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What is Science of Reading?

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The science of reading is a body of research that examines how children learn to read and how to teach them effectively. It is based on research from a variety of fields, including cognitive psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience.

The science of reading identifies five essential components of reading:

  1. Phonemic awareness: The ability to hear and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in words.
  2. Phonics: The ability to use the relationship between letters and sounds to decode words.
  3. Fluency: The ability to read words accurately and quickly.
  4. Vocabulary: The ability to understand and use the words in a text.
  5. Comprehension: The ability to understand the meaning of a text.

The science of reading also identifies a number of evidence-based instructional practices that can help children learn to read effectively. These practices include:

  • Explicit and systematic phonics instruction: Phonics instruction should be explicit and systematic, meaning that teachers should explicitly teach students the relationship between letters and sounds and provide them with opportunities to practice decoding words.
  • Comprehensive vocabulary instruction: Vocabulary instruction should be comprehensive, meaning that teachers should teach students a variety of words, including high-frequency words, academic words, and domain-specific words.
  • Text-based instruction: Instruction should be text-based, meaning that teachers should use real books and other texts to teach students the skills and strategies they need to read and comprehend.

The science of reading is a rapidly developing field, and new research is constantly being conducted. However, the research that is currently available provides a strong foundation for teaching children to read effectively.

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