For those of us who find reading a slog, who find it hard to get immersed in a book and who never really understood why other people could read so much better than us, it may come as some comfort to see the development hurdles we have to get across in order to start to access the world of Literature. Where are you in the process?
Emerging pre-reader (on parent’s knee); Novice reader – breaking up words, pronouncing; Decoding Reader – Expression and comprehension; Fluent Reader – Not speedy but fast enough to comprehend the parallel universe of the book. Being able to think about what we read as we read it. Emotional (and intellectual) engagement with the text; EXPERT READER. Lucky you. Here is how it happened…
Phonological Development: Hearing, segmenting, understanding small units of sound, using letter sounds to decode.
Orthographic Development: Visual aspects of print, features of letters, common letter patterns. Sight.
Semantic and Pragmatic Development: Learning the meanings and words from the language and culture around helps us to recognise a word and comprehend quicker. The educated guess.
Syntactic Development: Grammatical forms and structures of sentences. Enables us to make sense of the ways words are used to construct sentences, paragraphs, stories. Teaches us how events relate to each other in the text.
Morphological Development: How words are formed from smaller, meaningful roots and units of meaning. ie: un and ed, helping you to read and recognise faster.
A good short term memory.
Learning to read is very complex. Sometimes it takes years. Stick at it.
This information is gleaned from this fascinating book. I wish I’d known earlier.