Reading skills acquisition

Reading skills acquisition

Reading skills acquisition is the process of acquiring the basic skills necessary for learning to read; that is, the ability to acquire meaning from print.

According to the report by the US National Reading Panel (NRP) in 2000, the skills required for proficient reading are phonological awareness, phonics (sound-symbol correspondence), fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. [cite web | url = | title = Put reading first | publisher = National Institute for Reading | accessdate = 2007-08-14]

kills required for proficient reading

According to the National Reading Panel, the ability to read requires proficiency in a number of language domains: phonemic awareness, phonics (sound-symbol correspondence), fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. [cite web | title = Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read | publisher = National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-15]

*Phonemic awareness: The ability to distinguish and manipulate the individual sounds of language. The broader term, phonological awareness, also includes rhymes, syllables, and onsets and rimes.

*Phonics: Method that stresses the acquisition of letter-sound correspondences and their use in reading and spelling. This helps beginning readers understand how letters are linked to sounds (phonemes), patterns of letter-sound correspondences and spelling in English, and how to apply this knowledge when they read.

*Fluency: The ability to read orally with speed, accuracy, and vocal expression. The ability to read fluently is one of several critical factors necessary for reading comprehension. If a reader is not fluent, it may be difficult to remember what has been read and to relate the ideas expressed in the text to his or her background knowledge. This accuracy and automaticity of reading serves as a bridge between decoding and comprehension. [cite web | url =| title = Assessing Reading Fluency| author = Rasinski, T. |publisher = Pacific Resources for Education and Learning | accessdate = 2007-10-21]

*Vocabulary: A critical aspect of reading comprehension is vocabulary development. When a reader encounters an unfamiliar word in print and decodes it to derive its spoken pronunciation, the reader understands the word if it is in the reader's spoken vocabulary. Otherwise, the reader must derive the meaning of the word using another strategy, such as context.

*Reading Comprehension :The NRP describes comprehension as a complex cognitive process in which a reader intentionally and interactively engages with the text. Reading comprehension is heavily dependent on skilled word recognition and decoding, oral reading fluency, a well-developed vocabulary and active engagement with the text.

Chall's Stages of Reading Development

Jeanne Chall's model of the stages of reading acquisition is well known.(Resnick, pg 38) In Chall's model, each stage builds on skills mastered in earlier stages; lack of mastery at any level can halt the progress beyond that level.

*Stage 0. Prereading: The learner gains familiarity with the language and its sounds. A person in this stage becomes aware of sound similarities between words, learns to predict the next part in a familiar story, and may start to recognize a few familiar written words. Chall's Stage 0 is considered comparable to what is often called "reading readiness." Typically developing readers achieve this stage about the age of 6.

*Stage 1. Initial reading stage, or decoding stage: The learner becomes aware of the relationship between sounds and letters and begins applying the knowledge to text. This demonstrates the reader has achieved understanding of the critical concept of the alphabetic principle and is learning sound-symbol correspondences, the alphabetic code. [Clark (1995), p. 10] Typically developing readers usually reach this stage by the age of 6 or 7.

*Stage 2. Confirmation: This stage involves confirming the knowledge acquired in the previous two stages and gaining fluency in those skills. Decoding skills continue to improve, and they begin to develop speed in addition to accuracy in word recognition. At this point, the reader should be able to give attention both to meaning and to the print, using them interactively to build their skills and fluency. This stage is critical for the beginning reader. If the developing reader stops making progress during this stage, the individual remains, in Chall's words, "glued to the print." Typically developing readers usually reach this stage around the age of 8.

*Stage 3. Reading to learn: At this stage, the motivation for reading changes. The reader has enough reading skill to begin to read text in order to gain information. Readers' vocabulary development accelerates at this point resulting from increased exposure to the written word. Typically developing children usually achieve this stage in 4th grade, around the age of 9.

*Stage 4. Multiple viewpoints: The reader at this stage begins to be able to analyze what they read, understand different points of view, and react critically to what they read. Typical readers are developing this skill set during the high school years, around ages 14 to 19.

*Stage 5. Construction and judgement: At this stage, readers have learned to read selectively and form their own opinions about what they read; they construct their knowledge from that of others. This highest level of reading development is not usually reached until college age, or later, and may in fact be achieved only by those who have an intellectual inclination.

Other views

*Phase 1: Uta Frith's view of phase 1 as the logographic phase. Linnea Ehri calls it the visual-cue phase.

*Phase 2: Ehri's phonetic cue, or rudimentary alphabetic, stage.

*Phase 3: Gough and Hillinger's cipher or alphabetic phase

*Phase 4: Orthographic phase

Reading difficulties

Reading difficulties have a common source. Problems processing spoken words hinder a student’s ability to translate written words into speech. Regardless of age, subtle auditory or phonological (speech-sound) processing issues hinder reading.Fact|date=June 2007


* cite web | url=
title=Dr. Jeanne Chall's Stages of Reading Development

* cite web | url=
title=Scholastic - Stages of Reading


* Catts H. W., Gillispie, M., Leonard, L. B., Kail, R. V., Miller, C. A. (2002). The role of speed of processing, rapid naming, and phonological awareness in reading achievement. "Journal of Learning Disabilities", 35, 510–525.
* Clark, Diana Brewseter and Joanna Kellogg Uhry. "Dyslexia: Theory and Practice of Remedial Instruction", York Press, 1995.
* Fletcher-Flinn, C. M., Shankweiler, D., & Frostg, S. J. (2004). Coordination of reading and spelling in early literacy: An examination of the discrepancy hypothesis. "Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal", 17, 617–644.
* Galaburda, A. M., Menard, M. T., & Rosen, G. D., (1994). Evidence for aberrant auditory anatomy in developmental dyslexia. "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", 91, 8010–8013
* Howlett, B. (2000) "Sound reading emerging readers activity program". Ithaca, NY: Sound Reading Solutions, Inc.
* Howlett, B. (2002). "Sound reading responsiveness assessment". Ithaca, NY: Sound Reading Solutions, Inc.
* McCandliss, B., Beck, I. L., Sandak, R., & Perfetti, C. (2003). Focusing attention on decoding for children with poor reading skills: Design and preliminary tests of the word building intervention. "Scientific Studies of Reading", 7, 75–104.
* National Reading Panel. (2000). "Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction". Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
* Resnick, Lauren B. & Phyllis A. Weaver. 1976. Theory and Practice of Early Reading. Chall's 29-55.
* Shankweiler, D., Lundquist, E., Katz, L., & Stuebing, J. M. (1999). Comprehension and decoding: Patterns of association in children with reading difficulties. "Scientific Studies of Reading", 3, 95–112
* Share, D. L. (1995). Phonological recoding and self-teaching: sine qua non of reading acquisition. "Cognition", 55, 151–218.
* Share, D. L. (1999). Phonological recoding and orthographic learning: A direct test of the self-teaching hypothesis. "Journal of Experimental Child Psychology", 72 (2), 95–129.
* Wagner, R., and Torgesen, J. K. (1987). The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. "Psychological Bulletin", 101, 192–212.
* Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). "Comprehensive test of phonological processes", Austin, TX: PRO-ED Publishing, Inc.
* Wolf, M. (1991). Naming speed and reading: The contribution of the cognitive neurosciences. "Reading Research Quarterly", 26, 123–247.
* Wolf, M., & Bowers, P. G. (1999). The double-deficit hypothesis for the developmental dyslexias. "Journal of Educational Psychology", 91, 415–38
* Wolf, M (2007). "Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain." Harper

External links

* [ Children of the Code: The Code and the Challenge of Learning to Read It]
* [ Earobics reading program]
* [ Florida Center for Reading Research]
* [ Read Naturally fluency program]
* [ Sonday System reading program]
* [ Sound Reading program]
* [ The abc - de Haan reading method]

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