kitchen table math, the sequel: advice for adults with reading problems

Monday, March 12, 2012

advice for adults with reading problems

resources in the comments thread

And here are The Phonics Page and Don Potter.


yvonne meyer said...

Your description of the young man with serious spelling/writing problems could have been a description of me at that age.

My problem with spelling and my inability to get what I could easily say onto the page was largely resolved when I took my then 10 year old son to a tutor to remediate my son's spelling difficutlties.

The tutor took my son back to the absolute beginning and taught him phonics (26 letters, 44 phonemes & 75 common spelling rules). I sat at the back of the room listening. After a while, I realised my spelling was improving when Spell Check actually helped me for the first time.

It doesn't matter whether this young man is dyslexic or if he is an instrucitonal casualty - the solution is the same - explicit, intensive instruction in sound/letter correspondences/phonics. It also doesn't matter is the programme chosen is one that is aimed at young children. The content is the same.

Start teaching this young man to decode and, if as he is bright, he will quickly realise that this stuff works.

My son learnt the basic code in 12 hours of 1:1 instruction when he was 10 years old. It took me longer ebcause I didn't realise I had the same problem and needed to same solution.

I'm not sure if you already have some expertise in teaching phonics but if not, and you want to start helping this young man without doing any pre-training, get "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons" by Zig Englemann.

Marna said...

I agree with Yvonne. Additionally, I would like to recommend A Workbook for Dyslexics:

My dd is dyslexic and we used this book with her. You read pieces of phonics practice writing and writing pieces of words that will help you decode. We were very successful with this book. Before she started, she had a hard time remembering the sound of vowels (and actually most of her writing just left them out completely). We had previously tried different phonics programs, but this one was the one that did the trick for us.

palisadesk said...

I would definitely NOT recommend using a resource like “100 Easy Lessons” – excellent though it is --- with a young adult. “100 Easy Lessons,” Reading Reflex and some other commonly cited programs are aimed at children from 3-6 years old – not adults! Yikes.

There was a time when we had no resources for the older non-reader, or poor reader, but that is no longer the case. A student such as the one Catherine observed might benefit from DI Corrective Reading – the appropriate level to be determined by the placement test. The Corrective Reading
Decoding Placement Test
can be downloaded from the link,
and a video of administering thes test is here: Administering placement test

And here's a blurb from the Florida Center for Reading Research:
FCRR Report

These work quite well for the more difficult cases, but for a bright student I would choose REWARDS first in the interest of speedy improvement.

Used older editions of Corrective Reading are generally available on Ebay for a reasonable price.

A computer-based intervention mught be the way to go. Someone I respect recommended this resource for secondary and college students:
Reading Success Lab but I have no personal experience or knowledge of how effective it is. It is available for both school and home use.

K9Sasha said...

I took a quick peek at Reading Success Lab and discovered it's purely a sight word program. They proudly boast that they don't use phonics.

palisadesk said...

Hmmm, that can't be the program my colleague recommended then -- I know her to be a strong proponent of systematic phonics instruction. I must have misremembered the program name. There *are* phonics-oriented computer-based programs for teens and adults, but I haven't had occasion to use or evaluate them.

At conferences, I have picked up demo disks for "Lexia," a program with variants for beginners, adolescents (and perhaps adults) but because it is Orton-Gillingham based I haven't checked it out. O-G does not work for most students I've worked with over the years for multiple reasons; it requires, among other things, a great deal of instructional time -- far more than we have in school -- besides home support and a fairly high degree of verbal ability and ability to learn, remember and apply the many "rules" involved. O-G seems to work best in private clinics, tutoring or private school settings, where the instructional day can be organized around the student's learning needs and much individual support provided.

I found the DI/REWARDS approach, which minimizes "rules," much more effective for most challenged readers, especially when time is of the essence and help from parents, tutors or family members is not realistic.

I hope any KTM'ers with knowledge of computer-based (and code-based) programs for the older student will share their experiences; this is a real area of need.