What Children Need to Become Readers
As described by Mackey and White (2004), "Reading is ubiquitous. We live, work, and play in a world that is saturated with print, words, books, and ideas. Learning to read, then, is a necessity" (p. 30). Lonigan and Whitehurst (1998) have proposed that adequate early reading instruction includes what they refer to as outside-in processes and inside-out processes. Included among the outside-in processes are vocabulary knowledge, conceptual knowledge, story schemas, and comprehension. Children also need to acquire proficiency with inside-out processes that translate print into sounds and sounds into print, such as phonemic awareness and letter/sound correspondence.
Specifically, children learning to read need the following:
- Time for reading and learning
- Access to texts of all kinds and rich resources for learning to read
- Interactions with other readers, both novice and expert
- Effective instruction in skills and strategies suited to their developmental levels
- Demonstrations of how readers, writers, and texts work
- Awareness of their own reading process (adapted from Braunger & Lewis, 1998)
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