In an attempt to overcome some of the shortcomings of outlines or other simple categorization schemes for sorting empirical findings from a literature review, we adopted a plan of surveying literature bearing on a model constructed to have a broad degree of generality-a model of the gross processes and sequences involved in the development of auding and reading competencies. Our use of the term "model" is essentially the same as that of Gephart's, quoted by Geyer (1971). That is, a model is "... a representation of a phenomenon which displays the identifiable structural elements of that phenomenon, the relationship among those elements, and the processes involved in the natural phenomenon." Furthermore, a model should serve three general purposes: "... to explain what a complex phenomenon consists of; to describe how such a phenomenon works; and to provide the basis for predictions about changes which will occur in one element of the phenomenon when changes are made in another element."
The phenomenon represented by the model we are constructing is a developmental sequence-the sequence that ordinary, literate persons go through in becoming literate. While the developmental model as presently constructed is molar in perspective and does not meet all of Gephart's requirements, it nonetheless generates some testable hypotheses and hence is capable of a measure of self correction.
Our goal is to build a model that can serve as an ideational scaffolding of sufficient generality that more specific models-such as models of "the reading process" (Mackworth,1972) or speech encoding and decoding (Cooper, 1972)-can be attached where they appear to serve the most useful explanatory function. In this manner, a more complete understanding of the processes involved in the development of reading competency may be achieved. We have, then, the expectation that growth in our knowledge of this sequence and the processes involved will bear fruitful insights for facilitating the acquisition of reading skills by children or adults who desire to learn these skills, and for developing improved procedures for instructing by printed or spoken discourse.
In the remainder of this report, attention is first focused in Chapter II on describing the developmental model, including the definitions of basic terminology, and the description of relationships among the major processes included in the model. Chapter III elaborates upon the processes of "conceptualizing" and "languaging" introduced in Chapter II, and presents a brief account of selected aspects of the acquisition of these processes.