Why can’t learning to read be easier?
school girl daydreaming

For many persons, learning to read isn’t easy.  For a variety of reasons, English is a confusing language to learn for many of us. While the language has only 44 sounds, those sounds make up over a million words. On the written page, the sounds are represented by letters of the alphabet, which are put […]

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What’s the real reason why Johnny still can’t read?

Dr. Rudolf Flesch first published his blockbuster educational expose, Why Johnny Can’t Read, in 1955. The book documented the epidemic of poor readers produced by the American educational system. That was followed by an update in 1981 entitled Why Johnny Still Can’t Read. Now over sixty years later, our students are still struggling with the […]

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Dick and Jane can’t read

Look at Dick. See Dick. Dick has a book. Dick can’t read. Look at Jane. See Jane. Jane has a book. Jane can’t read. A father brought his daughter to me.  The girl was in the second grade, and in a special reading group at school. He asked her to read a reading booklet from […]

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Alphabet soup

The sounds of English form the foundation for reading and writing. Any missing sounds are like cracks in a foundation which weaken a building. Holes appear in a text where words are not recognized. Often when students go on to the middle grades, they begin to have more problems with comprehension. But comprehension problems may […]

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Tool for reading improvement?
boy reading

Nathan’s* mom asked me if flash cards are a helpful tool for reading improvement. “Should I have him practice with his flash cards?” But Nathan was now in third grade, reading at a kindergarten level, and the flash cards obviously hadn’t worked for him. While flash cards are widely used in reading instruction, they are […]

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A failure at six?
frustrated student reading

I had to wonder why a six year old was already convinced that he was a failure. Andre was held back to repeat kindergarten due to reading difficulties. He had hearing problems that had impacted his learning to read. His parents had voluntarily agreed with his school’s recommendation, and felt he needed outside help to […]

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Sight or Sounds?
brother reading

If there is any natural method of teaching reading, it flows from speech. The sounds that we speak and hear are represented by the letters of the alphabet, which are then combined to form written words. In the conventional method of teaching reading, after learning the alphabet, students memorize words from flash cards or text. […]

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A Natural Method of Learning to Read
girl reading outside

Is there such as thing as a natural method of learning to read? Children who grow up in an environment that encourages reading may be more likely to become good readers themselves. They observe parents or grandparents engaged in reading to themselves; learn new words as they listen to stories, and their curiosity and imagination […]

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Is learning to read natural?

Is learning to read natural? A little over thirteen years ago, I took a training course to become a reading instruction specialist. I’d always loved books and reading. I myself learned to read fairly easily. I grew up in a home where there were always books, newspapers and magazines, among family members who were excellent […]

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