Stages of reading comprehension

Stages of Reading Development (Video)

What stages of development do children progress through from infancy to adulthood? You may think of how a child progresses from crawling to walking, or from babbling to speaking single words to forming full sentences. Though children develop at different rates and ages, they follow a general progression as they grow.

The development of reading skills is no different; children progress through distinct stages on their way to becoming fluent, independent readers.

In this video, we will describe four stages of reading development and their associated behaviors. We will also describe instructional practices that can be used to support students in each of these stages.

The Four Stages

Children progress through four distinct stages of reading development: emergent reading, early reading, transitional reading, and fluent reading. People sometimes refer to these stages by other names or divide them further into substages. However they are named, the stages describe the same general skills progression.

As with other areas of growth and development, there are variances in the rate and age at which children move through these stages.

Let’s visit some classrooms to see what students in each stage of reading development are learning and doing.

Stage 1 – Emergent Reading

Mrs. Collins teaches pre-kindergarten. Most of her students are in the emergent stage of reading development. They are learning how to handle a book by holding it right-side up and turning the pages from front to back.

These emergent readers are learning that print holds meaning. Though they can’t decode the printed words, they retell stories in their own words as they turn the pages. They comment on the illustrations and discuss what they like or notice in the stories.

The students are developing some phonemic awareness skills, including the ability to rhyme and use alliteration. They recognize some common words in environmental print, like the names of their favorite restaurants. Some students in the class are beginning to recognize printed letters and identify their related sounds.

Instructional Practices for Emergent Readers

Mrs. Collins uses many instructional practices to strengthen her students’ emergent reading skills. During a read-aloud, she holds the book upright and points out the author and illustrator. She models how to turn the pages, and she points to each word as she reads, showing the one-to-one correspondence between the written and spoken word. To model reading from left to right, she follows along with her finger, moving to the sentence below when she reaches the end of each line.

Mrs. Collins engages in word play frequently, reads poems and nursery rhymes, and asks students to form rhyming pairs. She asks what sounds students hear at the beginning and ending of a word, and she begins introducing them to letter names and sounds.

Stage 2 – Early Reading

Mr. Fuentes teaches first grade. Most of his students are in the early reading stage. They have more developed phonemic awareness skills and are able to identify the beginning, middle, and ending sounds of words. They can also add, remove, or substitute a phoneme in a given word.

These early readers understand the predictable relationship between letters and their sounds and are beginning to decode short words with common spelling patterns. They also recognize some sight words automatically. Using a combination of decoding strategies and sight word knowledge, they are able to read some simple texts independently. After reading or listening to a text, the students can retell some of the main events and share their feelings about the story.

Instructional Practices for Early Readers

Mr. Fuentes uses several instructional strategies to help his early readers increase their skills. He teaches a variety of decoding strategies, including sounding out, breaking words into chunks, and looking for known word parts. He asks students to self-monitor their reading by asking if what they read looks right, sounds right, and makes sense. After reading a story aloud, he asks questions about the characters and events, and he models providing answers using text evidence.

Stage 3 – Transitional Reading

Mr. Thomas teaches second grade. His students are mainly in the transitional stage of reading development. They automatically recognize many spelling patterns and sight words and can decode multisyllabic words using a variety of strategies. The students are also beginning to read simple chapter books and can engage in independent reading for longer periods of time. Their comprehension skills are growing quickly too. In addition to identifying story structure and responding personally to texts, the students are now beginning to make inferences.

Instructional Practices for Transitional Readers

Mr. Thomas introduces his students to a wide variety of text types. He teaches the characteristics of different text structures and shows students how to use text features to find key information. He models his thinking when answering comprehension questions and uses text evidence to support his answers.

Mr. Thomas also models how to analyze vocabulary words for known roots or affixes and how to look for connections in word meanings. Students are reading longer, more complex texts, so fluency practice is important too. Mr. Thomas models reading excerpts from texts and then asks his students to read them independently in the same manner.

Stage 4 – Fluent Reading

Ms. Baxter teaches seventh grade. Most of her students are in the fluent stage of reading development, automatically recognizing most words and using decoding strategies to quickly figure out any words they don’t know. They read at an appropriate speed and with expression. They know the meanings of most vocabulary words they encounter and use context clues, knowledge of roots, or other clues to figure out any they don’t know. The students comprehend complex texts, which they demonstrate through comparing and contrasting, evaluating, summarizing, and other higher-level skills.

Instructional Practices for Fluent Readers

Ms. Baxter teaches her students about a variety of text structures and their characteristics. Together they analyze sentence structure and word choice, such as the use of figurative language.

Ms. Baxter also models higher-level skills like gathering and synthesizing information from multiple sources. She teaches word analysis skills that help her students understand any new vocabulary they encounter.


Now, let’s review what we learned about the stages of reading development.

Children go through four distinct stages of reading development: emergent reading, early reading, transitional reading, and fluent reading. Although the order of the stages remains the same, children progress through these stages at different rates.

Emergent readers begin to understand that print contains meaning and learn to handle books correctly. They have some phonemic awareness skills, including the ability to rhyme, and they begin learning letter names and sounds.

Early readers have more developed phonemic awareness skills. They can decode some simple words using knowledge of letter-sound relationships, and they recognize a growing number of sight words automatically. They can read some simple texts independently.

Transitional readers know many words automatically and use a range of decoding strategies to figure out unknown words. They can read some simple chapter books independently. Transitional readers can also answer more complex comprehension questions, including those requiring inferences.

Fluent readers read a variety of complex texts independently. They have large vocabularies and can answer higher-level comprehension questions.

Review Questions

Let’s go over a few review questions before we go.

1. Describe some differences in instructional practices you might use to build reading comprehension for students in the emergent and fluent stages of reading development.


2. The parent of a student in your kindergarten class expresses concern that her daughter is not yet reading texts independently. How could you address her concerns?


Thanks for watching, and happy studying.

The 5 Stages for Developing Literacy

Site Search

Site Search

Shop Now

Teaching Tips

June 17, 2021


4 min


Literacy development is the process of learning words, sounds, and language. Children develop literacy skills in order to learn to read and write confidently and eventually improve their communication skills overall. The stages of literacy development that a child goes through can vary depending on the child’s comprehension levels but generally include the same key concepts along the way. Understanding literacy development in children as an educator is key for helping children master these core skills that set them up for their education. With an understanding of literacy development and how to address each of the stages of literacy development, both educators and students alike will be set up for success in the classroom.  

Why is Literacy Development Important?

As the pillars of language and reading skills, literacy development is a crucial time in a child’s life. Educators need to understand why literacy development is so important in order to effectively help children within each stage of their early literacy development.

Here are just a few reasons early literacy development is important:

  • Children with confident reading abilities typically struggle less with their studies and have a confident approach to their education.
  • Strong literacy skills translate well into independent learning and encourage consistent growth in and out of the classroom.
  • Literacy development affects the way students communicate and problem solve. Those with strong literacy skills usually have improved cognitive ability. 

The Five Stages of Literacy Development

As a child grows older and demonstrates the key stages of literacy development they will improve their reading and writing ability. The five stages of literacy development include emergent literacy, alphabetic fluency, words and patterns, intermediate reading, and advanced reading. Each stage of literacy development helps the child move forward and become a stronger student. Keep in mind that a child's current age group doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re at that step in their early literacy development. 

Stage 1: Emergent Literacy 

Age Range: 4-6 years old.

As the earliest stage of literacy development, emergent literacy is the first moment that a child begins to understand letters and words. While many of the behaviors of the emergent literacy stage are not fully formed and irregular, these are still some of the first signs that a child is beginning to form literacy ability.

Here are Some Behaviors of Stage 1 Learners: 

  • Pretending to be able to read children’s books. 
  • The ability to recognize the first letter of their name.  
  • Singing the ABCs, even if unable to identify letters separately. 
  • Trying to memorize certain books to “read” them. 
  • The ability to recognize some letters and potentially their sound. 
  • The ability to find words in their environment.

To learn helpful strategies to support emerging readers by helping them understand what alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness are and why they are both so critically important watch this free webinar, 5 Essential Strategies to Effectively Teach Letters and Sounds.

Stage 2: Alphabetic Fluency

Age Range: 6-7 years old.

As the child grows older and more comfortable with learning their words and letters, they enter the alphabetic fluency stage of literacy development. 

Here are Some Behaviors of Stage 2 Learners:

  • No longer “pretend” reading.
  • Finger-pointing to words while reading them. 
  • Beginning to recognize words.
  • Admitting that they’re unable to read certain words.
  • Using pictures and context clues to figure out certain words.
  • Reading out loud word by word. 

Stage 3: Words and Patterns

Age Range: 7-9 years old.

Sometimes referred to as the “transitional” stage of literacy development, the words and patterns stage is when children begin to develop stronger reading skills. This is the stage when children can vary the most in terms of skills and may adopt behaviors in multiple stages of literacy development. 

Here are Some Behaviors of Stage 3 Learners:

  • Less decoding of words and stronger ability to comprehend reading materials.
  • More self-correction when what is read is unclear. 
  • Less sound by sound reading and easier time grouping letters.
  • Able to recognize words that pop up most often automatically. 
  • Less reliance on context clues to figure out unknown words.
  • Beginning to be able to spell complex consonant words like “-tch”.

Stage 4: Intermediate Reading

Age Range: 9-11 years old.

During the intermediate stage of literacy development, children begin to rely less on educational crutches that help a child learn new words. This is also when children are becoming able to write out sentences with less error and develop stronger fluency overall. 

Here are Some Behaviors of Stage 4 Learners: 

  • Reading to learn new information and writing for multiple purposes. 
  • Less difficulty with independent reading. 
  • Reading to explore new concepts from numerous perspectives.
  • Reading longer materials such as textbooks with little difficulty. 
  • An interest in wanting to learn and develop new vocabulary. 

Stage 5: Advanced Reading

Age Range: 11-14 years old.

As the last stage of literacy development, advanced reading is when children become fully fluent and capable of relying on independent reading to learn new information. Reading and writing provide little difficulty and students can absorb complex reading materials during this stage. 

Here are Some Behaviors of Stage 5 Learners: 

  • The desire to read numerous types of reading materials.
  • Reading becomes a daily tool for learning new information.
  • The ability to formulate longer texts such as essays or book reports.
  • Readers usually have a strong understanding of the meaning and semantics of words.
  • The ability to understand and retain complex reading materials. 

Develop Early Literacy with Learning Without Tears!

Each stage of literacy development provides its own unique challenges and triumphs in learning to become confident in reading and writing. Learning Without Tears specializes in early childhood development programs that help further progress within the stages of literacy development. Learning Without Tears offers a wide range of educational materials to help teachers create an engaging lesson plan that will get children excited to learn more. With resources for parents to get children set up for school and programs for teachers to teach early literacy concepts, Learning Without Tears is committed to helping children become confident students. Learning Without Tears has created resources and educational materials for children in pre-k to 5th grade to help students succeed during every stage of literacy development and early childhood education. Explore Learning Without Tears to help children get the most out of their education today.

A—Z for Mat Man and Me


Seamlessly bring the ABCs to life while building foundational literacy skills with our new letter book series. Each of our illustrated letter books introduces a letter of the alphabet and emphasizes their associated sound through captivating, visual stories. The engaging stories in each book capture children's imaginations and expose them to social-emotional skills and diverse cultures.

Learn More → . 

Related Tags

Ask the Experts    Teaching Tips    Multisensory Learning    Readiness    Home Connection   

Ask the Experts, Teaching Tips, Multisensory Learning, Readiness

Pint-Size Book Authors: Using Early Readers as Mentor Texts

September 10, 2021

0 3 min

Ask the Experts, Teaching Tips, Multisensory Learning, Readiness, Home Connection

Why is Literacy Development Important for Children?

June 17, 2021

0 4 min

Ask the Experts, Teaching Tips, Multisensory Learning, Readiness, Home Connection

Naming Letters Is Not a Straight Path to Literacy: Here’s Why

April 15, 2021

4 2 mins

There are no comments

Stay Connected and Save 10%

Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest updates, Classroom tips & free downloads.


90,000 stages and exercises. Blog Logo-Expert

Blog Logo-Expert

formation of speech reading

Elementary school is a special stage in the life of any child, which is associated with the formation of the basics of his ability to learn, the ability to organize his activities. It is a full-fledged reading skill that provides the student with the opportunity to independently acquire new knowledge, and in the future creates the necessary basis for self-education in subsequent education in high school and after school. nine0003

Interest in reading arises when a child is fluent in conscious reading, while he has developed educational and cognitive motives for reading. Reading activity is not something spontaneous that arises on its own. To master it, it is important to know the ways of reading, the methods of semantic text processing, as well as other skills.

Reading is a complex psycho-physiological process in which visual, speech-auditory and speech-motor analyzers take part. A child who has not learned to read or does it poorly cannot comprehend the necessary knowledge and use it in practice. If the child can read, but at the same time he does not understand what he read, then this will also lead to great difficulties in further learning and, as a result, failure at school. nine0003

Reading begins with visual perception, discrimination and recognition of letters. This is the basis on the basis of which the letters are correlated with the corresponding sounds and the sound-producing image of the word is reproduced, i.e. his reading. In addition, through the correlation of the sound form of the word with its meaning, the understanding of what is read is carried out.

There are 3 main points in the complex process of reading:

  • Perception of these words. The process of reading itself implies that the reader guesses by letter what words they stand for. Reading begins only when the reader, looking at the letters, can pronounce or recall the word that corresponds to the combination of these letters. Accordingly, in addition to vision, memory, mind and imagination are involved in this process. nine0018
  • Reading comprehension. Each word that we read can cause a certain change in our minds, which is due to the understanding of this word. For one word, some vivid image pops up in our minds, for another - a feeling, etc.
  • Reading score. In the formation of reading skills, not only the fact itself (“I read the book”) is important, but a critical assessment of the material read.

Need is always the motive for reading in children. At the first stage, it is the desire to learn to read; to master the very process of the emergence of the letters of the word. When this skill is mastered, another motivation arises: the desire to understand what exactly a particular text means. In the future, the motives become more complicated, and the child wants to find out some specific fact, understand the motives of the main character, determine the main idea in a popular science text, etc. nine0003

T.G. Egorov identifies several stages in the formation of reading skills:

  • Mastery of sound-letter designations.
  • Reading by syllable.
  • Formation of synthetic methods of reading.
  • Synthetic reading.

Acquisition of sound-letter designations occurs during the entire pre-letter and literal periods. At this stage, children analyze the speech flow, sentence, divide it into syllables and sounds. The child correlates the selected sound from speech with a certain graphic image (letter). nine0003

Having mastered a letter, the child reads the syllables and words with it. When reading a syllable in the process of merging sounds, it is important to move from an isolated generalized sound to the sound that the sound acquires in the speech stream. In other words, the syllable must be pronounced as it sounds in oral speech.

At the stage of syllable-by-syllable reading, the recognition of letters and the merging of sounds into syllables occurs without any problems. Accordingly, the unit of reading is the syllable. The difficulty of synthesizing at this stage may still remain, especially in the process of reading long and difficult words. nine0003

The stage of formation of synthetic reading techniques is characterized by the fact that simple and familiar words are read as a whole, but complex and unfamiliar words are read syllable by syllable. At this stage, frequent replacements of words, endings, i.e. guessing reading takes place. Such errors lead to a discrepancy between the content of the text and the read.

The stage of synthetic reading is characterized by the fact that the technical side of reading is no longer difficult for the reader (he practically does not make mistakes). Reading comprehension comes first. There is not only a synthesis of words in a sentence, but also a synthesis of phrases in a general context. But it is important to understand that understanding the meaning of what is read is possible only when the child knows the meaning of each word in the text, i. e. Reading comprehension directly depends on the development of the lexico-grammatical side of speech. nine0003

There are 4 main qualities of reading skill:

  1. Correctness. By this is understood the process of reading, which occurs without errors that can distort the general meaning of the text.
  2. Fluency. This is reading speed, which is measured by the number of printed characters that are read in 1 minute.
  3. Consciousness. It implies understanding by the reader of what he reads, artistic means and images of the text.
  4. Expressiveness. It is the ability by means of oral speech to convey the main idea of ​​the work and one's personal attitude to it. nine0018

Accordingly, the main task of teaching reading skills is to develop these skills in schoolchildren.

All primary school education is based on reading lessons. If the student has mastered the skill of reading, speaking and writing, then other subjects will be given to him much easier. Difficulties during training arise, as a rule, due to the fact that the student could not independently obtain information from books and textbooks.

In educational practice, there are 2 fundamentally opposite methods of teaching reading - linguistic (the method of whole words) and phonological. nine0003

The linguistic method involves teaching the words that are most commonly used, as well as those that are read the same as they are written. This method is aimed at teaching children to recognize words as whole units, without breaking them into components. The child is simply shown and said the word. After about 100 words have been learned, the child is given a text in which these words are often found. In our country, this technique is known as the Glenn Doman method.

The phonetic approach is based on the alphabetic principle. Its basis is phonetics, i.e. learning to pronounce letters and sounds. As knowledge is accumulated, the child gradually moves to syllables, and then to whole words. nine0003

In addition, there are several more methods:

  • Zaitsev method. It involves teaching children warehouses as units of language structure. A warehouse is a pair of a consonant and a vowel (either a consonant and a hard or soft sign, or one letter). Warehouses are written on different faces of the cube, which differ in size, color, etc.
  • Moore method. Learning begins with sounds and letters. The whole process is carried out in a specially equipped room, where there is a typewriter that makes sounds and names of punctuation marks and numbers when a certain key is pressed. Next, the child is shown a combination of letters that he must type on a typewriter. nine0018
  • Montessori method. It involves teaching children the letters of the alphabet, as well as the ability to recognize, write and pronounce them. After they learn how to combine sounds into words, they are encouraged to combine words into sentences. The didactic material consists of letters that are cut out of rough paper and pasted onto cardboard plates. The child repeats the sound after the adult, after which he traces the outline of the letter with his finger.
  • Soboleva O.L. This method is based on the "bihemispheric" work of the brain. By learning letters, children learn them through recognizable images or characters, which makes it especially easy for children with speech disorders to learn and remember letters. nine0018

There is no universal methodology for developing reading skills. But in modern teaching methods, a general approach is recognized when learning begins with an understanding of sounds and letters, i.e. from phonetics.

There are certain exercises that help build reading skills. Here are a few of them:

  • Reading lines backwards letter by letter. The exercise contributes to the development of letter-by-letter analysis. The meaning is simple - the words are read in reverse order, i.e. from right to left. nine0018
  • Reading through the word. You do not need to read all the words in a sentence, but jumping over one.
  • Reading dotted words. Words are written on the cards, but several letters are missing (dotted lines are drawn instead).
  • Read only the second half of the word. You need to read only the second part of the word, while the first is omitted. The exercise contributes to the understanding that the second part of the word is no less important than the first, thereby preventing the omission (or reading with distortion) of the endings of words in the future. nine0018
  • Reading lines with the upper half covered. A sheet of paper is superimposed on the text so that the top of the line is covered.
  • Fast and multiple repetition. The child should repeat a line of a poem or sentence aloud as quickly as possible and several times in a row. Correct pronunciation is extremely important, so if necessary, you need to stop and correct the child.
  • Find the words in the text. The child is faced with the task of finding words in the text as quickly as possible. First, they are shown in pictures, then voiced by the teacher. nine0018
  • Buzzing reading. The text is read by all students aloud, but in an undertone.

A. Herzen wrote: “Without reading, there is no real education, no, and there can be neither taste, nor style, nor the many-sided breadth of understanding.” Indeed, mastering a full-fledged reading skill is the most important condition for academic achievement in the main subjects at school. At the same time, this is one of the main ways of obtaining information, which is vital for the speech, mental and aesthetic development of children. nine0003

2 Like

formation speech reading

Related articles

  • How Human Speech Originated: The Mechanisms of Speech Formation
  • Learning to read
  • Exercises to increase the reading speed of children 6-8 years old
  • Syllabary for learning to read
  • For school speech therapists. Entertaining Reading

And get a speech therapist's case as a gift
in the first letter! 🎁

Semantic reading strategies

Download 129. 5 Kb.

page 1/8
Date 03.01.2021
Type Methodology

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

    Navigation on this page:
  • of the Kalinin district of St. Petersburg

State budgetary educational institution

secondary school No. 98

English Advanced

Kalininsky district of St. Petersburg

Direction: general education

Nomination: methodical development

Subject: Meaningful Reading Strategies:

the first steps of a primary school student

author: Chernyaeva M.V.

St. Petersburg


Explanatory note nine0003

This development is an integral part of the experimental work of the teaching staff on the inclusion of technologies for teaching semantic reading in teaching practice and is addressed to primary school English teachers.

In my work, I tried to reveal the difference between semantic reading and any other reading, choose technologies and techniques available for working with primary school students, adapt them and apply them in the practice of an elementary school teacher, diagnose and evaluate the results. nine0003

The practical significance lies in the fact that a number of specific methods of semantic reading strategies are offered, available for mastering by primary school students.

The issues of teaching reading at the initial stage of teaching a foreign language are very relevant. When teaching reading at the initial stage, it is important to teach the technique of reading, and on the other hand, to show that reading is necessary to extract information necessary to serve other types of speech activity. Practice shows that interest in this type of speech activity is very low. Students experience great difficulties in reading, as there are numerous facts of discrepancies between the grapheme-phonemic systems of native and foreign languages, discrepancies in the pronunciation of the same letter in various letter combinations, as well as cases of different graphic representations of the same sound occur in English language. Based on the foregoing, on the one hand, there are many problems in the technique of mastering reading, on the other hand, without learning to read, learning a language at school is impossible. nine0003

How to teach modern schoolchildren to read thoughtfully, to extract the necessary information from what they read, to correlate it with existing knowledge, to interpret and evaluate?

The solution to this problem is teaching students meaningful reading. The purpose of semantic reading is to understand the content of the text as accurately and fully as possible, to catch all the details and practically comprehend the extracted information. This is a careful reading and penetration into the meaning with the help of text analysis. When a child reads really thoughtfully, then his imagination is sure to work, he can actively interact with his internal images. The student himself establishes the relationship between himself, the text and the world around him. Thus, he knows the world. nine0126

Catalog: images -> modern obr -> obraz servisi -> tut -> laboratory
images -> Psychological and pedagogical conditions for the development of personal autonomy in the process of training psychology students 19. 00. 13 developmental psychology, acmeology
images -> Moscow City
images -> Working Program of the academic discipline m 01. Scientific research in the professional activity of the psychological and pedagogical direction
images -> Self-understanding as a factor in the development of achievement motivation in the process of training future civil servants 19. 00. 13 developmental psychology, acmeology
laboratory -> The structure of the pedagogical project
laboratory -> Nomination: methodological development Theme of work: "The memory of the past days is imperishable"
tut -> Development of students' cognitive interest in Russian as a language of interethnic communication
modern obr - > Analog analysis of existing practices of advanced training and education quality assessment

Download 129.

Learn more


North Coast Community Services
710 Fraser Street, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1P9
Ph: 250.627.7166 | Fx: 250.627.7482

© All Rights Reserved | powered by ExpressionEngine