Reading Milestones

At face value, reading developmental milestone might not make a lot of sense since
children develop their reading at a different pace. For instance, reading progress largely depends on children’s oral language proficiency and parental engagement in developing children’s literacy.

Despite these limitations, this general outline might help some parents understand a long journey children need to undertake to become proficient readers.

Infants (Up to Age 1):

  • play with books
  • reach for books
  • touch pictures
  • look at pictures
  • listen to parent’s reading
  • react with sounds and patting
  • attempt to turn pages
  • seem to prefer pictures of faces

Toddlers (Age 1-3):

  • name familiar objects
  • point to objects
  • recognize familiar characters
  • answer the questions such a ‘Where is the dog?’, ‘What is this?’ etc.
  • some toddlers pretend to read
  • older toddlers might show genuine interest in (some) books
  • can finish sentences if the book had been read before
  • have a favorite book

Kids (Age 3-4):

  • can listen to longer books while they are read aloud
  • retell simple stories
  • talk about favorite characters
  • understand associations between letters and sound
  • match some letters to their sounds
  • can tell beginning sounds
  • name some letters of the alphabet
  • recognize some words
  • are aware that dad/mum always reads before bed
  • torture dad/mum to read the same story over again
  • explore books independently
  • love to visit a library
  • can recognize their first name in print
  • are able to comprehend  more complex stories
  • understand that we read from top to bottom and left to right
  • many children begin to learn higher level words (Tier 2 words) in addition to the familiar words (Tier 1 words)

Kids (Age 5):

  • start reading independently simple texts with high-frequency words
  • are able to predict what will happen next in a story
  • can identify most letters of the alphabet
  • arrange story events in sequence
  • can translate symbols to sounds
  • use pictures to facilitate comprehension
  • ask lots of questions
  • recognize many words
  • retell stories
  • are able to answer ‘who, what, when, where, why’ questions
  • are able to make generalizations
  • answer higher-level questions such as:  Why did . . . ?, What do you think about . . . ?, Could you explain…? How was this different from . . . ?

Kids (Age 6-8):

  • can read between the lines
  • recognize sight words
  • read familiar stories
  • use context to facilitate comprehension
  • read simple stories with certain fluency
  • read longer books
  • read a variety of narrative and informational books
  • are able to find the main idea
  • describe characters and settings
  • enjoy reading
  • connect ideas and experiences
  • begin to read independently
  • decode more challenging words
  • answer question: How would you rate …?, What would have happened if . . . ?  What consequences will . . . ?
  • understand more complicated phrases, figures of speech

Kids (Age 9-14):

  • read to learn
  • read with a purpose e.g. to find information
  • read fluently
  • summarise
  • understand similes, metaphors etc.
  • understand different kinds of texts
  • compare and contrast different reading materials
  • discuss character motivation
  • make inferences/draw conclusions
  • evaluate ideas from texts
  • read critically