Stage 1 — Visual Cue Word Recognition
This critical stage is the prereading stage, where children play with oral language, learn about the world around them and develop skills that they will later apply to learning to read. Children begin to recognize rhyming words and alliteration, the repetition of the initial sound of each word in a string of text (e.g., Most monsters don’t mind making messes). Children begin to recognize that symbols have meaning, and usually rely on word shape, color or distinctive logos to "read" words.
Decoding: The act of deciphering a new word by sounding it out.
For example, think of very young children who recognize McDonald’s or Coca-Cola. They are not truly reading these words, but they are exhibiting the emergent literacy skills that they will one day use to read. During this emergent stage, the child relies heavily on the information provided by the pictures accompanying text, by the way the story mimics spoken language and by the highly predictable language common in stories for young children.
At this stage, children pretend to read favorite stories and books by retelling. They are not actually “reading” the words, having not yet developed the understanding that letters within words convey important information for reading. They may recognize some letters or know some letter names, but still do not apply this knowledge to decoding words.
Watch young students practice their visual cue word recognition skills in Interactive Read Aloud.
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List of Typical Behaviors at This Stage:
- Recognizes specific books by their covers
- Pretends to read books
- Labels objects in books
- Comments on characters in books
- Listens to stories
- Recognizes print in the environment (for example, company logos)
- Knows that it is the print that is read in stories, and not the pictures
- Understands and follows oral directions
- Is sensitive to some sequences of events in stories
- May begin to attend to rhyming words
- May identify a few letters, especially those from their own names
- May begin to attend to beginning sounds of words
- 2Key Terms
- 3Literacy Diagram
- 4Literacy: A Cornerstone of College and Career Readiness
- 5Literacy Skills Develop Over Time
- 6“Texts” Come in All Shapes and Sizes
- 7Literacy: An Evolving Set of Skills
- 8Oral Language and the Reading Connection
- 9Unlocking Meaning: Vocabulary is the Key
- 10The Vocabulary Gap
- 11How Do Reading Skills Develop?
- 12How Do We Become Good Readers?
- 13Five Components of Reading
- 14Phonemic Awareness
- 19Comprehension — Putting the Pieces Together
- 20Developmental Stages of Reading
- 21Stage 1 — Visual Cue Word Recognition
- 22Stage 2 — Phonetic Cue Word Recognition
- 23Stage 3 — Controlled Word Recognition
- 24Stage 4 — Automatic Word Recognition
- 25Stage 5 — Strategic Reading
- 26Stage 6 — Proficient Adult Reading
- 27How’s My Reading?
- 28The Power of Writing!
- 29How Writing Skills Develop
- 30Why Literacy Is Important
- 31Preventing Summer Learning Loss
- 32Literacy Everywhere
- 33Deepen Your Understanding
- 34Listen to Students Read Aloud
- 35The Value of Good Questions
- 36Motivation — A Key to Promoting Positive Reading Behaviors
- 37Literacy Skills Affect Future Success and Civic Participation
- 38Learn More Library
- 41Check for Understanding