Understanding The 5 Basic Reading Skills

In order to become a fluent reader, it is essential that everyone grasps the five basic reading skills. Once you can read you may not spend much time considering these skills, they will be something you instinctively do. But, when you are teaching children to read or looking for a reputable centre for early learning Chatswood, it’s essential to understand what the five basic skills are and to use them.

  1. Phonics

Phonics is the sound that every letter makes and the different sounds they make when they are put together. This should be taught at the very beginning and is best understood when a child learns the alphabet.  Each letter has its own unique sound and children must learn these before they start trying to read.

  1. Vocabulary

The next basic skill is vocabulary. Children don’t need to read to have a good range of vocabulary. This is taught instinctively as they mimic the words they hear around them. The more words you use the better their vocabulary range.

This can help them become better readers as they will find it easier to identify words and connect the words they have heard and spoken to the written form. Using pictures to help bridge the gap between the spoken word and how it is spelled is generally regarded as the most effective method.  

  1. Spelling

A critical part of learning to read is spelling. This is a logical extension of being able to sound a word out and having a good range of vocabulary. Put the two together and a child should be able to spell the word. This is essential to help them learn to read words and to help them write in the future. 

It‘s best to start with small words and gradually build upward, effectively improving spelling as the child improves their vocabulary range.  

  1. Fluency

Fluency means being able to read multiple words without having to stop and sound out a specific word. When done properly a child should be able to read as effectively as simply talking. 

Fluency is taught by practice. It is the result of the other basic reading skills merging together to help a child easily read any section of text. Of course, the nature and level of the text need to be in keeping with their current reading skill level. 

  1. Comprehension

Finally, comprehension is the sum of all the reading skills and it is this that makes anyone a good reader. In most cases, this goes on instinctively at the same time as you read. It helps you to make sense of the words, understand what is being said, and even predict the words to come.

This entire process happens in a fraction of a second while you’re reading but it is essential to understand the text in order to appreciate what you are reading. Questions and answers about a specific text are a great way to show or improve comprehension. 

When all the skills are put together you will find someone that is comfortable reading any text.

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