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Human Reading Skills


Reading is regarded as a cognitive process which involves decoding of symbols in order to perceive the meaning of the text. It is a mean of communication that fosters mentation for sharing thoughts and cognizance.


The history of reading resides back to 4th millennium BC when writing was invented. Today reading has become an important source of didacticism. Different humans possess varying reading skills which are likely to appreciate or depreciate by heading towards two opposite perspectives of reading. The reading skills are honed and apprized by practicing and adopting sharpening measures of reading capabilities. Conversely, if reading is not complemented by condiments of practice, then reading skills are vulnerable to impairment.

Phenomenal power of human mind:

The picture below is an epitome of the reading research done at Cambridge University. This extract proves that the phenomenal power of human mind allows a normal person to read the text by construing first and last letters of a word which are set in the right places with the deliberate disarrangement of the remaining letters.

Human Reading Skills


Dyslexia is a disorder due to which a person lacks the ability to read and decode the symbols in order to pronounce and perceive the words. Despite having normal intelligence, a dyslexic person is unable to read in a conventional manner.

Some symptoms of dyslexia may include mirror writing/letter reversal and delays in speech. Dyslexics are easily distracted while reading, owing to the background noises. Hilariously speaking, a person who can read this text and text in the above picture is fortunately non-dyslexic…!

Reading speed:

The reading speed of an individual requires endeavors and time to reach to a mature level. A French psychologist, Pierre Lefavrais executed a reading research based on reading aloud with penalties on erroneous reading and concluded a reading rate of approximately 150 wpm.

If reading is done for memorizing the text then it gives an output of 100 wpm. If reading is done for learning then it leads to the reading speed of 100-200 wpm. If reading is meant for comprehension then it gives an output of 200-400 wpm and last but not the least, the skim reading provides an outcome of 400-700 wpm.

Left-aligned text:

I have designedly and intentionally aligned the text of this lay out to the left. This increases the readability of readers. This idea may be based on the simple phenomenon that we read from left to right, so the placement of text that errs or drifts from left alignment is likely to impair the reading effortlessness of the readers. Secondly, if text is aligned other than left, then the spacing between the words and lines is likely to be disrupted and the eyes need to search for the succeeding words leading to an ultimate reduction in reading speed.

Reading development:

Reading development is a slow process which is enhanced gradually in five steps.

1. Emerging pre-reader stage:
This is an earliest stage of reading development and this stage starts when a young child listens to someone reading to them. This stage may last for five years of juvenile life and the reading ability in this stage is related to the conceptual and social development of the child.

2. Novice reader stage:
The next stage of reading development which is also called as selective association is the ‘Novice Reader Stage’. This stage starts with the ability of a child for initial decoding of text. A child learns the basic alphabetic principles at this stage. Novice readers start to manipulate the petty sounds into words and syllables.

Nursery rhymes and games are used to teach the children how to read. At, this stage a young child develops a vocabulary of about 2000-2500 words.

3. Decoding reader stage
In transition from ‘Novice Reader Stage’ to ‘Decoding Reader Stage’, a reader adds about 3000 words to his/her decoding memory. At this stage, the readers get awareness of various morphemes such as suffixes and prefixes.
Being able to read with fluency is unlikely to be about reading with speed only. Nevertheless, fluent reading also includes the rapid utilization of knowledge about the words, letters, grammatical functions, roots, meanings and endings.
The readers at this stage are young and they learn the skill to use the increasing knowledge of language and infer what they are reading. The readers at this stage also try to re-read the sentence or paragraph that they do not understand.
4. Fluent, comprehending reader stage
This stage of reading can be delineated as transition from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’. A fluent, comprehending reader bears a substantial spelling knowledge.
The reading process is enhanced by reading books and explicit instructions from a ‘comprehending reader’s’ pedagogue. Charming/delighting a child in conversation of what they are reading is likely to stimulate a better understanding of the core meaning.
At this stage the brain learns the unification of inferential, metaphorical, analogical and experimental knowledge. The ‘Fluent, Comprehending reader stage’ usually remains spry until early adulthood.   
5.    Expert reader stage:
This is the final stage of reading development and at this stage an individual reaches the maturity level of cognitive process of reading.

An expert reader savors the ability of reading any word in almost one half of a second.

Update - 12th December 2012

Update - 16th January 2012

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