Students move through various stages as they learn to read and become more proficient at reading, and writing. According to (Gordon and Browne, 2010), there are four developmental stages which include: emergent stage (5-6 years); early stage (6-7 years); developing stage (7-8 years); and fluent stage (9-12 years). Each stage of development is different from the next in the skills which require development and he format in which they are taught. This research paper explores the difference in development between the emergent reader and the fluent reader and explains ways in which instructing these two age groups would differ (NIU, 2011).
Comparison between Emergent Stage and Fluent Stage
Emergent Stage (5-6 years)
Draws pictures to tell stories
Uses pictures to gain clues
Is aware that writing is a form of communication
Can blend phonemes
Can use initial consonants
Is able to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters
Makes use of spaces between words
Can identify consonant sounds at beginning and end of words
Can scribble and use symbols to write
Can read one word at a time
Writes from left to write
Is able to read silently for 5-10 minutes
In this stage, the student is beginning to learn how to read and write. The student relies most on pictorial representations and associations to give meaning to words. The student can only read simple words slowly and he can only read one word at a time.
An instructor should use books which contain little amounts of text on each page accompanied by large pictures and illustrations. The books should have a consistent pattern in how they place the print on the page (Stanford, 2011). The print should also consist of sentences which are short. The illustrations should also be very clear and simple and support the printed text directly. Reading and writing exercises which involve repetition and rhymes should be organized.
The instructor should arrange reading and writing activities which introduce sound/ letter correspondences. In addition, repetitive exercises with high frequency words aim to build familiarity. It is also advisable that the instructor maintains a reading cycle which involves revisiting books that have been read in class. Choral reading is recommended which means reading together with the student as he may be unable to read smoothly on his own (NIU, 2011). After reading together, the student should repeat what has been read to increase familiarity. The instructor should also encourage the student to point to the words to enable voice-to-print matching (NIU, 2011).
The instructor should ensure that the class is fully stocked with a wide range of writing materials. The classrooms should also be filled with bright posters, pictures, and labels. There should be a sign-up sheet where they write their names (Stanford, 2011). The student should also be encouraged to engage in various types of writing like scribbling, picture drawing, and mock handwriting.
Fluent Stage (9-12 years)
Have varied writing styles
Can read varied patterns of sentences
Can use more descriptive languages
Can use punctuation appropriately
Can use repetitive patterns in a manner that is cumulative
Reads easily and smoothly
Can understand and recognize more challenge vocabulary
Can use more challenging vocabulary
Can write more complex sentence sentences
Pictures provide moderate support to comprehension
A student at this stage reads very smoothly and can be able to understand different patterns of sentences. The student is able to automatically recognize words which are known to him while also writing in different styles using descriptive language. An instructor in this class should use books with large amounts of text and sentences with varied patterns (short and long structures). The books used should have illustrations which may not necessarily match the text.
The instructor should also encourage oral reading sessions aimed at instilling self confidence into the reader. Reading aloud also helps the student to do so expressively, thus they are able to understand the link between words, and emotions (NIU, 2011).
The emergent reader and writer should be encouraged to attain fluency through repetitive exercises that will assist the student to build concepts. The students should be encouraged to engage in various types of writing like scribbling, picture drawing, and mock handwriting. The fluent reader and writer should be helped to achieve higher levels of fluency by encouraging the student to link sentences together. Fluent reading can be enhanced by oral reading sessions and reading theatres (NIU, 2011).
Gordon A. and Browne K. (2010). Beginnings and beyond: Foundations in early childhood education. California: Cengage Learning
Northern Illinois University (2011). Developmental stages of reading. Available at http://www.clas.niu.edu/tcert/clinicals/ilas301/Developmental_Stages_of_Reading.pdf
Stanford University, (2011). Emergent reader plan. Available at http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/haas/files/ManualSection3EmergentReaderPlan9-09small.pdf