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Foundational Research Behind Reaching All Readers


Reaching All Readers is a balanced reading intervention program for Guided Reading Levels AA–S. The program is based on research findings about struggling readers and attributes of effective intervention. This white paper

  • discusses the stages of reading development.
  • defines the intervention needs for primary students.
  • summarizes research-based intervention practices.
  • provides an overview of Response to Intervention as a model used for delivering early intervention services.

Stages of Reading Development

Chall (1983) described the development of reading ability in six stages, ranging from prereading to the advanced reading typical of graduate students. The stages are as follows:

Emergent Literacy: Chall called this stage “readiness.” It occurs as the child develops concepts about the forms and functions of literacy. Indicators of the readiness stage include knowledge of phonemic awareness, print concepts, letter knowledge, and the language (semantics and syntax) one is learning to read.

Decoding: In this stage, the child begins to learn and use sound-symbol correspondences. Chall described this stage as the child’s being “glued to the text” as reading is attempted. Children often lack fluency at this stage of development.

Confirmation and Fluency: In this stage, the child learns to decode words fluently and accurately and to orchestrate the use of syntactic and semantic information to confirm word recognition.

Learning the New: In this stage, the child is able to use reading skills and strategies to extract new information from text.

Multiple Viewpoints: In this stage, the student synthesizes information from different texts, acknowledging multiple viewpoints, but still keeping them separate from his or her own.

A World View: In this stage, older readers develop selectivity to weigh information and to add information from text to their world view.

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