What is reading? Simply put, it is making meaning from text. But the underlying process of reading is incredibly complex and, for the most part, invisible to others. One way we can begin to break it down is by recognizing that it involves word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation.
The building blocks of word recognition are phonemic awareness, alphabet knowledge, decoding, sight words, and word knowledge.
Comprehension depends upon background knowledge, oral and print vocabulary, knowledge of how the English language, print, and various kinds of text work, as well as purposes and strategies for constructing meaning.
Fluency is attained from great amounts of practice. When the reading becomes more automatic, the reader can devote more time to constructing meaning and enjoying the text.
Lastly, if children learn to enjoy and appreciate the purposes of reading a variety of texts, they will maintain the motivation to read throughout their lives.
This document provides background knowledge of reading and writing development and its components as well as the important elements of effective, balanced instruction. "Effective reading and writing instruction balances the oral and written components. They are most effectively taught concurrently and not in isolation." (p. 34)
Many videos and web links support the ideas in the text.
Their cognitive framework for reading comprehension represents the importance of the oral (red) and written (blue) side of language.