Learning to Read
Learning to read is a complex process that can be broken down into a number of steps. Each step requires considerable practice. Some children progress through these steps rapidly and with ease, but others take longer. Motivation plays a vital role in helping children to become successful readers. The more motivated and focused they are, the more they will want to read and consequently the better they will become.
The 5 Essential Elements of Learning to Read
The National Reading Panel’s report (2000) identified five essential areas involved in effective reading instruction:
1. Phonemic awareness This is understanding how words can be broken up into their smallest units of sound e.g. /p/o/t/, and how sounds can be assembled together like building blocks to make new words: /p/o/t/ can make /t/o/p/.
2. Phonics This is direct instruction in letter-sound correspondence. Children are taught to blend sounds together to make words, and to break words up into their constituent sounds for spelling.
3. Fluency This is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly and is an important step towards comprehension. Fluent readers do not have to spend their time decoding the text. Instead they can concentrate on reading for meaning.
4. Vocabulary Developing and enriching a child’s vocabulary is an essential part of the reading process. It is not just about memorizing lists of words, but learning new words in context and understanding their meaning.
5. Comprehension This is the ultimate goal of reading. A variety of strategies exist to enable children to understand and connect with what they have read, for example, Bloom’s Taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation.
The Reading Eggs programme teaches each fundamental reading skill listed above in a highly engaging and motivating way. Every lesson and activity in the programme reinforces best practice research into how children learn to read.
“I am so thrilled to have found this programme. My son thoroughly enjoys it. I can see a huge improvement in his reading. Thank you, Neena”