A Guest asks.....
What are Common Reading Problems?
"What are the reading problems you most frequently
encounter and what techniques do you use that are effective?"
The most common reading problem I see is the lack of effective word-attack strategies. I see many children who have partial skills for figuring out unknown words, such as using picture clues, the first letter, middle letters, or the end of the word, as well word shape and context. However, to be a successful reader one needs a full repetoire of skills at their disposal, and the awareness of when and how to use each one. The method I use is called Analytic Phonics. I developed it for use with children for whom nothing else has worked. However I've found it to be very effective for all readers who exhibit this very common reading challenge.
Another common reading problem is poor comprehension. We often see this when phonics are taught without intimately pairing comprehension with word decoding from the very beginning. It is not uncommon to see a student who reads aloud beautifully, but can't remember what he/she's read. They are doing great "word calling" but that isn't reading. A program that rebuilds the decoding/comprehending partnership must be started. I find the easiest way to do that is to start asking a student what just happened in the story after each paragraph or few sentences. I also ask the student to find the text-based "evidence" to support their answers. Great gentleness is often needed when treating this type of reading difficulty. For many "readers" of this type, this is the first time they've struggled with their reading perfomance. They've been praised for the way they sounded when they read, and the attending adults falsely assumed that the child was also remembering, understanding, and able to use the words. However, with patient, structured perseverance, this type of reading difficulty can be successfully remediated.