18 Apr 2022


Components of Reading Instruction

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Academic level: College

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Effective reading programs for children need a strong core reading curriculum delivered by knowledgeable teachers. A carefully crafted approach to teaching should include explicit classroom instruction covering the bases of essential components such as phonemic awareness, phonics fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. To ensure that teaching instruction meets the needs of every student, teachers must have access to and use of appropriate reading assessment tools. Screening measures and assessments should be done to identify the children that may be at risk of reading failure. Periodic monitoring of kindergarten children is needed to ensure that reading instruction works and all the students are on track, and identification of diagnostic assessment tools for children in need. This essay expounds the five primary components of reading for children which are phonic, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and phonemic awareness. 

Instruction Activity for the Components of Reading

Children may be unable to comprehend the components of reading without appropriate guidance. Teachers need extensive knowledge of instructional activities that can aid children better understand the primary concepts of reading. Teachers may not effectively teach, what they have not yet been taught. It is, therefore, necessary that teachers receive significant training before they can use that knowledge to instill new knowledge in kindergarteners. The following is a detailed documentation of instructional activities teachers can use to enhance children comprehension of the components of reading.

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CPAA Assessment for Phoneme/Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is one of the most critical factors in learning for children. Phoneme awareness entails the understanding that a word can be broken into individual beginning, middle, and ending sounds (Lynch, 2017). The individual sounds that make up the word are called phonemes. Phoneme awareness is part of the phonological awareness which is the ability to analyze, the sound structure of words and spoken language. It encompasses knowledge or awareness of syllables, rhymes, and phonemes. Activities that can improve phoneme awareness should work towards identifying the beginning and ending words or phonemes blending into words. The phoneme awareness should be included in kindergarten reading curriculum with periodic tests and activities that can help children refresh their memories about particular words. 

An instructional activity commonly used for phonemic awareness is the Child-friendly, formative Assessment Appropriate (CPAA) for pre-K-Grade 2 learners. It is designed to engage and motivate the youngest elementary learners using diagnostic screening and progress monitoring. A study by Lynch (2017) reveals that kindergartners non-readers who receive supplemental, explicit phonemic training showcase an improvement in phonics, writing, and reading skills than children who do not undergo the same training. The CPAA assessment is part of the independent school curriculum, and kindergartners take the assessment quarterly. The instructional activity involves providing the learners with explicit phoneme awareness instructions for 30 minutes, once in a week for six consecutive weeks. The instruction guides children to blend phonemes into words and segment words into phonemes without individual letters (Lynch, 2017). For instance, the tool can guide children to utter the phonemes “fa,” and “the” and also break the whole word into its component phonemes. The essence of this is to make children distinguish the sounds that constitute the word so that they can read it or comprehend it when someone else says it. After the six weeks, another CPAA assessment is done to measure the comprehension through the performance of the learners and compare them with the previous assessment. The tool is efficient in identifying the non-readers and slow readers. 

Using Charts in Teaching Systematic Synthetic Phonics

Phonics is the initial letter and letter sounds that give words meaning. Instruction in phonics involves activities that can help beginners learn how link sounds to letters and letter combinations. Instruction teaching educates children that there is a predictable pattern to language. The mastery of phonics enables children to decipher spoken and written words. A common practice for teaching children phonics involves associating words with other things that may have similar sounds; for instance, the letter “a” for the fruit “apple.”

Using charts is one instructional activity that elementary school teachers can use to teach children phonics. A chart is a visual prompt that registers a phonic in a child’s mind by grouping the phonics into phonemes. Using a phoneme chart that combines phonics is one way to aid a child understanding the sound of a word. The primary level for teaching phonics involves using charts with pictures of vowels and conveying the sounds of the vowels such that it registers with children. Once a child comprehends the sound of the vowels a combination of vowels to distinguish sounds may include using a phoneme chart with the double vowel “o” in a word such as “book” to distinguish the sound “u” from the double vowel “o” in the word book. The phoneme chart can use a combination of the trickiest combinations to help children with comprehension (Jolliffe et al., 2019). The process entails teaching graphemes and adding graphemes to form phonemes that help the child understand the sound of a word.

Direct Vocabulary Instruction

Vocabulary is a group of words that a group of people can understand. For instance, there is a vocabulary of words that toddlers understand. Children are taught certain simple words that they can relate to. A vocabulary involves a list of words, phrases, abbreviations, and inflectional forms that may be arranged alphabetically like in a dictionary.

Direct vocabulary instruction is one method kindergarten teachers can use to create a vocabulary for the group of children. The instruction involves three significant steps namely; an introduction phase, a comparison phase, and a review phase. The introduction phase involves a teacher providing a description and explanation of a new term or word, and the learners restate the explanation of the new term in their own words or understanding (Loftus-Rattan, 2016). In the initial stages of the vocabulary, students create a nonlinguistic representation of the term. The second phase which involves comparisons is characterized by activities such as students’ engaging in activities that help them adds knowledge of the vocabulary or term. This is where the comparison comes in where learners may engage in the wordplay of similar meaning words to enhance comprehension. The third phase of review and refinement involves activities such as students being asked to discuss terms with one another to foster exchange and review of what one has understood about the vocabulary. The teacher may also initiate games that let the children play with the learned terms to boost their comprehension of vocabulary. The cluster of terms in a direct vocabulary involves words from a collection such as family, school, or pets.

Reading Speed as an activity to Measure Fluency

Fluency is a significant element to comprehension in reading. The interactive-compensatory model of reading fluency asserts that automaticity in reading distinguishes readers from struggling readers. Whereas various studies suggest that fluency in reading is not a ‘hot topic’ it is one of the significant ways that teachers can gauge the comprehension of certain words in children. Reading fluency involves the bottom-up the processing of words where the learners comprehend the letters, words, and sounds and speak or comprehend words as they are written. 

An activity to measure the fluency of a young learner is the situation where an instructor gives the learners a passage to read and then gauge the time taken to read the passage. This is only effective is that the analysis is done on some children. The teacher will be able to identify fast and slow learners. Whereas this approach may be lacking in the essence that learners may comprehend fluency as reading as fast as one can, it is more an assessment tool for the teacher to discern which of the learners’ needs further assistance. The instructor aims to measure the automaticity of comprehension. Fluency in reading i, therefore, an outcome of automaticity (Rasinski, 2017).

Self-Regulated Learning to aid Comprehension

Proficient reading and comprehension of vocabulary is the ultimate goal of the education system. Education systems invest in research and practice to increase the achievement of students in reading and comprehension. Comprehension is possible once a student understands concepts, terms, and can relate them to the environment. Assessment tests are ways in which instructors gauge the comprehension of students.

Self-regulated learning is one instructional activity encouraged by teachers given students have different levels of comprehension. The variability of comprehension means instructional activity will be more effective when geared towards the specific abilities of students (Catts & Kamhi, 2017). Instruction activities for aiding comprehension are therefore practical when narrowed down to individual characteristics. Comprehension of young students is assessed by giving them a passage to read then letting them retell it according to how they understood the passage. An alternative way is reading a passage to the young learners and having them some answers from the text. Self-regulated learning also involves teaching the students strategies to summarize and answer questions from contexts they have learned. Multidimensional approaches to comprehension have reached a consensus that comprehension involves reader ability, text, and task. 


Catts, H. W., & Kamhi, A. G. (2017). Prologue: Reading comprehension is not a single ability.  Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 48 (2), 73-76. 

Jolliffe, W., Waugh, D., & Gill, A. (2019).  Teaching systematic synthetic phonics in primary schools . Learning Matters.

Loftus-Rattan, S. M., Mitchell, A. M., & Coyne, M. D. (2016). Direct vocabulary instruction in preschool: A comparison of extended instruction, embedded instruction, and incidental exposure.  The Elementary School Journal 116 (3), 391-410. 

Lynch, S. (2017). The Effect of Supplemental, Explicit Phoneme Awareness Instruction on the Reading Achievement of Kindergarten Emerging Readers and Nonreaders.  Culminating Experience Action Research Projects, Volume 18, Part 1, Spring 2016 , 26.

Rasinski, T. (2017). Fluency matters.  International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education 7 (1), 3-12.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Components of Reading Instruction.


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