What Is a Basal Reading Program?

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  • 0:04 The Importance of Reading
  • 0:34 Basal Reading Program Basics
  • 2:16 What to Expect
  • 3:12 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson, we explore the basic methods behind teaching a basal reading program and what students, parents, and teachers can expect when a basal program is implemented.

The Importance of Reading

Literacy is one of the most important things in the world. As a basic part of life, the ability to read is essential to being able to function in our world. Indeed, when a child learns how to read, it opens up a plethora of other doors. They can take that ability and use it to study history, science, and literature. Even mathematics requires some basic reading skills.

In this lesson, we'll discuss a popular and long-tried program for teaching students to read: basal reading programs.

Basal Reading Program Basics

Basal reading programs teach students to read through a series of texts that teach students to read by focusing on basic linguistic concepts, reading skills, and vocabulary. Instead of using pre-existing books to teach a child to read, the texts used in basal reading programs are created with the express purpose of teaching children how to read. Basal reading programs are often designed collaboratively by educational companies and authors. Together, they structure lessons to introduce the basics of reading, like letters, parts of speech, and suffixes, before moving on to more complex things, like sentence and paragraph structure.

Basal reading programs depend upon the commitment of the student and teacher. They emphasize the repetition of concepts until they're memorized and generally introduce new concepts at regular intervals. The concepts and skills that basal reading programs help students master are usually closely aligned with curriculum standards in order to make sure each student attains the reading proficiency necessary to reach benchmarks according to federal, state, or local school board requirements.

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