Is Fluent, Expressive Reading Important for High School Readers?


  • David D. Paige,

  • Timothy V. Rasinski,

  • Theresa Magpuri-Lavell


Although reading fluency has been identified as a critical element in successful literacy curricula for elementary students, fluency has been relatively neglected beyond the elementary grades. Prior research has shown that word recognition automaticity (one component of fluency) is strongly associated with overall reading proficiency among secondary students. Prosody (expressive oral reading; the other component of fluency) has not been previously studied with secondary students. The present study examines the relationship between oral prosody and silent reading comprehension among secondary students. Findings indicate a strong association between prosody and silent reading comprehension. Moreover, a significant number of students have not achieved even a minimally acceptable level of prosody in their reading. Based on these and previous studies into fluency and secondary students’ reading, we argue that fluency be made an integral part of reading instruction for secondary students struggling in reading.