Five Keys to Reading

  • Five key areas of reading instruction have been identified to be critical for reading success.   These are:

    • Phonemic Awareness
    • Phonics
    • Vocabulary
    • Fluency
    • Comprehension


    Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words.


    Phonics is the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes (the sound of spoken language) and graphemes (the letters that represent those sounds in written language).


    Vocabulary refers to the words that a student has listening and speaking knowledge of.


    Fluency is a combination of the following three skills: speed, accuracy, and prosody. Speed is the pace at which oral or silent reading occurs. Accuracy is the ability to correctly recognize and decode words. Prosody is the ability to read a text orally using appropriate pitch, stress, and phrasing.


    Comprehension refers to a student's understanding of the text. A child who reads without comprehending what was read is not really reading at all. True reading comes from getting meaning out of what is read.