The Big Six of Literacy: a guide for families

Research has shown that there are six key components that contribute to successful beginning reading. Because of the importance of these components, they have become known as the 'Big Six’: oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. In the early years of schooling, literacy lessons will incorporate the Big Six.

Oral language

Learn about the importance of oral language.

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Phonological awareness

Understand phonological awareness and how it contributes to reading success.

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Find out more about phonics.

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Understand how vocabulary contributes to reading success.

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Find out more about fluency.

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Discover strategies to help with comprehension at home.

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Further reading

Cairney, T. (28 November, 2020). Literacy families and learning. Blogspot

Anderson, R., Hiebert, E., Scott, J. & Wilkinson, L. (1985). Becoming a nation of readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading. US Department of Education

Hayes, D. P. & Ahrens, M. G. (1988). ‘Vocabulary simplification for children: A special case of “motherese?”’. Journal of Child Language, 15: 395–410

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The Big Six: a guide for families English


Learn more about these six essential skills for reading.

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The Big Six of Literacy: a guide for families – translations


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