Literacy Development


What is Literacy Development?

  • The U.S. Department of Education has identified 5 skill areas that encompass Literacy Development; Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Students need to learn and strengthen these skills in order to improve their reading.
  • Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken language. This is a necessary component for improving children’s word reading and reading comprehension. Learning phonemes also help children to spell correctly Phonics teaches students the relationships between the letters of written language and the individual sounds of spoken language. It allows them to understand the connection between reading and writing words.
  • Phonics is the system of relationships between letters and sounds in a language.
  • Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly using expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking. Readers who have not yet developed fluency read slowly, word by word. Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. A fluent reader concentrates on comprehension while a less fluent reader needs to first focus their attention on figuring out the words.
  • Vocabulary refers to the words we must know in order to communicate effectively. Oral vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening. Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print. Beginning readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words they see in print. More advanced readers must know what most of the words mean before they can understand what they are reading.
  • Comprehension is the ultimate reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. Good readers set a purpose for reading and think actively as they read. Good readers use their experiences and knowledge of the world, their knowledge of vocabulary and language structure, and their knowledge of reading strategies. They also self-monitor and know how to resolve a problem when reading.

Literacy Websites

  • Abcya
  • Raz Kids
  • Storyline Onlines
  • Star Fall
  • Between the Lions (PBS kids)
  • ReadWriteThink Student Interactives