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National Institute for Literacy

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Explicit Comprehension Strategy Instruction

Use explicit strategy instruction to make visible the invisible comprehension strategies that good readers use to understand text. Support students until they can use the strategies independently. Recycle and re-teach strategies throughout the year.

Phonics, Word Study & Decoding

Key Literacy Component: Decoding

Decoding is the ability to correctly decipher and identify a word from a string of letters. Students who struggle with decoding are at a disadvantage, but explicit instruction can help them learn this skill.
Black high school female teacher helping Latino teen with reading


Key Literacy Component: Fluency

Fluent readers can read text accurately, smoothly, and with good comprehension. Students who get bogged down in the mechanics of reading have trouble with this skill. With proper instruction, struggling readers can improve their fluency.

Morphology Wording

Phonics, Word Study & Decoding

Key Literacy Component: Morphology

Morphology describes how words are formed from building blocks called morphemes, the smallest unit of meaning in a word. Students who don’t understand this structure have trouble recognizing, understanding, and spelling words.


Key Literacy Component: Text Comprehension

Text comprehension allows readers to extract or construct meaning from the written word. Students who misread words or misinterpret their meanings are at a disadvantage. Proper instruction can boost students’ skills in this key area.


Key Literacy Component: Vocabulary

What’s in a word? Mastery of oral and written vocabulary promotes comprehension and communication. Find out how proper instruction can help students who struggle with vocabulary.


Key Literacy Component: Writing

Students who don’t write well aren’t able to learn and communicate effectively. This article explains what good writing skills are and how to help struggling young writers gain those skills through proper instruction.