chapter  39
30 Pages

Alphabetics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read

ByLinnea C. Ehri

One of the great mysteries to challenge researchers is how beginners learn to read and comprehend text rapidly with ease. A large part of the explanation lies in how they learn to read individual words. Explaining this is not simple. Skilled readers are able to look at thousands of words and immediately recognize their meanings without any effort by reading the words from memory. In addition, skilled readers can pronounce unfamiliar written words with ease, by transforming letters into sounds or by recognizing resemblances to words they already know how to read. Readers who are skilled at reading words can also generate plausible spellings of

unknown words as well as remember the spellings of familiar words. A major task has been to explain how beginners learn to read and spell words this well.