There are seven essential reading skills necessary to be a fluent reader. These skills are: Phonemic Awareness; Alphabet Knowledge; Phonics/Decoding; Sight Words; Comprehension; Fluency; and Vocabulary. A deficit in any one of these areas will affect an individual’s reading skills.
Each area can be taught individually or in tandem with each other. A struggling reader will need explicit instruction in each area to become a fluent reader. Dr. Stanovich discovered and wrote about how good readers get better and better in all these areas while poor readers fall farther and farther behind in all these areas.
We can tell who is struggling with learning to read midway through kindergarten. These are the children that struggle with learning the sounds and names of the letters in the alphabet. These are the children that can not complete phonemic awareness drills or skills. The longer a child goes undiagnosed with a reading difficulty, the harder it is to get that child up to the appropriate level.
Adults who were not taught to read fluently in school can learn to read starting today using the Reading Blocks program. The problem with not learning to read does not lie inside the adult nonreader.
The problem lies in the instruction this person recieved in school. Our school system tends to offer a one size fits all which never works for at least one third of the group in any given year. People are different. We all learn differently. We all have different skills and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Our education system should take this into account but doesn’t.
Each of the seven areas necessary for reading fluency are: