Article – Struggling Readers

Is your child is one of the struggling readers? If so, it’s important to take action now.

This problem will not solve itself; your child will not magically become ‘reading-ready’.

The Bad News: Once children get behind in reading, they stay behind – unless their problem is dealt with effectively.

The Good NewsIf a reading problem is dealt with effectively, it takes struggling readers weeks not years to catch up with their peers.

Struggling Readers Can Learn Phonemic Awareness in 3 Hours

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CHILDREN STRUGGLING WITH READING LACK:

  • the knowledge and understanding of how written English really works;
  • the ability to hear the sounds in English;
  • the ability to hear a word and break the sounds in the word apart; and/or
  • the ability to hear a word’s separate sounds and blend them back into the word.

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These skills are the essential pre-reading skills necessary for learning English literacy. Making students aware of the sounds in their speech is important because written English is based on the sounds (or phonemes) of English. Students who lack this knowledge cannot become good readers – no matter how hard they work.

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CHILDREN WHO ARE STRUGGLING READERS ARE NOT:

  • lazy – All students WANT to learn to read, and those who’ve had trouble learning to read have put in the most stupendous effort imaginable;
  • mentally disabled – The only students too disabled to learn to read are those unable to communicate YES or NO;
  • hard of hearing – Deaf/hard of hearing students can learn literacy through the Cued Speech Method that helps them ‘see’ the sounds, then they can become as literate as their hearing peers. (Google Cued Speech – the information is freely available);
  • unable to speak properly – Even students who cannot speak at all can learn literacy through the Cued Speech method, so students with less severe problems can most certainly learn to read if that method is combined with a good Phonics-based learn-to-read course;
  • unable to process sounds – If students can speak, they were able to process sounds as babies – so that skill needs to be ‘refreshed’, AND in order to aid their processing, they should learn a hand sign for each sound. The Phonemic Awareness Course introduces all the sounds, while teaching a hand sign for each sound; or
  • dyslexic – Although Dyslexic students are less able to link sounds to letters through the hearing and speech learning pathways, they are able to learn to read if they are taught to use their sight and touch learning pathways – so the Phonemic Awareness Course teaches using the HEARING and SPEECH and SIGHT and TOUCH learning pathways.

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SO THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM IS:

See that your child is taught the following pre-reading or Phonemic/Sound Awareness knowledge and skills:

  • how written English really works;
  • hearing the sounds in English words;
  • breaking the sounds in the word apart; and
  • blending separate sounds back into a word.

Once you’ve armed your child with these skills, he or she is set up to no longer be one of the struggling readers; instead, your child will become one of the top readers in the class!

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STUDENTS WERE AWARE OF THE SOUNDS  IN SPEECH AS BABIES

Babies are very aware of the sounds in speech; it’s that awareness that enables them to teach themselves to speak.

But as children become more fluent speakers, their brains switch from concentrating on the individual sounds in words, to concentrating on the meaning of words, and constructing sentences. This means that by the time students start school, their brains are no longer aware of the sounds in speech.

In many languages, that’s not important. But in English, it’s a problem because written English is based upon the individual sounds in words.

Fortunately, once a brain has learned something, it never permanently forgets that knowledge. So those long-forgotten sound awareness skills can be re-accessed, but accessing that information can take time and effort.

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BRAINS TUCK AWAY RARELY-USED KNOWLEDGE 

People who’ve struggled with their speech in the past can find it surprisingly easy to retrieve their knowledge of speech sounds, because they’ve had to be conscious of the sounds until quite recently!

It’s often the people who found learning to speak easy, who have the most difficulty retrieving their awareness of sounds – because it’s been such a long time since they needed to use that skill. Once these student understand how written English works – that being able to read English relies upon the ability to hear the sounds, they  pay special attention to the sounds they say. The act of focussing their attention, forces their brain to access that information.

Other students who have difficulty finding this information are students whose brains need to understand HOW things work, and WHY something works; they need things to make sense. I call these people the ‘Engineer-type’ people. But once these students understand the HOW and WHY, their brains find that information easily, and particularly enjoy applying it. (WARNING: They will be able to apply the rules of Phonics, spelling, and grammar far better than you can, so just let them get on with it.)

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HELP BRAINS ACCESS PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOWLEDGE

The most useful way to help brains access hidden knowledge is to do some work on the topic during the day (and then do just a few seconds of work on the topic at bedtime), then the brain will work on the information overnight; brains do most of their learning and memory-building while we’re asleep. Then, sooner or later, the student will suddenly understand what has been taught, because it went ‘click’ overnight. Literally!

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HELP YOUR CHILD UNDERSTAND HOW ENGLISH WORKS 

The easiest way for you and your child to understand how English works, is to go through the free videos that are in the right-hand column of this website. There is also a link up the top there, that will give you access to the relevant (optional) PDF..

Once your child has gone through those videos, consider using my Phonemic Awareness Video Course to teach the other pre-reading skills.

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IF YOUR CHILD SUFFERS FROM SENSORY OVERLOAD OR AUTISM

Some students find videos too much to cope with. If that’s so for your child, you watch the videos, then teach the information to your child using the information and pictures in the PDF.

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ACCESS MY 3-HOUR PHONEMIC AWARENESS COURSE FOR 90 DAYS 

To start the Phonemic Awareness Free Trial, watch the videos down the right-hand side of the website, and download the optional PDF.

Then, purchase the 12-video Phonemic Awareness Video Course and take your child through these streaming videos.

When your child has completed this work, and learned a few letters (with the Learning Letters bonus videos that accompany the Phonemic Awareness Video Course), he or she will be equipped to learn to read successfully using the course used at school, or a Phonics-based course of your choice. (If you need suggestions regarding online learn to read courses that work, click here.)

To learn more about this Phonemic Awareness Video Course, click here..

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