Reading is a skill encompassing other skills. Let me explain, In reality, it’s a lot of skills all coming together.
These skills start to develop when we’re babies and continue to develop throughout our lifetime.
Educators and psychologists break these skills down into five stages. It is important to remember that, as with most things developmental, there are no hard and fast rules on when we start or stop any stage every person has their own, unique path of development.
The first stage of reading is the Emerging Pre-reader, which typically lasts from six months to six years. This stage is when kiddos are working on what we call the six skills of early literacy. They also start to learn how to connect sounds with meaning and the basics of communication and language. By the end of this stage, children can retell a familiar story, name letters, and play with books, pencils, and paper.
The next stage is the Novice Reader.
A child typically enters this stage around ages six or seven. Children in this stage are learning the relationships between letters and sounds, and between spoken and written words. They can read simple text with high-frequency words and words that are easy to sound out, but they are able to understand stories read to them that are above their reading level. Kids this age are likely to understand about 4,000 words, but are only able to read about 600.
The third stage is the Decoding Reader.
This stage typically occurs around the ages of seven to nine. A child’s fluency in reading increases during this stage as they learn how to more easily decode, or sound out, more words. By the end of this stage, kids may understand around 9,000 words and be able to read 3,000.
The fourth stage is the Fluent, Comprehending Reader,
which happens around the ages of 9-15. In this stage, kids make the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Classrooms typically focus on introducing new vocabulary directly, and more formal instruction around comprehension takes place in asking and answering questions and discussion. At the beginning of this stage, kids may still understand more of what they hear than what they read, but by the end that may switch.
The fifth and final stage is the Expert Reader.
This usually occurs around the age 16 and remains. By this stage, kids and adults are reading from a broad range of materials that are more complex. Reading comprehension is usually higher than listening when it comes to challenging content, and readers are often asked to synthesize information into written form to share with others. This stage never ends, as we continue to learn and sharpen our skills throughout our lives.