Module: Helping Students Read

Introduction to the Module

This module presents key ideas, drawn from the latest research, about how students learn to read and how educators can turn students into good readers. Using this module as a guide, you’ll have enough knowledge and confidence to help teach reading as part of a student’s instructional team.

How to Use This Module

Each unit begins with a Core Concepts box. This box contains the most important ideas from the unit, distilled into a few short sentences.

There is also an Introductory Challenge near the beginning of each unit. The challenge presents you with a scenario that highlights one of the key topics, issues, or problems the unit addresses. The challenge is designed to get you thinking about the topic in preparation for reading about it. At the end of each unit, we return to these scenarios in a section called, Revisiting the Introductory Challenge. This section shows how knowledge from the unit might help you better understand the scenario and how to respond to the challenge it depicts.

Each unit comes with a set of Key Vocabulary that gives you working definitions of terms that are important to the unit topic. This list is designed to help with technical terms that may be unfamiliar.

Callout Boxes throughout the module draw your attention to certain concepts and phrases that are especially important in each unit.

Towards the end of many units, there is a Tool for the Field that provides you with a technique or skill you can use in your work to help students read. And some units have Learning Activities, which are also designed to help you practice instructional methods that you can use with your students.

Each unit concludes with a Summary that reviews the most important ideas.

Throughout the text, you will see letters between slashes, such as /a/. The slashes are called virgules and indicate use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent sounds. You can find a helpful guide to reading and using the IPA at


All students are unique and complex beings. Their prior experiences, interests, and capacities play a role in how they learn. Even though learning to read English follows predictable steps (as you’ll see by reading this module), each child experiences a distinct reading journey. For this reason, some learning activities will be more successful than others, and success for you and your students may not be obvious immediately. It takes time!


Resource Information


Unit 1: What This Module is All About

Unit 2: Reading as Part of the Language Development Process

Unit 3: Phonemic Awareness

Unit 4: Decoding: The Basics

Unit 5: Decoding: The Next Steps

Unit 6: Reading Fluency

Unit 7: Reading Comprehension: Written Language

Unit 8: Oral Reading

Unit 9: Reading Lessons for All Learner

Unit 10: Building Reading Comprehension