Fluency in the context of oral communication is the production of a more or less continuous speech at a relatively rapid rate with optimum effort.
There are four major dimensions to define fluency which are continuity, effort, rate and rhythm.
Dysfluency has been defined as speech that exhibits deviations in continuity, smoothness, and ease of rate and effort. Terms dysfluency or non-fluency suggest disruptions in the timing and flow of speech such as interjections and phrase repetitions that are often perceived as being part of the normal interruptions of speech.
Speech dysfluency includes normal childhood dysfluency, stuttering and cluttering.
Normal non- fluency can affect many children between 2-6 years in form of periods of dysfluent speech as they exhibit difficulty producing smooth fluent speech as stuttering like behavior. 3 years old boy who repeats sound or syllable or a ward is not necessarily stutterer. This repeating, pausing and backing up of speech and general confusion of thinking and talking is very normal as the child tries to master talking. The amount and types of dysfluent behavior may vary from day to day and across situations. This dysfluent speech often increases when the child is tired, excited, and apprehensive or when s/he tries to compete with other speakers. Most children will outgrow this period of development but some do not.
Stuttering is a speech event that contains intraphonemic disruption, part-word repetition, monosyllabic, whole word repetition, prolongation and silent fixations )block). This may be or may be not accompanied by secondary behaviors used to escape and / or avoid this speech situation.
Awareness is absent during the early stages or primary stuttering. A more advanced stage secondary awareness of the speaking difficulties and secondary characteristics emerges, prompting the development of negative emotional reactions to stuttering. In other views of the developmental sequences of stuttering, awareness appears relatively late.
Cluttering is speech disorders characterized by the clutterer’s unawareness of his disorder, by short attention span, by disturbances in perception, articulation and formulation of speech and often speed of delivery. It is disorder of the thought process preparatory to speech and based on hereditary disposition. Cluttering is the verbal manifestation of the central language imbalance, which affects all channels of communications (e.g., reading, writing, rhythm and musicality) and behavior in general.
Cluttering has motor, language and psychological components.
Verbal fluency is about rapidly accessing your mental vocabulary while talking or writing.
There are two important components of fluency performance: clustering (which is the production of words within semantic or phonemic subcategories) and switching (which is the ability to shift between clusters) Findings from the Troyer et al. (1997) study demonstrated that clustering and switching are at least partially dissociable processes that differentially contribute to semantic and phonemic fluency. Specifically, clustering and switching made equal contributions to semantic fluency. In contrast, switching made a greater contribution to phonemic fluency than did clustering.
Reading fluency is the ability to read words accurately and quickly. Fluency is dependent upon the type of reading, the reader’s familiarity with the words, and the amount of practice reading text.
The components of fluency are automaticity, prosody, accuracy and speed, expression, intonation and phrasing. Automaticity refers to accurate, quick word recognition, not to reading with expression. Although students may recognize words, their oral reading may be expressionless and/or lack phrasing and punctuation. Fluent readers know when to pause within and at the ends of sentences and when to change emphasis and tone.