The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
A Guide to Reading Related Skills

Adapted from Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Sally Shaywitz

Early Preschool Accomplishments

  • Begins to develop awareness that sentences, and then words, come apart
  • Shows an interest in the sounds of language: repeats and plays with sounds, especially rhymes
  • Identifies ten alphabet letters, most likely from his or her own name

Late Preschool Accomplishments

  • Breaks spoken words into syllables (such as today=to-day)
  • Begins to sound out words, sees that each letter has a different sound
  • Recognizes and names a growing number of letters

Beginning Kindergarten Accomplishments

  • Compares whether two spoken words rhyme:
    Do cat and hat rhyme? Do hop and mat rhyme?
  • Names a word that rhymes with a simple word like cat or make
  • Recognizes and names just about all upper- and lower-case letters

End of Kindergarten Accomplishments

  • Continues to progress in breaking spoken words apart
  • Identifies which of three spoken words or pictures begins with the same first sound of a given word–given the word "car," the child can select the word with the same beginning sound in this grouping: dog, cat, mat
  • Can pronounce the beginning sound in a word
  • Names all the letters of the alphabet
  • Begins to decode simple words
  • Recognizes a growing number of common words by sight
    (you, my, the)
  • Uses inventive spelling to write words
  • Writes his or her own name (first and last) and the names of family members and/or pets

First Grade Accomplishments

  • Can say the word that remains if given sound is taken away from the beginning or end of a word—when asked to say "bat" without the "b," she says "at"
  • Blends the sounds in three-phoneme words—when asked, "what do the sounds m, aaaa, and n form?", answers man

  • Reads aloud with accuracy and comprehension any text that is meant for first grade
  • Links letters to sounds to decode unknown words
  • Recognizes by sight common irregularly spelled words, which do not follow the pattern of a word family, such as have, said, where, two

Second Grade Accomplishments

  • Begins to learn strategies for breaking multisyllabic words into syllables
  • Accurately reads some multisyllable real and nonsense words, such as Kalamazoo
  • Reads and comprehends fiction and nonfiction meant for second grade
  • Begins to read with fluency–reads accurately, smoothly, rapidly, and with inflection
  • Represents the complete sound of a word when spelling
  • Reads on his own voluntarily

Third Grade Accomplishments

  • Uses knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and roots to infer meaning of words
  • Reads longer fiction selections and chapter books
  • Summarizes the main points from readings
  • Correctly spells previously studied words
  • Uses a dictionary to learn the meaning of unknown words

Fourth Grade and Above Accomplishments

  • Reads to learn
  • Reads for pleasure and for information