Expert readers know how to identify words automatically (Adams, 1990; Perfetti, 1985). However, phonics and word-recognition knowledge do not develop before students learn to construct meaning. Children learn to read by reading (Pappas & Brown, 1987). Phonics and other word-identification knowledge serve as aids to the construction of meaning (Adams, 1990). Strategic readers decode printed words as a part of this process of constructing meaning. However, it is not necessary for readers to decode every word in a text in order to read it effectively (Nagy, 1988).
See also Phonics, Decoding, and Word Identification
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