Andover’s Comprehensive Literacy Instructional Model

Phonemic Awareness:  Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. (National Institute for Literacy, 2009) Dr. Timothy Shanahan, renowned researcher and former advisor to the National Institute for Literacy explains,  “The goal of phonemic awareness teaching is to get students to segment words and blend word parts with ease.”

Phonics: Phonics instruction teaches children the relationships between the letters (graphemes) of written language and the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language. It teaches children to use these relationships to read and write words. As skills develop, explicit instruction integrates meaningful word parts (morphology) and using your visual system to form, store and recall words (orthographic mapping). (National Institute for Literacy, 2009)

Fluency: Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and smoothly. When fluent readers read, they recognize words automatically. They group words appropriately to help them gain meaning from what they read. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking. (National Institute for Literacy, 2009)

Vocabulary: Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate and comprehend effectively. In general, it can be described as oral vocabulary or reading vocabulary. Oral vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening. Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print. (National Institute for Literacy, 2009)

Text Comprehension: Comprehension is the ability to read text, process it and make meaning from it. Dr. Nell Duke, a professor in the School of Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, advises, “a differentiated and layered approach to reading comprehension instruction.” Dr. Duke’s research is further illustrated in the graphic below:

layered model of instruction 

Written Expression: Literacy standards for college and career readiness place a premium on text based writing, such as using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. In addition, expectations also require the development of narrative writing throughout the grades. In later grades a command of sequence and detail will be essential for effective argumentative and informational writing. (Achieve the Core, 2022)

Armbruster, B. B., Lehr, F., Osborn, J., & Adler, C. R. (2009). Put reading first: The research building blocks of reading instruction : kindergarten through grade 3 (3rd ed.). National Institute for Literacy.

College- and career-ready shifts in ELA / literacy. Achieve The Core. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2022, from

Duke, N.K., Ward, A.E., & Pearson, P.D. (2021). The Science of Reading Comprehension InstructionRead Teach, 74(6), 663– 672.

National Reading Panel (U.S.) & National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U.S.). (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching children.

Shanahan,Timothy Edward. How to Provide Effective Reading Instruction (English)Tools for Improving Reading Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.

Text Comprehension: Harris, T., & Hodges, R. (Eds.). (1995). The Literacy Dictionary (p. 207). Newark, DE: International  Reading Association.