Question: Why can’t my child read (yet)?
If your child is struggling to learn to read, he or she is not alone. Almost one third of fourth graders are reading below grade level. Over the past several years, research in the fields of linguistics, neurology, literacy, special education, psychology, pediatrics and speech pathology have come together to help us understand why many children have reading difficulties.
What does the latest research say? Study after study shows that children who have good phoneme awareness (the ability to recognize and manipulate individual sounds within spoken words) will almost always become good readers, and children with poor phoneme awareness will struggle until they receive direct instruction to improve these skills. 60% to 70% of children develop phoneme awareness naturally as they learn to read, regardless of intelligence level or the type of reading instruction they receive. The other 30% to 40% of children need explicit training. They can learn to read just as well as the others IF they receive appropriate instruction.
What makes someone a “good” reader? Fluent readers can store a new word for automatic retrieval after only 1 to 4 exposures to the word. Poor readers need 10, 20 or even 100 exposures before they can automatically recognize a word. If a reader can automatically retrieve a word rather than having to “sound it out,” more attention can be given to comprehension. When a student can recognize words instantly – without effort – it is because he or she is a good “orthographic mapper.” Orthographic mapping is the mental process of storing words in permanent memory for instant retrieval. Solid phoneme awareness and phonics skills are needed to facilitate the orthographic mapping process.
The ReadXYZ program turns struggling readers into fluent readers by improving their word-level reading skills through exercises in letter-sound knowledge, phonological awareness, phonological blending and phonic decoding. When these skills are mastered, a student becomes proficient at storing and retrieving words automatically, and therefore the process of reading becomes more fluent.
Your child is probably struggling to read because he or she has a deficit in phonemic awareness. This makes it difficult to blend, decode, store and retrieve words. ReadXYZ Online Reading Therapy will turn your child into a fluent reader by explicitly teaching these necessary skills.