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Basic Reading Skills


Becoming a proficient reader requires mastery of several skills that need to be applied simultaneously. Obviously, this doesn't happen overnight. These basic skills should be learned first in isolation, then as readers becomes more adept at each one, they can progress and combine until they can read independently with full comprehension of what they read. Basic reading skills encompass a range from phonics to comprehension.


Decoding Decoding or sounding out words is the first step in reading. Children can decode when they understand that each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding sound. Children then learn how to look at words in print, isolate each separate sound, then blend them to read the word as a whole. The goal of phonics instruction is to enable readers to become proficient at decoding so they are able to read words on their own and with little effort.


Vocabulary Good readers increase their vocabulary every time they read and are able to recall these words when they see them again. They begin by developing a sight word vocabulary. Sight words are words that are frequently found often in common speech and books, such as "the," "is," "were," "was" and "said." Generally, these words cannot be sounded out, so readers have to memorize them. Knowledge of these words is essential because they can be found in any book.


Basic Reading Skills