What are the Foundational Reading Skills?

Tim Rasinski is a renowned professor of literacy education whose research on reading fluency and word study has made him a literacy hero to many. Below, he shares his thoughts on foundational reading skills. 

A strong foundation in reading is necessary to become a competent and proficient reader. In a previous post, I reported on a recent study that found that students who were proficient in the foundational competencies of word recognition, spelling, sight word reading, and fluency were 7 times more likely to also be proficient in overall reading achievement than students who have not achieved proficiency in the foundational competencies. Could it be that one of the reasons we continue to have nearly two-thirds of American fourth graders reading below a “proficient” level is insufficiently developed foundational reading skills?

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