Steps of Reading Development – Instituto Devolver

Steps of Reading Development

We know that reading is important because it is through it that we transform the society we live in, that is, where we are located. But for access to books and interest in reading to intersect, it is necessary to have a situation in which reading is recognized as an indispensable condition for social development and individual fulfillment.

Unpretentiously, the habit of reading is formed even before knowing how to read, and its impacts are already noticed even in the intrauterine phase. It is by listening to stories that one trains the relationship with the world and acquires a creative and reflective stance on life.

Developing the habit of reading in early childhood positively influences children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. For this, it is important and necessary to encourage an adult and the school, where reading is a mechanism for leisure and culture, drawing the child’s attention in a pleasant way. The habit of reading should be encouraged in childhood so that children learn from an early age that reading is important, fun and dynamic.

According to Costa (2005), the habit of reading is a constant process that starts very early, at home, improving at school and that will continue throughout life. For this to be possible it is necessary to involve the two components of reading: decoding and comprehension.

Decoding, pedagogically, is a process of letter recognition that makes it possible to transform the spelling signs of written words into language. Comprehension is the process in which words, sentences or text are interpreted.

It is noteworthy that children develop reading in three stages:

  • Logographic Stage: strictly visual recognition.
  • Alphabetical Internship: access to mental lexicon, working memory and phonological awareness.
  • Spelling Internship: use of the lexical route and word analysis in spelling units. (Frith, 1985)

Encouraging this habit may seem like a simple task, but in practice it has its initial challenges that gradually turn into a moment of joy and fun. To make this process easier and help children to read, it’s important to try following a few steps:

1- Read to the child – It is necessary to read daily, gradually increasing the reading time from a few minutes for newborns, up to 20 minutes for children aged 4 to 5 years, and up to half an hour for the older ones (exceptional or not) who have not yet mastered reading. You can set a time by alternating a day of reading, another day to tell stories at times that are convenient, before bedtime or on a long trip, for example. The important thing is to make reading enjoyable and educational.

2- Allow the child to read – The sequence starts with learning to turn the page, “read” by visualizing the figures and reading the text. Praise every progress and attitude, even when, not knowing how to read, the child pretends to be reading, encouraging every attempt and interest in reading.

3- Create a reading environment – Organize a space for the child to have their own library, take them to story time in the public or school library, encourage them to choose and take out books to read at home, if possible, subscribe to children’s magazines or ask the librarian to have them available to children when attending school.

4- Discover your tastes – Knowing what the child’s interests are is also of great importance in the reading stages, to choose the best material to be used, emphasizing the discussion of the text and illustration (if applicable), avoiding doing right or wrong questions. Another important point is to accept the child’s thoughts and propositions while reading.

The essential thing is to read, read, read a lot for the children, but without putting pressure on them, with the aim of knowing the child’s breadth and not going beyond it!


SOUZA, Tatiana Noronha, Organization of Pedagogical Work in Early Childhood Education.

Claretian Educational Action, 2012 – Batatais SP

YUNES, Eliana, Reading and the awakening of the pleasure of reading.

Magazine of the National Foundation of Children’s Books and Youth.

São Paulo, September 24, 2020.

Patricia Alves

Coordinator of the Young Social Apprentice Program at Instituto Devolver.

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