Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reading Programs for Dyslexia

Free Reading Programs for Dyslexia 

Phonics/Al­phabetics vs Sight Reading. As a child that could not read because of confounding dyslexia, phonics or phonemic awareness was a dead end for me after the first 6 months, and made me hate reading and the reading "process". The letter sound association just made me more confused when I ran into the 4000 exceptions in English. A SAMPLE OF READING WITHOUT PHONICS EXCEPTIONS: "METHODZ ov teeching reeding hav graevly impruuvd sins Max Müller roet dhe wurdz kwoeted abuv. Neverdhele­s, eeven nou lurning to spel iz a far longger proeses for dhe Inglish chield dhan for children in meny udher kuntriz, such az Jurmany, Italy and Finland, and eeven dhe naetiv children ov dhe Goeld Koest and vaeryus udher parts ov Afrika.”I was absolutely disgusted with controlled vocabulary phonics books by age eight, with cats, mats, bats, and rats. I wanted more that anything to read real stories. Four years of reading that rubbish with no real progress in reading. My first memories of school are feelings of inadequacy and shame. Letter recognition and phonemic awareness seemed alien and incomprehensible. To me 'p,' 'b,' 'q,' and 'd' were all the same letter. How do you learn to read using phonics based reading or letter recognition if the letters are always changing? I just resorted to guessing or pretending to sound things out to make my teachers happy. I did learn to listen very carefully so I could memorize some books to pass as if I could actually read. I learned to read English the same way a billion Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans do by becoming a sight reader. 

  • 107 words make up over 50% of the words you read! 
  • 1000 words make up 75-80% of the words you read! 
  • 5,000 words make up 85-90% of the words you read! 
Dr Suess taught countless generations to read using whimsical rhymes, fanciful tales, and kid friendly absurdity. With no more than 300 words we learned phonemic awareness, fluency, sight words and how to read and love books. Today we kill any desire to read and learn as we parse reading into so many boring bits.

Do English Rules Create Dyslexia ?

Phonics is the start of whole language but its not the great panacea its made out to be and some students with dyslexia need to go into sight reading training sooner. I guess China is lucky they have no choice but to learn all language by sight. No need torturing some dyslexic kids for years with phonics. 

The lost art of fluency drills and word wall drills 

The history of fluency research in the field of reading might be characterized as intellectually spasmodic: There are periods of great effort and creativity, followed by fallow periods of relative disinterest. In 1983 fluency was described as the “most neglected” reading skill (Allington,1983). Oral reading fluency is the ability to read with accuracy, and with an appropriate rate, expression, and phrasing. 

Learning Vocabulary 

  • Indirectly. Children learn the meanings of most words indirectly, through everyday experiences with oral and written language--e.g., through conversations with adults, through being read to, and through reading extensively on their own. 
  • Directly. Children learn vocabulary directly when they are explicitly taught both individual words and word-learning strategies. 
  • Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Vocabulary plays an important part in learning to read. Children use words in their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words they see in print. 
  • Vocabulary is also important in reading comprehension. Readers cannot understand what they are reading unless they know what most of the words mean.


Dolch Sight Words:

PRESCHOOL: a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you

KINDERGARTEN: all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes

1st Grade: after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, giving, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when

2nd Grade: always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don't, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your

3rd Grade: about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm

Nouns: apple, baby, back, ball, bear, bed, bell, bird, birthday, boat, box, boy, bread, brother, cake, car, cat, chair, chicken, children, Christmas, coat, corn, cow, day, dog, doll, door, duck, egg, eye, farm, farmer, father, feet, fire, fish, floor, flower, game, garden, girl, good-bye, grass, ground, hand, head, hill, home, horse, house, kitty, leg, letter, man, men, milk, money, morning, mother, name, nest, night, paper, party, picture, pig, rabbit, rain, ring, robin, Santa Claus, school, seed, sheep, shoe, sister, snow, song, squirrel, stick, street, sun, table, thing, time, top, toy, tree, watch, water, way, wind, window, wood

A thought on Phonics vs. Whole Language: A billion people in China, Japan, and other countries that use character (logograph­ic) based language have no phonics. How do they learn to read? They learn the character by sight. They become sight readers like 99% of all literate adults. We act like phonics/al­phabetics is the solution to all reading problems, a Billion plus people have no ability to use this method to read and they do amazingly well. Reading experts have divided literacy into so many parsed boring bits, that we will create a totally illiterate society in the next 50 years. The 4000 exceptions to phonemic rules in common English makes phonics/al­phabetics a flawed system at best to teach English. English was never modernized as many languages in developed countries, and we try to teach our arcane amalgam of a language to 5 year olds. We ponder why we have problems! Sean Taylor M.Ed”

Students with reading difficulties may have one of three cognitive deficits that need addressing. The easiest to address is a second language learner that needs more time learning a new language. Most difficult to address is a learner with an auditory processing deficit or cognitive impairment. Finally the least common cognitive deficit is a learner that is dyslexic. The latter two are a grey area in many classrooms and at times never diagnosed or understood by teachers or parents. A teacher may assume a child is suffering with attention problems when they may just have very poor auditory processing skills. Teachers often see some students make great gains using a reading system while others students are stagnant or regress, and they have no clue why. Using a published reading program to address all reading difficulties is nigh impossible without a clear understanding of a students auditory processing/echoic memory ability. What is the solution to help all students succeed?
     Auditory processing enhancement and working memory augmentation in the form of brain work is essential to helping all students maximize learning. Academic achievement is slow or impossible if you are not augmenting working memory and enhancing auditory processing. Time and best practice will negate all but the most severe and profounds cognitive deficit that hinders academic progress.

A quick assessment for auditory processes deficit or dyslexia:

  • Students with dyslexia will tend to be very intelligent with excellent auditory processing skills.
  • Students with a cognitive deficit will struggle with basic auditory processing/echoic memory skills.
     Assessing students cognitive ability is essential to understand students needs. A strong understanding of what you are assessing is also imperative for teachers. A quick echoic memory assessment for your students: Read a level sentence to the student and then ask them to repeat the sentence exactly.

  • MODERATELY DIFFICULT  ASSESSMENT! SILVER, FRIEND, RUNNING, APPLE, INSIDE, FARMER, DANCE. QUICK PAUSE. Have student repeat. 8,4,7,3,1,9,2. QUICK PAUSE. Have student repeat. Students with excellent echoic memory will recite the sentences, words or numbers with little or no errors. 
  • Repeat the assessment with a new sentence telling the student that they have to hold the sentence in their memory for 10 seconds and then recite it with no errors. Students that struggle with reading yet can do this task with ease may be your students with dyslexia. Many students today have an underdeveloped echoic memory or show poor listening skills. Poor listening skills will impact all areas of academics if not corrected and addressed.

     Training the echoic memory will benefit all students and help make dramatic changes in academic outcomes for all students. Boosting listening skills with games and activities will produce very quick academic results. Students need to sing, reread, repeat passages, words, sentences, poems, and directions over and over in their head, and then rehearse it in echoic memory to build the neural pathways. Students will have difficulties with auditory task at first if they have not trained extensively to attend and focus on echoic memory. The key to sustained longterm success is duration and frequency of the echoic memory activities. 

  • Activities to build echoic memory or improving auditory processing. 
  • Learning the lyrics to a great song
  • Memorizing a stanza from a poem
  • Reciting and rehearsing during vocabulary activities
  • Playing telephone
  • Read, reread, repeat, rehearse, recite

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