How the Language System Works: Five Essential Components of Reading
Learning to read is like constructing our own house or building. We need a strong foundation at the very start of the construction and must connect the pillars of the building the proper way or it would wither away and we cannot add more floors.
The sounds of the English language are the foundation for learning to read and connecting the sounds are the pillars of learning to read. That is the phonemic awareness. Our next level is the phonics, we need to know how to write the words, followed by it is the fluency. We need to be able to read words quickly and know the meaning of the words so that we can comprehend what we read.
1. Phonemic/phoneme awareness - the lowest level of the language system, an awareness that words are made up of segments of sounds that are represented with letters in an alphabetic orthography. This is the part of the language where a student must learn the sounds, then blend the sounds to get the information in printed materials.
2. Phonics - the study of the relationships between the sounds and letters they represent. This is the second level of the language system where it involves writing. After learning to decode the sounds, the students will learn to print the sounds and connect them to create words. This is also the other term used to represent a reading program that deals with sounds.
3. Fluency - the processing speed and accuracy to read words and knowing the meaning of the words. If the child has a problem with fluency it means that he has problems in sounding out and connecting the sounds of the words and small groups of words we call syllables in longer words. Because of these problems, the child does not have the time to understand the words because his mind is preoccupied deciphering the words - the reason why your child has reading comprehension problem.
4. Vocabulary - the meaning of the words.
5. Comprehension - the generic term that includes both listening comprehension and reading comprehension. If a child can comprehend the story that you read to him, but cannot comprehend what he read, he does not have a comprehension problem but reading problems. It is either he lacks fluency or he does not recognize the words he read. Therefore, if the individual has a problem with reading comprehension, he needs to goback to the basics - learning the sounds and connecting the sounds.
to be continued...