Reading Stages

Early Emergent :

Aspiring readers are just beginning to grasp the basic concepts of book and print. They are acquiring a command of the alphabet with the ability to recognize upper and lowercase letters. They are also developing many phonological awareness skills such as recognizing phonemes, syllables, and rhyme.

Early emergent readers are beginning to learn sound/symbol relationships with consonants and short vowels, and are able to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, as well as a number of high frequency words.

Books at this level have:

Strong picture support
Carefully controlled text (wording)
Repetitive patterns
Controlled repeated vocabulary
Natural language
Large print
Wide letter spacing
Familiar concepts
Limited text on a page

Readers at this stage have developed an understanding of the alphabet, phonological awareness, and early phonics. They have command of a significant number of high frequency words.

Emergent readers are developing a much better grasp of comprehension strategies and word attack skills. They can recognize different types of text, particularly fiction and non-fiction, and recognize that reading has a variety of purposes.

Books at this stage have:

Increasingly more lines of print per page
More complex sentence structure
Less dependency on repetitive patterns and pictures
Familiar topics but greater depth
Early (fluent)

At this stage reading is more automatic with more energy devoted to comprehension rather than word attack. Readers are approaching independence in comprehending text.

These readers are experiencing a greater variety of text and are able to recognize different styles and genres. Independence often varies with the type of text being read.

Books at this stage have:

More pages
Longer sentences
More text per page
Richer vocabulary
Greater variation in sentence pattern
Less reliance on pictures
More formal and descriptive language
Fluent :

Readers have successfully moved from learning to read to reading to learn. Their reading is automatic and done with expression and proper pauses. Their energy is devoted to understanding, and they have good command and use of the various comprehension strategies.

These readers read a wide range of text types and do so independently. They will continue to refine and develop their reading skills as they encounter more difficult reading materials. For the most part they are capable of improving their reading skills and selection of materials independently through increased practice.

Books at this stage have:

More text
Less familiar, more varied topics
Challenging vocabulary
More complex sentences
Varied writing styles
More description