Reading Fluency and the Role of Its Dimensions
Conceptualizations and Mechanisms
Based on a review of existing research, this paper aims to provide an overview of reading fluency and its dimensions. We examine the term “fluency” which was first introduced to denote automatic word recognition in 1970s, and then extended to include prosody—the expressive aspect of oral reading. We review the research evidence demonstrating that fluent readers recognize words easily and automatically, thus making limited demands on mental resources such as active attention and short term memory. We trace how automaticity enables children to conserve mental resources needed for reading comprehension. Our review demonstrates that the directional relations of prosody and comprehension are not well understood and require further research.
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