The Theory of Reading Development

Implementing reading instructional practices based on current scientific research is crucial to ensuring academic achievement for all students (Honig, Diamond, & Gutlohn, 2013). The connectionist model of reading emphasizes teaching skills simultaneously rather than in isolation. There are five necessary components of reading instruction, as identified by the National Reading Panel (2000), which include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension that are crucial in literacy development. By providing enriching texts from different genres in elementary classrooms, students are given a venue through which to practice the five essential elements in parallel situations. Additionally, by relating phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension to text, students see the relativity and importance of these reading components and how they apply to the global world of reading. Furthermore, the connectionist theory maintains that learning occurs gradually through experience, exposure, and adjustment of connections (Roth & Worthington, 2018). Therefore, by providing elementary age learners with frequent exposure to text and diverse learning opportunities to explore the patterns in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, students will develop reading fluency.