Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Measuring Reading Fluency


Measuring reading fluency is one of the formative assessments we regularly do at our school. Basically, we have students read two separate passages to us for one minute each three times each year.

Of course, there is a little more to it than that…

Reading Fluency: What, Why, and How? by Mike Dunn is a very good short explanation of how to do that kind of assessment.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Formative Assessment.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. I just want to remind everyone that assessing reading fluency is not just about the speed. Unfortunately, I agree with this quote in the latest “Reading Today” newspaper, “Reading fluency has become a speed reading contest and divorced from the essence of reading–comprehension.” (Rasinski & Hamman, Aug/Sept 2010).

    Although fluency is not just about the speed, here is another chart for speed purposes only that many reading researchers use:

    An acronym I like to use with students to remind them of the components of fluency is “SAPE” which stands for speed, accuracy, phrasing and expression. Reading with good SAPE (and having good word and world knowledge) is the bridge to comprehension. TWRCing while you read is also important for comprehension.

    The main article you linked to discusses measuring the “SA” part of “SAPE,” but not the more important, “PE.” In my opinion, teaching students to use proper phrasing and expression is a neglected part of the reading curriculum and it should be considered “hot.” There are many rubrics available for helping to assess the “PE” portion of fluency. The article from PREL that Dunn listed has one.

    An article that gave me a big aha on phrasing is this one: A great exemplar sentence is, “The old man the boat.”

    A great way to show students the importance of expression is to show how meaning changes depending on which word is emphasized in this sentence, “I didn’t say Minni stole my blue pen.” (See for more.) The word “dude” can also mean many things depending on how it is emphasized.

  2. I am a teacher and i want to learn how to develop a score sheet on how to measure reading fluency and competency. Wonder if you could at least help me out on this…

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