Connecting Interactive Reading Theories and Skills-Based Reading Instructional Practices
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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