A fluent reader has the ability to read and comprehend written words accurately and quickly. A child who is fluent performs the task of reading automatically and without hesitation; recognizing words and expressions while understanding their meanings instantly. When reading aloud, a fluent reader’s presentation is smooth, expressive and effortless. Their voice is natural, as though they were talking rather than reading a story or a textbook.
Fluent readers do not focus on the words, they concentrate on the meaning. They make connections between knowledge they already have and the ideas and concepts they’re discovering in the new information they’re reading. Children who are fluent readers enjoy reading and often read for pleasure.
Children who are not fluent readers read word for word, because they are sounding out each word as they move through a story or a textbook. Since these children are so busy decoding each word they lose the meaning of what they’re reading – and have difficulty attaching information they already know to what they’re reading about.