Google Ads

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Inability to Read?

If your child is resisting pleasure reading, there may be something wrong other than attitude. Some children have valid reading disabilities--it's just too difficult for them to overcome dyslexia or what have you. Others have been taught to read using flawed educational approaches such as whole-word recognition. I could always immediately tell when a problamatic student had been taught the whole-word approach. One of the coping mechanisms was word guessing from context. What evolved was their developing favorite words. For example the, their, they, or there became substituted by their favorite guess word for the TH form: THE. This became clearly evident when they read out loud. It also produced reading that made no sense to anyone, especially the child. I call whole-word the same as learning Chinese idiographs or Japanese kanji. The graphic content of the word becomes more important than its sounds and meanings.

I believe that phonics. especially when made into fun activities by approaches such as "The Phonics Game" and "Hooked on Phonics" is a far more effective reading approach. I volunteered at "Big Brothers, Big Sisters" once to use the "Phonics Game" with a handful of 5th grade learning disabled kids. In 10 or 11 sessions I had they reading at a high "B" level, as opposed to the "D-minus" level they had been at before.

If reading ability or the lack thereof is getting in the way of reading enjoyment, work with a reading specialist to improve on or overcome problems. Even your own teaching through a phonics program can make a world of difference in the right direction.

No comments: