Word Recognition

  • Phonological Awareness  

    It's a skill set that includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language – parts such as words, syllables, onsets, and rimes. Did you know that you can improve your students’ ability to read unfamiliar words without showing them a single printed letter?


    Decoding is the ability to apply knowledge of sound-letter relationships (phonics) to correctly pronounce written words. Did you know that in 2019, only 35% of 4th graders were at or above (NAEP) proficient level on the reading assessment? 

    Sight Recognition 

    Our sight word memory is also referred to as our orthographic lexicon, which includes all the words we can read accurately and effortlessly. Literate adults have a sight word memory of 30,000 to 70,000 words. Starting in 3rd grade, “skilled orthographic mappers” are estimated to anchor 10-15 new words a day into their sight word memories. Sight word recognition is foundational to fluent reading. 


    The Upper Strands

    Background Knowledge

    Background knowledge is an essential component in learning because it helps us make sense of new ideas and experiences. Readers rely on background knowledge to attend to and make sense of what they are reading. This is especially important for readers who are still relying heavily on word decoding rather than rapid word recognition. Having knowledge about a variety of subjects, topics, and ideas makes it more likely that they will be able to make sense of what they are reading and more likely that they will add to their body of knowledge.


    An extensive and rich vocabulary enables readers to make sense of what they are reading. A reader with rich auditory and oral vocabularies will find it easier to read through texts that contain words they have not seen in print before. If the student can use their growing decoding skills and match their result with a word they already know the meaning of, they will be more confident in their abilities and will spend less overall effort on reading a text. 

    Language Structures

    Syntax - The arrangement of words in a phrase or sentence. The English language has patterns and rules for the way we order our words. It also has some flexibility and variety in acceptable patterns, and even then, speakers and writers are allowed some leeway with these patterns.

    Semantics - In linguistics, semantics is the study of the meanings of morphemes, words, phrases, and sentences. Knowledge of the meaning of a text is essential to reading. 

    Verbal Reasoning

    Inference - a conclusion one can draw from known facts or evidence

    Metaphor - a word or phrase used to say that something is another thing in order to suggest that they are similar

    Literary Knowledge

    Print Concepts - letters vs. words, 1:1 correspondence, reading left-to-right and top-to-bottom, spaces between written words, letter order matters, etc.

    Genres of Literature – different types of books or stories defined by special characteristics

Last Modified on June 9, 2023