Reading and Spelling
Reading is more than sounds and sight words.
Children need a lot of skills in order to read and spell successfully. Reading is the ability to understand meaning from print. Spelling is the ability to write letters to form words to express a meaning. The simple task of reading and spelling is really anything but simple! Children are not born with these skills. Children need to be taught to read and spell. Some children need large amounts of instructions, while other children appear to 'just pick it up'. School is not meant to be difficult for your child. Continued difficulties with learning to read and spell can impact on your child’s self-esteem and confidence, and their overall experience at school.
What are the symptoms?
Some symptoms of a reading difficulty may include:
The specific causes of reading difficulties are variable.
Due to the complex nature of reading, no one cause can be identified. This means that the difficulties that children face can differ completely from child to child Reading difficulties are considered to be neurodevelopmental in nature. Children can experience reading difficulties with no other associated intellectual or learning difficulty. Reading difficulties do not generally 'go away'. Children need to be taught successful skills and strategies in order to decode and understand the information they have read. Research has proven that the earlier a child receives intervention, the better their long term reading skills will be.
What is involved in reading?
Successful reading can be broken into Six main areas:
- Awareness of sounds in a spoken language (e.g. how many sounds are in 'box'? The answer is 4!).
- Ability to understand that sentences are broken down into words, syllables and sounds.
- Ability to break each word into separate sounds (segmenting or part of the process involved in spelling) then put these sounds back together (blending or part of the process involved in reading) to form a word.
- Understanding that words are made up of letters, which represent sounds.
- Understand letter to sound correspondence.
- Understand sound to letter correspondence.
- Understand the sounds that different letter combinations make (eg. 'sh' or 'ow').
- The words children know and use when speaking.
- The words children know and use when reading and writing.
- The ability to understand a word and attach meaning to it. (eg "dog" - furry animal with 4 legs that barks)
- The ability to understand what they are reading in order to answer questions.
- The ability to understand what they are reading in order to learn new information.
- Strategies for reading and problem solving. These include a child's ability to realise that a sentence or passage may not make sense and they will need to re-read it.
- Fast and accurate blending and segmenting of sounds.
- The ability to remember the information that was just read.
- The ability to classify the information just read.
- The ability to add new information that has been read to existing knowledge.
- Use of expression in oral reading so that it sounds like everyday talking.
- Maintaining rate of reading to facilitate comprehension.
- Reading needs to be fun.
- A child needs to get enjoyment from reading through learning things that are interesting to them.