„Reading literacy” – what is it and how can we further develop it?

The definition of the term “reading literacy” includes two important processes: reading technique and reading comprehension.

Although we consider reading accuracy, fluency, and speed to be important for meaningful reading, we must not forget that reading literacy covers several areas, including spoken/reading comprehension, developing a relationship with reading, reading habits, and motivation to read for one’s benefit.

What mathematical sign would you put between these two expressions?


Do you know there is a difference between a “reader” and a “reading student”?

Although reading seems like a simple process at first glance, it is actually a very specific, mentally demanding activity. It consists of two parts – decoding of letters into words and reading comprehension.

Decoding involves reading techniques (accuracy, fluency, reading speed).

Reading comprehension has several levels:

1. Searching for explicit information (specific words, phrases) in the text.

2. Search for connections between the obtained information (based on reading several sentences), analysis and synthesis, deduction.

3. Reevaluation of the information obtained based on one’s insight, and broader context.

4. Evaluation of the content and forms of the text.

The expression “reading student” does not say anything about the intrinsic motivation to read or the understanding of the text. It includes the lowest levels of reading literacy, i.e. reading in the sense of “decoding” of printed or written letters into sound form.

However, the term “reader” also includes a volitional and motivational aspect. The reader can choose books according to his interest, by reading he expands his range of knowledge about the chosen topics. Reading is a part of his routine.

ATTENTION! “Reading age” does not have to match “physical age”.

Parents and some educators try to speed up the transition from decoding to understanding in the child. But we have to realize that reading is an individual matter and the reading process does not depend only on the age of the child.

The “reading age” does not have to match the “physical age” of the child. Especially in the case of multilingual children, when the development of reading literacy in the primary language usually does not correspond with the level in the second language.

It is perfectly fine to let a 10-year-old child read a book intended for 6-year-old readers. It is essential that they open any book written in any language with interest. It will be a bonus if one day they start reading on their own, with joy!

After all, we want our children to become “readers” one day. When that happens, we’ll leave it up to them.

      Yours Zdenka Valeková


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