NRPThe National Reading Panel (NRP) issued a report in 2000, in response to a Congressional mandate to help parents, teachers and policymakers identify key skills and methods central to reading achievement.  The Panel was charged with reviewing research in reading instruction (focusing on the critical years of kindergarten through third grade) and identifying methods that consistently relate to reading achievement.  More than 100,000 studies were examined.  Five essential components of reading were identified.  The following describes the findings of the National Reading Panel Report and summarizes what researchers discovered about how to teach children successfully to read.





    Phonemic awareness is

    • The understanding that words are composed of separate sounds.
    • The ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes-and spoken words.

    Phonemic awareness is important because        

    • It improves the child’s word reading and reading comprehension.
    • It helps a child learn to spell.

    Phonemic Awareness can be developed through a number of activities, including but not limited to, asking a child to

    • Identify phonemes,
    • Categorize phonemes,
    • Blend phonemes to form words,
    • Segment words into phonemes,
    • Delete or add phonemes to form new words, and
    • Substitute phonemes to form or make new words.

    Phonemic awareness instruction is most effective

    • When children are taught to manipulate phonemes by using the letters of the alphabet.
    • When instruction focuses on only one or two phonemes rather than several types of phonemic manipulation.



    Phonics instruction

    • Is a way of teaching reading and spelling that stresses letter-sound relationships, used especially in beginning instruction. 
    • Helps the child learn the relationships between letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.

    Phonics instruction is important because

    • It leads to an understanding of the alphabetic principle.

    Systematic and explicit phonics instruction

    • Significantly improves a child’s word recognition, spelling and reading comprehension.
    • Is most effective when it begins in kindergarten or first grade.



    Fluency is

    • The ability to read a text accurately and quickly with appropriate expression.

    Fluency is important because

    • It frees students to understand when they read.

    Reading fluency can be developed

    • By modeling fluent reading.
    • By having students engage in repeated oral reading.

    Monitoring student progress in reading fluency

    • Is useful in evaluating instruction and setting instructional goals.
    • Can be motivating to students.



    Vocabulary refers to

    • The words we must know to communicate effectively.
    • Oral vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening.
    • Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print.

    Vocabulary is important because

    • Beginning readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words they see in print.
    • Readers must know what most of the words mean before they can understand what they are reading.

    Vocabulary can be developed

    • Indirectly, when students engage daily in oral language, listen to adults read to them and read extensively on their own.
    • Directly, when students are explicitly taught both individual words and word learning strategies.



    Comprehension is important because

    • Comprehension is the reason for reading.

    Text comprehension is

    • Purposeful
    • Active

    Text comprehension can be developed by

    • Teaching comprehension strategies

    Text comprehension strategies can be taught

    • Through explicit teaching
    • Through cooperative learning
    • By helping readers use strategies flexibly and in combination.

    Put Reading First—The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read (2001)