Steps in Learning to Read

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Learning to read is a multifaceted process. This lesson will explore the steps necessary to learn how to read and will end with a short quiz to test what you have learned.

Personal Reading History

What was the first book you read? If you are like most people, you probably have no idea because small milestones along the way contributed to your ability to read an entire book on your own. Being read to kick starts the process of reading.

We begin the process of learning to read within the first few months of life. Nursery rhymes and lullabies that are repeated become familiar and anticipated and are often paired with images in simple books. Late in our first year of life we begin to connect the sounds and images with some meaning and may be able to predict events and visually follow along in simple stories or books.

These early steps lay the foundation for our personal reading history. Most of these things occur before we receive any formal education. By the time we reach preschool and Kindergarten, everything seems geared toward learning to read.

Letter Recognition is Important in Learning to Read

Letter Recognition

A, B, C, D, E, F, G…. we all know the familiar tune that we used to learn our ABCs. Letter recognition is a very important step in learning to read. In other words, kids learn the alphabet song and begin to identify the corresponding letters on the page.

Think back on your earliest classroom. Most are adorned with giant letters of the alphabet. Usually, next to each letter is an image that exemplifies the letter. For example, A is for Apple, B is for Bat, and etc. These help students make the association between the name of the letter, what it looks like, and how it sounds, all early steps toward reading.

Another big step in mastering letter recognition is learning the letters in one's own name. This is another way of giving meaning to the letters. It also helps to demonstrate how letters can be combined to form a word in a way that is personally meaningful to students.

Making Associations Between the Way a Letter Looks and How It Sounds is an Early Step Toward Reading
letter a

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