Reading is more than just recognising words.
It involves being able to recognise words and make meaning from them. Reading can be very involved and it is not an easy thing to learn!
Successful reading can be broken into four main areas:
- Phonological Awareness
- Fluency and Retention
Phonological Awareness includes;
- Hearing the first, middle and last sounds in words
- Recognising and identifying rhyming words
- Breaking words in syllables
- Segmenting (break apart) sounds in words
- Blending sounds to make a word
- Manipulating sounds in words to create new words
- Reading word accurately and fluently
- Understanding the vocabulary, background information and meaning of words
- Identifying key elements in a story and summarising
- Making predictions
- Asking and answering questions about the text
- Making connections while reading
- Using pictures to help figure out the text
Fluency and Retention includes;
- Having a high level of word accuracy and recognition
- Maintaining high reading rate
- Using varied intonation and expression, similar to natural speech
- Having the perspective that reading is fun and a way to learn new information
English is one of the hardest languages to learn to spell!
There are many rules that govern how we make words and just as many exceptions!
Successful spelling has been shown to have a high correlation with successful reading, writing and reading comprehension. Spelling is how we make sense of sounds and letters and put them together to form words.
There are two ways children can spell. For children to be competent spellers they need to be able to use both strategies effectively;
1) Sight words- remembering and recognising a whole word automatically, based on the letters and shape of the word. Children with good visual memory tend to be good with sight words. This is a good strategy which encourages fluent reading and ability to remember homophones (e.g. sea and see). However, using only this strategy does not work when spelling unfamiliar, irregular or complex words.
2) Sounding out a word- words can be broken up into the sounds and spelt correctly if a child knows:
- How to break words up into sounds and syllables
- How sounds and letters are related and influence each other
- How to apply the rules of spelling
Some children who have spelling difficulties may also have phonological awareness difficulties (hearing the first sounds in words, rhyming words, breaking words into sounds etc)
Are your child’s literacy skills appropriate? Find out here.