Besides improving my daughter’s grades, her confidence level in the classroom has also increased, and most importantly- her ability and interest in reading has also improved beyond measure! You have opened up a whole new world for my daughter!
Reading and Spelling:
Reading is a complex process. However, the reason is simple – reading is not a ‘natural’ process. Our brains are hard-wired for spoken language, not print. Scientific research has found that reading does not just happen. Explicit instruction is needed to create the brain circuitry needed to read. There are many parts to this reading circuit, and they all have to fully develop and become connected for the child to read well.
The foundation of the reading process begins with phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to recognize the individual sounds or “phonemes” of spoken words. More specifically, it is the ability to identify, blend and segment these sounds. Reading, at first, is not about letters – it’s about sounds!
The next critical step is phonics. This is the process of attaching sounds to letter symbols. This ability to link letters with their corresponding sounds allows someone to read unfamiliar words. We think of this as word analysis.
Symbol imagery is also necessary to give a child a more fluid way of connecting sounds to print. Symbol imagery is the ability to “picture” or see words in the mind’s eye. A child images letters and words in their mind, manipulating sounds and letters to build automaticity. With symbol imagery in place, one can improve the ability to connect with the sequences of letters, which is necessary to develop sight word recognition. This, in turn, allows for rapid processing (fluency) and quick self-correction.
Strong phonemic awareness and symbol imagery also improve spelling ability. Good spellers are able to identify and pull apart the individual sounds in a spoken word and then match those individual sounds to letter symbols (phonics). Visual memory and knowledge of word patterns are also important.
When all of these areas are stabilized and integrated, a child can leverage context and vocabulary to further develop fluency. All of this leads to the ultimate goal of reading – comprehension.
Before Langsford, I couldn't read very good. Now I LOVE to read. I can read chapter books. I feel like I'm not left out anymore. Now I am doing good in school. I can keep up with my work.