“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imagination—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.” – Katherine Patterson
Reading is known as a complicated process of understanding written text. For this reason, reading cannot be developed through one simple strategy or component. In fact, reading is developed through six components. Those six components are comprehension, oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary. These six components work together and simultaneously to help create fluent readers. Through these six components, readers learn that there is meaning in written test. If readers do not understand the meaning of what they are reading, then reading might as well be meaningless.
According to Tierney, R.J. (1990), “Comprehension is a creative, multifaceted thinking process in which students engage with the text” (p. 253). Comprehension is the most important goal of reading. This is the main reason people read, because they want to know the meaning of a story, a meaning of a sentence, or the text that they are reading. Teachers may use multiple strategies for students to comprehend when students are reading. For instance, teachers may activate background knowledge, connect readers with text, determine importance, etc (Harvey, S. & Goudvis, A. 2007). These strategies help readers comprehend what they are reading. For example, the more background knowledge and prior experiences readers have about a topic, the more likely they are to comprehend what they’re reading (Harvery, S. & Goudvis, A. 2007). K-W-L charts, pre-reading plans, etc., are great strategies for teachers to utilize to get students engaged in the reading text. According to Block, C. C., & Presley, M. (2007), “Teachers can’t assume that students will learn to comprehend simply by doing lots of reading; instead, students develop an understanding of comprehension and what readers do to be successful through a combination of instruction and authentic reading activities.”
Oral language is important in the development of word recognition and comprehension skills. Clay, M. M. (2000a), explains, “through experiences in their homes and communities, young children learn that print carries meaning and that reading and writing are used for a variety of purposes” (p.109). At this point in time, children notice menus in restaurants, symbols like Mcdonald’s, as well as listening to stories they are interested in, and noticing letters from parents or relatives. Depending on the culture and community, not all students enter school with a strong foundation in literacy. That is why differential instruction is needed (Solley, J. nd).
During this period of time, children are in the emergent stage of reading. Children begin this stage at birth to five years of age....