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There is variation in the way that the different stages of reading are described and categorized.

One well known description of the stages is Chall's Stages of Reading Development:

Stage 0. Prereading The learner gains familiarity with the language and its sounds. A person in this stage becomes aware of sound similarities between words, learns to predict the next part in a familiar story, and may start to recognize a few familiar written words.

Stage 1. Initial Reading, or Decoding Stage

The learner becomes aware of the relationship between sounds and letters and begins applying the knowledge to text.

Stage 2. Confirmation, Fluency, Ungluing from Print

The learner, familiar with basic sound-symbol relationships and familiar with more words, improves decoding skills, expands the number of words recognized by site, and builds fluency.

Stage 3. Reading for Learning

The reader has enough reading skill to focus on content and learn new information and facts from reading.

Stage 4. Multiple Viewpoints

The reader at this stage begins to be able to analyze with they read, understand different points of view, and react critically to what they read.

Stage 5. Construction and Reconstruction - A World View

The student now has the ability to select reading material and is building a personal view or model of the world and truth.

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