What are the Five Stages of Reading Development?
I am the proud father of a two-year-old son who has an insatiable appetite for books. Before he goes to bed every night, I read him at least a couple of bedtime stories, just like most parents. Storytime is always an interactive activity for us, as he follows along with me, posing questions, and repeating words and phrases. Sometimes he likes to retell the story to others, which always amazes me.
Even at two, he has a keen sense of print awareness, which is the understanding of how text works and how to interact with it. One night while reading to him I started to think about the stages of reading development, and how The Edvocate was long overdue for an article on the subject. I know the phases of the reading development process, but it has been over a decade since I read any literature on the topic. And so I began my research, only to find out that only a couple of authoritative articles exist on the subject, and many of them differ on what the stages are, how many stages exist, and what age range each stage encompasses.
This only motivated me more, as I decided to write a brief, yet definitive article, listing and discussing the five stages of reading.
During the initial phase of the reading development process children sample and learn from a full range of multiple sounds, words, concepts, images, stories, exposure to print, literacy materials, and just plain talk during the first five years of life.
During the second phase of the reading development process children are learning the relationships between letters and sounds and amongst printed and spoken words. The child begins to read stories with high-frequency words and phonically regular words and uses emerging skills and insights to “sound out” new one-syllable words.
During the third phase of the reading development, process children are beginning to read familiar stories and text with increasing fluency. This is accomplished by consolidating the foundational decoding elements, sight vocabulary, and meaning in the reading of stories and selections that the child is already familiar with.
During the fourth phase of the reading development process, reading is used to acquire new ideas to gain new knowledge, to experience new feelings, to acquire new attitudes, and to explore issues from multiple perspectives. Reading includes the study of textbooks, reference works, trade books, newspapers, and magazines that contain new ideas and values, new vocabulary and syntax.
During the fifth phase of the reading development process, the learner is reading from a wide range of advanced materials, both expository and narrative, with multiple viewpoints. Learners are reading broadly across the disciplines, including the physical, biological and social sciences as well as the humanities, politics and current affairs.
What do you think of my list?