Connecting Interactive Reading Theories and Skills-Based Reading Instructional Practices

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Interactive Theories of the Reading

  • During reading and learning to read, language is processed by balancing the features of the print with the reader's prior knowledge, culture, and background experiences.
  • Learning to read is thought to be the construction of meaning through empahsizing information gained from the print and from the reader's prior knowledge.
  • Learning to read is accomplished by placing a balanced emphasis on mastering three skill areas: decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Language stimuli for reading practice are carefully controlled to represent words that are familiar to the child's background and used frequently in the language.
  • Mastery of the skill areas of reading, decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension is assumed to lead to competent understanding and performance of the whole act of reading.
  • A balanced emphasis on isolated lessons in each of the three skill areas of decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension is assumed to be intergrated by each learner.
  • Integration of the three skill areas is assumed to enable skilled, independent reading.
  • Correctness is expected, although varying interpretations for meaning based on backgound knowledge are accepted.

Skills Reading Instructional Approach

  • Reading instruction focuses on three skill areas in isolated lessons: decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Instruction begins in all three areas:
    • Decoding:  Learning the 26 letters and 44 sounds.
    • Vocabulary:  Learning high-frequency sight words in lists, e.g., the, and, me, look, etc.
    • Comprehension:  Listening to stories read aloud for the main idea, sequence, or details.
  • Instruction continues in the three skill areas in connection with the introduction of simple stories in books called "pre-primers."
    • Decoding:  Letter-sound associations learned along with some blending and the sounds letters represent in selected sight words.
    • Vocabulary:  New high-frequency sight word lists are learned along with attention to new conceptual knowledge focused around word meaning categories.
    • Comprehension:  Simple comprehension skills related to short stories in the teacher's edition focus on main ideas and noting details.
  • Instruction progresses to the use of a student's anthology of stories (some as controlled text, some as literature-based stories) and instruction in the three skill areas continues throughout the elementary years.
    •     Decoding:  Prefixes, suffixes, context clues, etc.
    •     Vocabulary:  Unfamiliar words, multiple meaning words, word categories, synonyms, antonyms, etc.
    •     Comprehension:  Sequencing, literary devices, following directions, etc.
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