How Can Adults Improve Their Reading Fluency? | Iris Reading
How Can Adults Improve Their Reading Fluency?

How Can Adults Improve Their Reading Fluency?

How Can Adults Improve Their Reading Fluency?

You can improve your reading fluency by practicing a lot, whether alone or with a partner. Pay attention to punctuation to know when to pause, breathe, or stop when reading. Learning how to speed read will also help you read at a good pace.

Reading fluency is the ability to read accurately at a conversational rate with the right expression or intonation. If you’ve ever struggled with reading and comprehension, your reading fluency might need improvement too. Fluency is essential in our everyday life as we always come across important things to read, from road signs to warning signs on foods and medication.

This post provides insights into how adults can improve their reading fluency.

Let’s dive in!

1. Don’t read words one by one

Reading words one by one slows you down and makes you less fluent. That’s why you should read words in clusters instead of one by one. Try grouping words and focusing your eyes on those groups instead of single words whenever you catch yourself in the act.

Reading every single word in a text isn’t the most efficient reading technique. It doesn’t only affect your reading fluency, but your comprehension too. People who struggle with this issue often find themselves sub-vocalizing each word even when reading silently.

Glide through the words with your eyes. If it seems a bit difficult, keep practicing, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Being a fluent reader means having the ability to read accurately at a good pace with the right intonation.

So, your reading speed matters even though you don’t have to be the fastest reader to be fluent. It may take a while before you become a fluent reader as people often revert to old habits. But with constant practice, you’ll get used to it.

2. Pay attention to punctuation

When reading, always pay attention to the punctuations as they are there for a purpose. Without punctuation, what you’re reading may lose its meaning, especially when reading aloud.

Punctuation adds more fluency to your reading and makes it more enjoyable. You’ll know where to pause, where to take a breath, where to stop, where to change your voice and add dramatic effect. 

You breathe at every comma and stop for a second when you see a full stop. You sound excited when you come across an exclamation mark! Your voice goes up for a question mark.

You can change your voice to sound like a character when you see inverted commas.

3. Focus on your reading

Not focusing on your reading will make you repeat sentences and slow down your reading pace. An unrestrained mind can easily wander off and think about something else when reading. It’s not possible to speed read and think about other things simultaneously.

So, if you want to maintain a good reading pace, you must stay focused. Make sure that the environment in which you’re reading has minimal distractions. According to John Strucker, a researcher at Boston’s nonprofit World Education, you’re more likely to get the best results when you practice reading without any disturbances.

So, try to eliminate every distraction. Hire a nanny, send the children outside to play, or practice reading when the kids are asleep. Nighttime is usually calm and ideal for reading.

4. Read to yourself

Always read the text silently to yourself before reading aloud. It’s an excellent way to get an idea of what the material is talking about beforehand. However, you won’t have enough time to read through the entire material in most cases, but scanning should suffice.

When you’re familiar with what you’re reading, it makes for more fluency. By reading to yourself first, you’ll identify any new or unfamiliar words in the text before reading aloud.

This way, you can acquaint yourself with such words and avoid getting stuck on them mid-sentence. You don’t want to stop sounding out words when reading, as this interrupts reading fluency. So, ensure to practice alone before reading aloud.

5. Read a Lot

Like every other thing, improving your reading fluency takes time and practice. So, make sure you read as many books as possible. You can make a list of all the books you want to read and start reading them one by one. 

Be sure to finish a book before picking up the next one on your list. Reading is a fun activity, so take your time and enjoy it. Repeated reading is a surefire way to boost your fluency and comprehension.

Practice good reading habits and make sure you comprehend what you’re reading. You can read aloud sometimes to hear how you sound. The more you do so, the better you become and the more confident you’ll be when reading.

Make sure you read every day. Dedicate at least 10 minutes daily to becoming a more fluent reader. Find a material you’re interested in or something you’re familiar with and read it.

It could be a best-seller, your favorite magazine, or the newspaper’s sports page, whatever it is, just make sure you read every day. You’ll have an easier time improving your reading fluency when you practice reading a topic you find interesting.

Reading a lot does not necessarily mean reading long pieces. You can choose short pieces of around 50 to 200 words. Reading shorter pieces pays off as you’ll have more fun than you would have when reading lengthy essays.

6. Use speed reading software

AccelaReader is an excellent speed reading tool that will help you increase the pace at which you read. Remember that being a fluent reader requires you to read accurately at a good pace. So, if you find yourself reading slowly, try practicing speed reading with AccelaReader.

This software is one of Iris Reading’s numerous tools to help hone your reading and memory skills. You can also take advantage of in-person workshops and comprehensive online courses designed to make you a more efficient reader.

AccelaReader is easy to use, and you’ll learn how to approach technical material and analytical reading. All you need to do to get started is copy the text you want to read and paste it into the app’s textbook.

AccelaReader offers Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, a feature that flashes words at you. You can control how fast you want to read from the settings menu. Also, you can determine how many words the app flashes at a time, chunk size, text size, and more.

After saving your settings, you can start reading by pressing the Read button. If you want to add AccelaReader to your browser, click on the Bookmarklet tab on the top menu.

7. Have a reading partner

Reach out to that person in your life who reads fluently and ask them to be your reading partner. It could be your friend, spouse, or any other adult. While your partner reads out loudly, follow along silently.

This way, you’ll increase your reading speed and fluency when it comes time for you to read aloud. By listening to your partner, you’ll familiarize yourself with the vocabulary in your selection.

Ask your reading partner to go first and read a few sentences at a time. When they finish reading the sentences, join them and read the same selection aloud.

Your reading partner should observe how well you’re doing. They should read more quietly when you’re doing well. But, when you need some help, your helper should read more loudly.

Once you finish reading alongside your partner, it’s time to do it independently. Read aloud and have your friend assess you. You’ll see significant improvement in your fluency in no time.

8. Record yourself

While reading a portion of an article or a book, record yourself and read alongside the recording. You may also have a helper do the recording for you. Practicing with a recording is a great alternative to having a reading partner.

When you play the recording at first, follow along silently. Play it again, but this time, read aloud with the recording. You’ll learn to read at a good pace and with the right expression or intonation by reading repeatedly.


Improving your reading fluency is similar to helping kids better their reading skills. With some practice, you’ll get better, and you can do it alone or with a helper.

Here’s a quick look at what you can do to boost your reading fluency:

  • Read a lot
  • Practice with a partner
  • Pay attention to punctuation
  • Record yourself
  • Use speed reading software

With these tips, you’ll learn to read more efficiently with the correct expression. What’s more? You can boost your reading by taking online courses.

Iris Reading has a plethora of online resources aimed at improving your reading speed and productivity. Learn more actionable tips to become a more efficient reader by taking an online course. You’ll earn a certificate on completion!

Improve your reading fluency with Iris Reading!

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