Exceptional Lives Community Member
September 22, 2021

One Quick Question: What are the components of literacy?

How do children learn to read? Watch this 2-minute video about the most important early reading skills and how you can help your child gain those skills.


Click to Read Transcript

[Victoria Ikeda] Hello, my name is Victoria and I was asked to answer some questions on literacy. I used to teach elementary school and I also have my Masters in Elementary Education, and my Reading Specialist degree.

So the questions that I’m going to answer are ‘What are the components of reading?’ and ‘How can I help my child practice the ones they need help with?’.

So the components of reading are:

  • Phonemic Awareness, which is the ability to know that words are made up of sounds.

  • Phonics, that’s the ability to correlate the sounds with actual letters.

  • Fluency, that’s how well someone reads.

  • Vocabulary, new words and understanding how to use them correctly.

  • And Comprehension, that’s understanding what the text is saying.

So how can you know what areas your child needs help with? Definitely ask the teacher.

So if your child needs help with phonemic awareness, you can play little games, like break the word apart. For instance, the word cat. Break it into the parts /k/, /a/, /t/ and then smush it back together. You could do words, and then have your child guess what the big word is, or you could tell your child a word and have them break it into parts.

For phonics, use the letters in your child’s name, and talk about the sounds they make and you can link it to other things. For instance, if your child’s name is John, start with a J, what else sounds like J, the /j/ sound in J, and then you can show them the letter J. They can practice writing, and then practice saying the sound.

For fluency, what I want to do for fluency is have your child read a text that is very easy for them, that’s important – a short text. Time them one time, and then write down the time. The second time they read through that same text, time them again and see if they can beat their time. Do it one more time and see if they can beat their time again. It needs to be texts that are easy for them.

Vocabulary, this is really fun. You can read new words, look them up on Google, look them up in a dictionary, have your child write down the word, draw a picture, use it in a sentence.

Comprehension, this is probably the meat and potatoes of reading. Your child needs to be able to understand what they are reading. So you go over, well, you read books with them and go over the different parts of the book. ‘What’s the problem?’ ‘What’s the solution?’ ‘What happened next?’. All those things are parts of comprehension.

My best tip though, is to read, read, read with your kids. At least five minutes every single day; that’s going to help them become a stronger reader.

Thank you.

Thanks for watching

Like/Share/Subscribe [Facebook, Instagram]



Enjoying our content? Sign up for our newsletter to receive useful information like this and updates from Exceptional Lives, straight to your inbox.

Or Call844-354-1212

Enjoying our content? Let's stay in touch!

  • Expert disability advocacy & parenting tips.
  • Customized to your needs.
  • No selling your information.
  • No Spam, ever.
What's your relationship to the disability community?