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Scholars suggests that children start to master the phonological, semantic, and syntactic components that all language must have by the age of 3. Most children learn to read by 6 or 7 years of age. Some children learn at 4 or 5 years of age.

In 1997, the US Congress asked the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Secretary of Education to launch a national panel on reading. In 2000, the Panel issued five essential components of reading instruction, which are included in the best reading instruction programs today:

1. Phonemic awareness: Ability to manipulate sounds in words

2. Phonics: Knowledge of relationships between written letters and sounds

3. Vocabulary: Understanding the meaning of words in reading and in written and spoken language

4. Fluency: Ability to read rapidly

5. Comprehension: Ability to gain meaning while reading

Parent’s and caregiver’s role in children’s reading

In early childhood stage, parents or caregivers are recommended to read to and communicate with young children to instill the language and vocabulary skills that lead to proficient reading for their later development. At the same time, sending the messages and giving children the sense of ‘reading is a pleasure thing to do’ is very important. They should also encourage their children to choose reading as a free-time activity as well as let them know the benefits of reading, especially when children are in Third or Fourth Grade.

School’s role in children’s reading

In order to provide better a holistic education and enhance young children’s reading skills, schools need to make sure that children have access to high-quality materials, learning environment and resources. Here are some elements that schools should be equipped with to support students’ literacy development: experienced teachers, facilities (that are safe, inviting, welcoming, and conducive to teaching and learning), technology (to advance students’ learning and assessment in the classroom and online), and hands-on or literacy-rich activities.

Are you a bookworm? What kinds of book do you and your little ones like the most? Pick a couple books with your children now and enjoy the time to read together.


*NOTE: Information derived from

1. Healthchildren. org (https://www.healthychildren.org/English/Pages/default.aspx)

2. AECF Report Reading Grade 3 by A KIDS COUNT Special Report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation

3. Bennett, C. (2019). Comprehensive multicultural education: theory and practice. New York:Pearson.

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