Improving Reading Fluency


Reading fluency involves reading text accurately and effortlessly so that it sounds as if you are talking.  A number of students with executive functioning difficulties like ADHD make reading errors that make their reading choppy and uneven; they may repeat words or phrases, they may skip over words or entire lines of text, and they may even make contextual substitutions (reading “home” for “house”).

Good reading fluency is important because it allows a student to focus her energies on comprehending, inferring, scrutinizing, and assessing what she reads.   A student who is not fluent mostly focuses on the words, and she struggles to understand what she reads.

The National Reading Panel (NRP)  was formed to provide parents and educators specific guidance about research-based reading instruction.   The NRP’s review of research found that repeated oral reading that included guidance from teachers, peers, or parents had a significant impact on reading fluency and comprehension across a range of grade levels.  This type of instruction involves reading words and passages aloud until a student’s reading sounds as if she is talking.

The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER) is dedicated to generating, disseminating, and supporting the implementation of empirically validated practices to influence educators, researchers, policymakers, families, and other stakeholders who strive to improve academic, behavioral, and social outcomes for all learners. Their library includes these guides to help educators and families improve reading fluency:

Elementary Students (see fluency instruction chapter)

Upper Elementary School Students

Middle and High School Students

Try these research-based tools today to help your child or student improve her reading fluency!

(c) 2010-2014, Monte W. Davenport, Ph.D.

Need additional guidance or assessment of your child’s needs?  Call 817.421.8780 to schedule an educational consultation.


Photo courtesy of Microsoft.