Six Elements Of Teaching Reading

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Reading is a process of constructing meaning. In developing a pedagogy about teaching reading, teachers must be aware of all elements that create a good reader. Teachers can provide the best instruction by delivering a balanced approach to teaching reading. Whilst it is necessary for students to recognise explicit elements of reading such as phonics, students will achieve much more success when also viewing reading from a ‘world view’. Teachers should incorporate a combination of direct instruction and the constructivist approach when teaching reading. This essay will discuss six elements of teaching students to read including oral language, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency, and ways in which teachers can deliver instruction using a balanced approach.

A balanced approach to teaching reading involves explicit phonics instruction as well as world view. Traditionally students were introduced to reading with an emphasis on phonics. McBride-Chang (2004) recognised that this bottom-up approach resulted in students who are more likely to lose interest in reading due to the limited vocabulary and repetitiveness of texts they read (p.120). Whereas, whole-language learners are exposed to various unrestricted texts requiring them to use their funds of knowledge to make meaning of texts, ask questions and make hypotheses. This top-down approach, however, left students lacking any ability to decode new words or build upon their vocabularies
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