This is a definition of reading I can live with as a bilingual myself and as a teacher and teacher trainer of reading. Dr. Serpa in 1982 developed the following definition of reading.
Reading is a language-based process that uses written symbols as a means of communication (Serpa, 1982).
The SIX elements of Reading for bilingual English Language Learners (ELLs) from the National Reading Panel and the National Literacy Panel (2006)
1. Phonemic Awareness – understanding that spoken words are made up of particular sounds
2. Phonics and biphonics -The interaction of the phonics system from two interacting languages in reading or spelling (www.ldldlproject.net)
3. oral reading fluency– Reading text accurately and with a natural verbal speed (that resembles spoken language)
4. vocabulary (written and oral)- knowing and understanding the meaning of written/oral words and related concepts
5. Text comprehension- understanding of text at word, sentence, paragraph, passage, chapter and book levels
6. Oral language proficiency– understanding and speaking the language used in reading at a level of native speaker
Claudia is a Full Professor of Education and Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Claudia is a researcher, consultant, and teacher educator committed to addressing the needs of bilingual students who are learning English and have a disability.