Five Core Reading Components

Phonemic awareness: the ability to listen to, identify, and manipulate phonemes—the smallest units of sounds that are combined to create words.

Phonics and word study: phonics instruction teaches students about the relationship between sounds and written letters (known as the alphabetic principle) so that they learn how to decode and read words.

In word study instruction, students learn to use complex elements of reading to decode more advanced words (e.g., students learn how to decode words based on associated word meanings and by learning how to identify word parts, such as affixes and root words). The combination of phonics and word study helps students to improve their word recognition, reading, and spelling.

Reading comprehension: the ability to understand written text.

Vocabulary: the knowledge of words and what they mean.

Reading fluency: the ability to read text with accuracy, speed, and intonation.

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