5 Essential Reading Components of Effective Reading Instruction

  • Five Essential Components of Effective Reading Instruction

    The National Reading Panel Report provides information on how we can teach children to read accurately, rapidly, and with comprehension.

    (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD], 2000) summarized several decades of scientific research that clearly shows effective reading instruction and addresses five critical areas:

    Phonemic awareness : is commonly defined as the understanding that spoken words are made up of separate units of sound that are blended together when words are pronounced.

    For example, hearing and saying that the word cat has three sounds, or phonemes /k/ /a/ /t/ is an example of phonemic awareness skill.

    Phonics : a set of rules that specify the relationship between letters in the spelling of words and the sounds of spoken language.

    Fluency recognizing the words in a text rapidly and accurately and using phrasing and emphasis in a way that makes what is read sound like spoken language.  

    Vocabulary: words we need to know to communicate with others. There are four types of vocabulary:

    a.) listening: words we understand when others talk to us

    b.) speaking: words we use when we talk to others

    c.) reading: words we know when we see them in print (sight words and words we can 


     d.) writingwords we use when we write

     Listening and speaking vocabularies are sometimes referred to collectively as oral vocabulary.

    Comprehension : constructing meaning that is reasonable and accurate by connecting what has been read to what the reader already knows and thinking about all of this information until it is understood. Comprehension is the final goal of reading instruction

    These five areas were incorporated into the No Child Left Behind Act and the Reading First initiative as essential components of effective reading instruction.

    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office