Contrary to popular assumption, reading is more than just reciting the words on a page. It’s much more than that.

Learning to read is one of the most crucial abilities that children may acquire. When your kid makes their initial steps toward learning to read, bear in mind the five key components of reading that every child requires in order to grow into a confident and fluent reader.

Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension are the five key components of reading. Each element of literacy is equally vital in reading and should be explicitly taught. Let us discuss this in further detail: 

  1. Phonemic awareness

When training youngsters to read, the first stage is to master phonemic awareness. When a learner can hear, identify, and manipulate sounds without looking at the actual letters or words, they have mastered this skill. You can concentrate on phonemic awareness activities such as rhyming, blending sounds (phonemes) to form words, deleting or adding sounds to create new words, substituting sounds to form new words, recognizing when spoken words begin or end with the same sound, segmenting words into sounds, isolating sounds, and segmenting or blending syllables because they are done orally. There is so much that can be done before young readers are introduced to print.

2. Phonics

This is the technique of mapping the sounds in words to written letters. It is one of the first reading abilities that children should learn because it introduces them to the alphabetic principle, which connects letters and sounds.

A lack of phonics training in early childhood can result in reading difficulties later in life. It is critical that children understand that printed text represents the sounds of spoken speech. There are many phonics exercises you can perform at home with your child to help them build early phonics skills, but it’s vital to remember that these activities should always be supplemented by regular reading.

3. Fluency

Fluency is defined as the capacity to “read like you talk.” This means you can read correctly, effortlessly, and expressively. A good reader should not have to pause to decode words. Fluency is essential in reading because it connects word recognition and understanding. Reading fluently allows kids to concentrate on what the words are saying rather than attempting to figure out what the words are. Being a fluent reader is not something that all children are born with. This can require a lot of practice at times. How can you assist in the development of fluency? You can model good fluency with prosody in your lessons, read-aloud, and small groups as a teacher. 

Students can also reread books to improve their fluency. Books on tape are another excellent resource that could be utilized. If you have spent a significant amount of time working on fluency intervention and your kid is still not making adequate reading progress, I recommend revisiting phonemic awareness and phonics skills again to ensure that they are properly grasped.

4. Comprehension

I’ve always advised my young readers that you should first learn to read, then read to learn. This remark is extremely accurate since understanding the material is your ultimate goal as a reader. Students must be able to read, interpret, process, analyze, and retain what they have just read in order to be proficient in this area. Understanding is important not only in the academic realm but also in our personal and professional lives. These abilities are what keep our children reading for a lifetime since they can actually enjoy books and follow along with their favorite stories. Comprehension is long-term, and it is a vital part of reading.

5. Vocabulary

Every child approaches reading with a distinct set of abilities. The broader a child’s speaking and listening vocabulary, the more words they will be able to add with relative ease to their reading and writing vocabularies.

Reading a wide range of books is one of the most effective strategies for a youngster to expand their vocabulary. Sight words are some of the most fundamental words that a child will learn when beginning to read. These include high-frequency sight words like ‘on,’ ‘I,’ ‘the,’ ‘and,’ ‘is,’ ‘an,’ and ‘be.’ The first 100 sight words account for more than half of most early reader books and are thus incredibly important for your child to master early in their reading journey.