The National Reading Panel identified five components of accomplished reading.
The ability to isolate the discrete sounds within spoken words. For instance, to think of shout as three sounds and possess the ability to blend and manipulate these sounds quickly and easily.
The ability to recognise how sounds are represented in print – to see ‘ou’ in its written form and relate it to the sound it makes.
Phonological awareness and phonics skills are at the heart of rapid and easy decoding, and of fluency.
A child cannot comprehend text if the meaning of too many words evades them. An adequate vocabulary is an essential foundation of comprehension.
When children are competent in all of the above, they can focus on the final component.
This is the purpose of reading:
The ability to extract meaning from the text- the ability to think in language, in words.