What is Reading?
Reading is a complex process that requires the development and interaction of a variety of skills. For early readers, these skills include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Recent research suggests a slight shift for adolescent readers who are still developing their skills. For those readers, instruction should focus on word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation.
How Does Reading Develop?
Jeanne Chall, a leading researcher in the field of reading, developed what is referred to as Chall’s Stages of Reading Development in 1983. In her research, Chall determined that reading skills developed in a hierarchy, each skill layering upon the previous. As an overview, Chall’s stages of reading include:
With the advent of the Common Core, some educators noted the shift in stages, which now requires students to demonstrate these abilities at increasingly earlier grades.
How Does This Connect to Landmark’s Teaching Principles™?
Based on the outlined process for developing reading skills, it is vital that educators meet students at their individual levels in order for reading instruction and expectations to yield desired outcomes. Reading skills should develop in a hierarchy, and if one stage has not been met before introducing the expectations of a subsequent stage, students will struggle to demonstrate mastery. By providing appropriate instruction based on each student’s level of achievement, educators can ensure opportunities for success, which is Landmark’s First Teaching Principle. When instruction and expectations are aligned with the student’s current abilities, educators give those students the opportunity to find success as readers. For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Provide Opportunities for Success,” click here.