1. Mastering Sounds
Reading to children and engaging them in conversation with new words grows their awareness of the sounds of the English language. This phonological awareness is critically important to get them ready to read.
2. Matching Sounds to Letters
Phonics and decoding occur once readers achieve phonetic awareness. In this next step, readers learn to read by connecting sounds to letters or groups of letters to sound out words.
3. Reading with Fluency
Once readers learn how to sound out words, they develop their ability to read with fluency and prosody, that is, accurately, quickly, with expression and pace.
4. Reading Comprehension
At this stage, readers grow their ability to make meaning: to read a text, process it, summarize what is explicit, and interpret what is implied.
5. Critical Thinking
At this stage, readers learn to skillfully exercise thinking processes to deepen understanding, such as making connections, generating questions, visualizing, making inferences, gaining perspective and empathy, identifying cause and effect, analyzing and synthesizing, determining importance, and checking understanding.