Decoding can be thought of as searching through the word (by looking carefully at the letters) to work out the “code” that makes it that specific word. Another way of putting it is – decoding is the process of translating print into speech by rapidly matching a letter or combination of letters (graphemes) to their sounds (phonemes) and recognizing the patterns that make syllables and words.
Decoding may look like:
Rereading and sounding the first part of the word, e.g. Father Bear said, “I like the (reread) tr- train”.
Covering the beginning / ending to isolate the parts, e.g. look-ing.
Making connections to a similar word, e.g. taller looks a bit like ball.
Chunking a big word, e.g. yes-ter-day.