Stages of Reading Development

Literacy develops in young children through play, daily conversation and interactions with text of all kinds. Many children come to JK/SK with emergent literacy skills; they can recognize signs and labels, scribble letters, retell stories by pointing at pictures and talking about them, and some have varying degrees of phonemic and phonological awareness. They also usually demonstrate book handling skills, i.e. holding a book right side up, turning pages one by one, reading from left to right and beginning at the front of the book.

Emergent readers …

  • Use early reading strategies inconsistently
    • one-to-one correspondence (saying one word for one word in print)
    • Monitoring (repeating; self-correcting)
    • cross-checking
  • Read easy patterned text with picture support with fluency
  • Use easy materials to practice acquired skills
  • Link known initial and final sound symbols to new words
  • Recognize 5-20 familiar or high-frequency words
  • Retell text with simple storyline
  • Respond to text at a literal level

To move emergent readers towards developing readers, teachers can …

  • Use environmental print (match words with images that are familiar to children)

  • Post signs in the classroom for centres and routines

  • Labeling classroom items

  • Encourage the use of reading and writing materials in literacy play centres (e.g. a grocery list in the house centre)
  • Writing and reading morning messages

  • Read aloud to students

  • Engage students in shared reading (Using nursery rhymes or text with predictable patterns)

  • Teach phonological and phonemic awareness through engaging activities (i.e. matching games or magnetic letters)

Interview with Lynn Marsden.

Developing readers …

  • Search for and use cues with increasing independence
  • Self-monitor and self-correct when prompted
  • Read familiar text fluently but slowly, word by word
  • Read orally
  • Track words as they read
  • Lack stamina needed for chapter books/novels
  • Hear/use some medial sounds to identify new words
  • Identify "chunks" and analyze longer words on their own or with support
  • Increase sight vocabulary (20-100 high-frequency words)
  • Can make reasonable predictions and text-to-self, text-to-world connections
  • Respond to reading content with inconsistent comprehension

Strategies to use with Developing/Beginning Readers include:

  • Build a strong home-school connection
  • Use high quality children’s literature with strong picture-text connections
  • Use patterned and predictable text
  • Shared and guided reading, building on the children’s strengths and addressing their individual needs
  • Readers’ theatre and choral reading to develop fluency
  • Encourage good book discussion in the classroom
  • Encourage children to read a variety of genres

Fluent readers ...

  • Use cues flexibly and effectively
  • Integrate use of cues/strategies
  • Self-monitor
  • Problem-solve independently
  • Read smoothly using appropriate speeds
  • Able to scan ahead and make predictions
  • Often read independently
  • Able to visually analyze words in text "on the run"
  • Read longer books with more complex written style
  • Have an extensive sight vocabulary (100-300+ high-frequency words)
  • Retell complex storyline to include plot and some detail
  • Respond to a variety of reading genre with comprehension
  • Make text-to-text, text-to-world, text-to-text connections
  • Make inferences

Strategies to use with fluent readers include:

  • Guided reading to ensure continued development
  • Leveled books of increasing difficulty and length
  • Encourage students to read a range of genres
  • Literature circles to promote discussion about characters, themes, genres
  • Reader response activities to promote deeper connections
  • Reciprocal teaching to encourage responsibility for own learning
  • Continue to encourage critical literacy approach to text, to interrogate assumptions in the text and identify the assumptions we bring to text

Literacy develops in young children through …

  1. Talk
  2. Play
  3. Interactions with text

Reading Aloud to Children is Important
There are many gains for children when we read aloud to them. 

  1. They develop a larger vocabulary
  2. They gain extensive experience discussing books
  3. They are exposed to experiences and issues outside the realm of their own worlds
  4. Their imaginations are awakened
  5. They learn to incorporate early reading strategies
  6. They have greater phonemic and phonological awareness
  7. The pleasure they get from being read to, motivates them to read themselves

Can you think of other benefits?
As children begin to read they must draw on the 4 cueing systems [link to these] to read accurately and to comprehend text.

  1. Graphophonic-letters/letter clusters blended into words
  2. Syntactical-Structure/grammar of language
  3. Meaning-Sense of particular text

Struggling readers have difficulty with some of the following:

  1. Decoding
  2. Word knowledge
  3. Phrasing and fluency
  4. Monitoring
  5. Poor coordination of cues
  6. Poor Comprehension
  7. Stamina
  8. Motivation

Even when students learn to decode accurately, they might still struggle with comprehending a text.  Comprehension is: 

  • Based on prior knowledge
  • Involves making predictions
  • Involves making text-self, text-text and text-world connections
  • Requires making inferences
  • Includes summarizing
  • Occurs through visualizations