Becoming a fluent reader is related to reading with excellent word recognition at a normal talking speed with accuracy and expression.
I mention 'excellent word recognition' because without this skill, readers will read more slowly, as they try to decipher words. So, encouraging students to read at a normal talking speed without developing adequate skill in word recognition (decoding) is not likely to be successful.
This is where specific teacher knowledge is vital before children lose confidence and interest in reading. If a reader cannot decode well, they need to be taught explicitly, sequentially and cumulatively to give them the foundational knowledge of the structure of words to be able to recognise new words and read them with confidence.
Fluency is therefore often regarded as a bridge from word recognition to comprehension.