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Stage 6 — Proficient Adult Reading

The defining feature of the proficient adult reading stage involves highly developed comprehension abilities, which depend on highly skilled word recognition. At this stage, readers are insightful, analytical and reflective. They make higher-order connections, within and across texts, and integrate knowledge from a wide variety of sources.

Proficient readers have an ever-expanding knowledge base and vocabulary. Proficient reading is not a static end state, but rather, it involves a set of cognitive abilities that continue to develop throughout life. At this stage, one reads certain books and articles in the degree of detail and completeness that matches the purpose for reading.

Proficient readers know what to read, as well as what not to read. They have acquired the ability to construct knowledge on a high level of abstraction and generality and to create their own "truth" from the "truth" of others. At this stage, readers now have the ability to critically synthesize the works of others and are able to form their own educated opinions. Thus, reading at this level promotes the construction of knowledge.

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Reflect on This

Can you think of a child in your program who fits easily into one of these stages? Do these stages help you envision how you might support the reading achievement of your students? In the next section of the Introduction, practice using what you’ve learned so far in order to help students in your program become better readers. 

My Notebook

Literacy

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Glossary

Literacy