Location: England UK and Philippines
Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher Boy who could not read
The reading process for boys
Effective readers develop an ‘internal lexicon’ of sight words that they recognise visually. This rapid word recognition allows them to concentrate on the meaning of what they read. When they come across an unfamiliar word, they may ‘decode’ it by using phonics, i.e. ‘sounding it out’. They may also use their lexical knowledge of words (e.g. roots, suffixes and prefixes) to guess at the word. In addition, they may use context to help work out the word and check if their attempt is reasonable.
When learners first learn to read, they need to develop an awareness of the alphabetic system, that is the relation between letters and sounds. At the same time they will be building up their internal lexicon. These two routes to reading operate independently.
Learners with sensory impairments and perceptual processing difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) will not be able to use both these systems fully. Those who are blind and read Braille, for example, will use a sound-symbol system based on touch rather than sight. Learners who have been profoundly deaf since birth will not be able to use phonics at all, but can still become competent readers.
Location: Colorado, United States
Position: Classroom Teacher
Creating phonological awareness is an important step in learning to read. This can be incredibly important in the early stages of learning with the young ones who are hard to keep in their chairs. Why keep them in their chairs?
“Have a scavenger hunt around the room or school to find words that begin with the same sounds. Students have a sentence strip in front of them with ___at ___ar ____et. Students have small cards with consonant letters on them and they have to match up a letter to a blank and form a word.” (Jenn Thompson, Boulder, CO).