability as readers and helps them to be interested and motivated, and to enjoy reading.

How can families encourage fluency at home?

The best thing parents and caregivers can do to encourage fluency at home is to demonstrate it.

  • Read and reread favourite books.
  • Read aloud with emotion in English or your first language.
  • Invent sound effects when reading.
  • Use different voices to indicate the characters and narrator.
  • Change your volume, tone and pace as you read different parts of a book; perhaps slow down at a scary bit or speed up at a tense point.
  • Have fun and enjoy yourself and your child will enjoy themselves too.
  • Listen to audio books together with your child. Many children’s books can be downloaded in audio form from your local library.