Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension are the essential areas of reading instruction according to most experts, although some organizations, including Lexia, emphasis structural analysis as well. The School Improvement Network also promotes six techniques for effective reading instruction rather than the commonly agreed-upon five. Other experts include guided oral reading with other fluency skills, but this organization sets it apart as a distinct instructional component.
Phonemic awareness focuses on the individual sounds that make up words. Instruction in this area helps children identify phonemes and to understand how these segments join together to form words. Children who are regularly read to often grasp this concept without direct instruction.
Phonics teaches the connections between written words and phonemic sounds. Pre-readers learn to recognize written letters and identify their sounds, while early readers practice blending sounds to read and spell new words.
Fluency refers to a student's speed and accuracy in both oral and silent reading practice. As children develop better fluency, they also improve their vocabulary and comprehension. Similarly, lessons that focus on expanding vocabulary and improving reading comprehension help students become more fluent readers.
The Lexia reading program includes structural analysis activities to help children develop stronger foundations for improving fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. This instruction teaches children to recognize Latin and Greek root words to increase understanding.