The sub-skill theory reading approach is one that has been around for a long time, (since I was a little girl playing outside eating dirt and making mud pies) and is based on instructional strategies to teach letter-sound relationships, sight words and decoding skills (along side others), until the reading act becomes routine. Comprehension does play a role in this theory, but in my opinion it played a very small role. I know this system works, because it is the way I was taught to read. I believe it is essential for young children to understand the connection between sound and symbol relationships. This approach gives children a tactic for sounding out words that are unfamiliar to them. Decoding the pronunciation of a word can sometimes lead to the word’s meaning, only if the child is familiar with the word. However, the goal of reading is to gain meaning from the text, not just to pronounce the words correctly. When the reader is unable to attach meaning to the word, the decoding skill becomes useless. Being an employee of a school district and working in the classroom with students, I have witnessed many students who are prolific readers, can sound out even the most difficult... [continues]
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