National Literacy Learning Progression

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Fluency description

This sub-element describes how a student becomes increasingly faster, smoother, more accurate and expressive in their reading aloud of progressively complex print texts. At higher levels of the progression, students demonstrate comprehension of a text through confident use of intonation, pausing, accuracy and pace. The sub-element of Fluency provides the detailed progression in support of the sub-element Understanding texts.

Each sub-element level has been identified by upper-case initials and in some cases lower-case letters of the sub-element name followed by ascending numbers. The abbreviation for this sub-element is FlY. The listing of indicators within each level is non-hierarchical. Where appropriate, examples have been provided in brackets following an indicator.


  • reads aloud decodable texts word by word, with emphasis on one-to-one matching
  • reads with some intonation and expression


  • reads decodable texts by phrasing two words at a time with some attention to expression


  • reads aloud a decodable or simple text at a reasonable pace, grouping words into meaningful phrases (see Understanding texts)
  • uses punctuation cues and some intonation and expression
  • reads accurately at an efficient pace without overt sounding and blending
  • reads at 90 words per minute pace


  • reads aloud a predictable text at a flowing pace, pausing to attend to more complex punctuation
  • uses effective intonation, stress and expression that indicate comprehension
  • maintains pace and accuracy when partner reading with an experienced reader
  • reads without finger tracing


  • reads aloud a range of moderately complex texts with fluency and phrasing, adjusting pace, volume, pitch and pronunciation to enhance meaning and expression
  • varies pace according to purpose and audience
  • reads aloud with expression that reflects the author’s purpose and meaning (see Understanding texts)


  • reads aloud a range of moderately complex and sophisticated texts which include multisyllabic words and complex sentences with fluency and appropriate expression
  • consistently and automatically integrates pausing, intonation, phrasing and rate