Foundation Reading Skills
Reading is the basis for all things education in the world we live today. Written language only originated around 5000 years ago. Before this, humans were only engaged in oral language and reading was not a necessary skill to possess. In todays world, reading is a core necessity to be an active member of society.
Learning to read is probably the most important part of any student's education and it starts before a child even starts school.
Simple View of Reading
To be a proficient reader, two aspects are required:
- Decoding: Ability to transform print into spoken language
- Language Comprehension: Ability to understand spoken language
Students who learn to read the alphabetic system and decode effortlessly are able to:
- focus mental energy on comprehending a text
- experience more joy of reading by being able to engage more with a text
- access a wider range of texts
- increase their vocabulary and knowledge
Research clearly shows that students have better prospects as readers if they develop understanding of reading before the end of year 2. Improvement of a students reading reduces over time if we do not catch students who are not reading at the appropriate level early.
The Critical Foundation Skills
These skills are the fundamental components required for a child to learn to read.
- Print Concepts: Understand the organisation and basic features of print
- Phonological Awareness: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables and sounds (phenomes)
- Phonics and Word Recognition: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words
- Word Knowledge (Sight Vocabulary): Instant and effortless access to al, or almost all, words read
- Fluency: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
Over a series of posts we will delve into these Critical Foundation Skills for reading and investigate the how and where of each aspect.