This memo reviews educational thinking on how children learn to read.
Children go through many repetitions of the cycle of knowledge as they learn how to read. The process consists of several stages in which the child learns large quantities of very specific information. After a certain quantity of information and practice, a leap occurs. The child can then use that information again and again. A skill is consolidated. As the child develops in fluency, what is difficult and conscious at one level becomes so common that it is not even conscious anymore. A child struggles at one stage to decode individual words, yet a fluent reader does not even consciously look at individual words as he reads.
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