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* Children need to understand that the words we speak can be written down and read back.

* Just as children learning to talk need a listener, children learning to read need a genuine, interested audience.

* They need to understand what we mean by;
letters, sounds, words, sentences etc.

* The reading material must make sense right from the start. Writing, reading and talking are all ways of communicating. It helps if this is clear to young readers by sharing enjoyable story books, not isolated words or text with little meaning.

* Children need to be able to recognise and match patterns and shapes. They require some concentration and listening skills.

* It is important that the child is motivated to read and sees purpose and enjoyment in doing so. Studies of very young fluent readers show that they all had the attention of a supportive (not critical) adult.