Reading fluency

Implement professional dialogue about reading fluency in your school or professional learning network using text-based protocols and core thinking routines for leaders.

Purpose of resource

The research snapshot and professional learning activity are part of the K-2 English toolkit. This supports leaders to unpack research with teachers, that underpins the new syllabus.

Target audience

This resource can be used by school leaders to support teachers with effective syllabus implementation.

When and how to use

The research snapshot and the professional learning activity, ‘Unpacking the evidence base’ slideshow, complement each other and are focused on the same research article. Schools might use these:

  • within whole-school professional learning sessions
  • in stage meetings
  • in professional learning groups.

These may take an hour to implement or can be modified as appropriate. The protocol used to help teachers unpack the evidence can be changed to suit the professional learning context.

Research base

The evidence base for this resource is:


Email questions, comments and feedback about this resource to using subject line ‘Re English K-2 Research toolkits’.

Alignment to system priorities and/or needs – School Excellence Policy, School Excellence Procedure

Alignment to School Excellence Framework – ‘Instructional leadership’ and ‘High expectations culture’ elements in the Leading domain as well as the ‘Learning and development’ and ‘Collaborative practices and feedback’ elements of the Teaching domain.

Alignment with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – 6.2.4 and 6.3.4

Consulted with – Literacy and numeracy team and principal school leadership representatives

Reviewed by: CEYPL director and CSL director

Created/last updated: 28 February, 2022

To be reviewed: December, 2022

Reading fluency: More than automaticity? More than a concern for the primary grades?

Research article – Rasinski T, Rikli A, and Johnston S (2009) ‘Reading fluency: More than automaticity? More than a concern for the primary grades?’, Literacy Research and Instruction, 48:350–361, doi:10.1080/19388070802468715

“The longer I live, the more I see there’s something about reciting rhythmical words aloud – it’s almost biological – that comforts and enlivens human beings.” Robert Pinksy, 1997-2000 Poet Laureate of the United States

Overview of research

  • The three key elements of reading fluency are accuracy in word reading and decoding, automaticity in recognising words, and appropriate use of prosody or meaningful oral expression while reading.
  • Accuracy and automaticity need to be taught in conjunction with prosody, not in isolation.
  • Practising reading for performance develops all three areas in unison, leading to improved comprehension.
  • Expressive fluency development can be supported by incorporating texts that are rhythmical, rhetorical, or interactive such as poetry, song lyrics, chants, rhymes, plays (Readers Theatre), monologues, dialogues, and letters.
  • The purpose of repeated reading should not be about faster reading but to support expressive and meaningful oral reading.

Professional discussion and reflection prompts

  • What does reading fluency instruction look and sound like in your classroom?
  • What are some ways you confirm or ascertain student reading comprehension before, during and, or after fluent reading of a text?
  • What are some of the challenges with teaching and assessing reading fluency?


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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