What are the 5 Essential Components of Reading?

  • Reading with children and helping them practice specific reading components can dramatically improve their ability to read. Scientific research shows that there are five essential components of reading that children must be taught in order to learn to read. Adults can help children learn to be good readers by systematically practicing these five components:

    1. Phonemic Awareness
    2. Phonics
    3. Vocabulary
    4. Fluency
    5. Comprehension


    Reading is defined as:

    • the skills and knowledge to understand how phonemes, or speech sounds, are connected to print;
    • the ability to decode unfamiliar words;
    • the ability to read fluently;
    • sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster reading comprehension;
    • the development of appropriate active strategies to construct meaning from print;
    • the development and maintenance of a motivation to read.