The 5 Components of Reading Instruction


Understanding the basics of how the human brain learns to read can help you as a parent. It makes it easier to learn reading comprehension strategies that will work for your dyslexic child.


Learning to read follows a predictable pattern in children without dyslexia. This is not the case with children who have (or may have) dyslexia. They have weak phonological awareness skills. Also, they struggle to understand the relationship between sounds and letters in words.


This is not related to low intelligence, and good news – reading skills can be taught through the Five Components of Reading Instruction.

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Reading Comprehension Strategies

1: Phonological or Phonemic Awareness Skills


Often called pre-reading skills, these skills are very important for learning to read. It’s where kids learn the “Alphabetic Principle.” Basically, this means that letters connect to sounds and make words in a predictable pattern. Once they know this and understand the patterns, they can blend, mix, and sound out different letters, sounds and then words. Students with dyslexia must practice this a lot more than their peers. These components are the heart of most traditional reading comprehension strategies.


2: Decoding (or Phonics)


To read, you must have a solid understanding of sound-symbol relationships (connecting sounds with letters. Further, you must connect that understanding with words in print.  As soon as students acquire the Alphabetic Principle, they can begin to decode. Decoding, sometimes called word attack, is when words on a page are turned into speech. The reader does this by matching sounds with letters and noticing/recalling patterns in words and syllables.


3: Fluency


Fluency is the ability to read easily, smoothly, quickly, and accurately. Students who are fluent readers do not have to stop and sound out words in a text. While fluency in reading is an important element to reading comprehension strategies, the ability to simply read aloud does not mean, on its own, that comprehension has been attained.


4: Vocabulary


Vocabulary helps you pay attention to the meaning of what you’re reading. It can be learned in many ways, and developing vocabulary is linked to comprehension.  The more words you know, the less often you have to miss out on understandings. 


5: Comprehension


The ultimate goal of reading! It is the ability to understand the meaning of words you read. Comprehension involves understanding and analysis of the text being read. Understanding these core elements will help your child’s IEP team develop reading comprehension strategies that work with your child’s dyslexia.   


What Does This Mean for My Struggling Child?


Learn more about how to support your child.  Discover reading comprehension strategies for dyslexia and more with ExceptionALLY. Log in today before your next meeting at school – it’s free!





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