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7 Mar 2013

77 sec on Text Complexity: What are good books to use with beginning readers?

Elfrieda H. Hiebert

77sec on Text Complexity: What are good books to use with beginning readers?

Books for beginning readers should have a set of repeated, concrete words. Children, like adults, learn concrete words more readily than abstract words.

At the same time, English is an alphabetic language so phonetic regularity is essential. Words such as frog, bus, and cat illustrate the kinds of words which should be prominent in books for beginning readers—words which represent familiar, concrete objects and are phonetically regular. The BeginningReads program provides texts with phonetically regular, highly concrete words.

A second feature of good books for beginning readers is the repetition of highly concrete, phonetically regular words. When concrete words appear a single time in a text, children often use the picture to guess the word, which means they are not attending to the word’s letters and associated sounds. Multiple repetitions of words in and across texts encourage beginning readers to attend to word features.

BeginningReads show how to support both alphabetic knowledge and meaningfulness in texts for beginning readers.