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How To Decide Course for Your Child

Reading & Learning are cognitive process that involves decoding symbols (letters) to arrive at a meaning. It is an active process of constructing meanings of words. Every child experience reading in a unique way. They will learn at their own pace and also their own way. While all children learn to read in their own way, there are distinct stages of reading development that most children follow. Children also exhibit similar behaviors, instincts and patterns while traversing the developmental stages of learning to read. Just as when a child learns to walk, they go through various stages before becoming independent. They move through these stages at their own pace. The same goes for reading as well. The stages of reading are a continuum that children move through as their reading skills become proficient.

Also, in New digital era it’s very difficult for parents how to select courses where lots of courses offers for kids so in order to solve the problem go through the stages for Chall’s Stages of reading development which indicate which type of courses are more beneficial for your kids as per age group.

Chall’s Stages of Reading Development - a Detailed and Reliable Resource

While, many children development and literacy researchers have formulated interpretations of child reading development, the most popular and reliable sources often include five distinct stages. Perhaps one of the most popular guidelines for child reading development is 'Jeanne S. Chall's Stages of Reading Development', published in 1983 and still widely regarded today. According to her, a child’s reading development process covers 6 stages, the first she termed as stage 0 and goes up to stage 5. Let us understand each one briefly! 

Stage 0: Pre-Reading

Stage 0, otherwise known as pre-reading or “pseudo-reading,” includes children aged between 6 months to 6 years. In this stage, children often “pretend” to read, meaning they can recognize signs and stories previously read to them on a page and can therefore point them out and exhibit an understanding of the content. They understand thousands of words they hear by the age of 6 years, but can read few of them only. Children master this stage by being read to by a parent, guardian, teacher or other adult and through interactive dialogic reading. Since this stage is the foundation for all the other stages and so parents can try different strategies in this stage for their little ones at home like reading stories aloud, reciting poetries, asking questions related to the story narrated, encourage children to make connections to the story, etc. 

Stage 1: Initial Reading and Decoding

Stage 1 typically includes 6–7-year-old children i.e., children in 1st grade and the beginning of 2nd grade. In this stage, children develop the skills necessary to interpret the relationships between written words and spoken words. Children in this stage begin to learn letter-sound relationships (phonics), and to read simple text containing phonetically regular words. They use skills and insights to sound-out new one syllable words. Generally, this happens through direct instruction. At the end of this stage, children even though can understand up to 4000 or more words when heard, but can read about 600 different words only. Parents must continue reading and reciting, and can even ask the child to read out aloud. Parents should try and introduce new vocabulary.

Stage 2: Confirmation and Fluency

Children in Stage 2 are generally 7-8 years old i.e., 2nd and 3rd graders and can read easy, familiar texts by using basic decoding, sight vocabulary and context clues. Children can develop and acquire new reading skills through advanced reading instruction and by listening to others read at higher levels. Listening is more effective than reading. At the end of this stage, children can read about 3000 words and about 9000 are known to them. Since the child has begun reading, at this stage don’t make children self-conscious about predicting or guessing words. It might hamper their reading progression. Instead, parents should introduce unknown words and make them read and work on the meanings of the words.

Stage 3: Reading for Learning the New

Stage 3, is divided into two phases, Phase A (4th to 6th grade) and Phase B (6th to 8th grade), with the age group between 9-13 years. Phase A includes intermediate and Phase B includes junior high school children. In this stage, children read in order to gain new ideas, acquire new knowledge, and to experience new feelings and attitudes as a result of what they read. Children in Phase A are typically still more efficient at learning through listening comprehension over reading comprehension, but by Phase B, they are equally efficient in both. Parents can introduce them to different types of books besides their school textbooks as per subject of their interest.

Stage 4: Multiple Viewpoints

Stage 4 includes individuals aged between 15 to 17 years, basically children from grade 10 to 12. These children read widely from a broad range of complex materials, both expository and narrative, with a variety of different viewpoints. They read high quality and popular literature, newspapers and magazines. Children in this stage have a better reading comprehension than listening comprehension. Even for poor readers, listening comprehension may be equal to reading comprehension.

Stage 5: Construction and Reconstruction

Stage 5, includes adults, age 18 and up, who read for their own needs and purposes, to gain knowledge, synthesize it and to create new knowledge. They can read quickly and efficiently. Reading is more efficient than listening.

In conclusion:

Chall’s Stages of Reading Development is one of the most highly regarded and cited reading development resources. These 5 stages of reading, as cited above is helpful and give parents a benchmark for their child’s reading & learning progress which would help them to support their child’s to choose the course. We must understand that every child is unique and will move through various stages at their own pace, so give them time and guide them through.

Remember:  “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark” - Victor Hugo

Sunita Sarda | Advocate, Image and Soft skills Coach, Blogger and a Reiki Practitioner