What Makes a Good Reader?

How can my child become a good reader? This is a question asked by many parents. Reading is a complex skill that is acquired over time. What is interesting is that it begins with language! Early language skills are developed through listening and speaking and eventually transfer into pre-reading skills such as identifying letters and sounds. As a reader evolves, they eventually flow together these three concepts: Accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.

Accuracy is how well you can read the individual words. Are they read correctly? Can the letters be sounded out appropriately?

Fluency is the flow of reading the words. Are the words read in a natural tone and speed?

Comprehension is the ability to understand what was read. Can the reader retell what happened in the text? Does the reader know the main idea and details of what they read?

A good reader has skills in all three of these areas. However, it is important to remember that a good reader may also be a struggling reader. Reading skills differ based on the type of text a reader is reading. Is the text a storybook? A traditional poem? A medical textbook? A newspaper article? A website? We may struggle with one or more of these types of texts, based on our experiences and background. A struggle may occur in either accuracy, fluency, and/or comprehension.

There isn’t a finish line to becoming a “good reader”. It is a journey. We build our skills through experience, exposure, and feedback. Believe it or not, we are all still working on becoming better readers every day!

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