Read Write Spell Better

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One of the earliest tasks that a child faces, and arguably the most important one, is to learn how to read. For many, this skill is easily acquired. Sadly for others, the letters on the page remain a mystery. A third group of readers learn to read at some level but never learn to read well, with ease, and with enjoyment.

It is for that third group, now grown into adults and teens, that this book is written. Read Better! For Adults & Teens is also for individuals who want to enhance their personal lives and careers by learning to read more efficiently and effectively.

Why are there reading problems? The answer may be different for each person. Assuming normal intelligence, an individual must have the ability to see clearly, and be able to scan a line of print correctly, using both eyes working together. Additionally, the person must be able to hear and perceive sounds accurately. Additionally, a young child must be mature enough for reading instruction, with age appropriate language skills. One of the most common areas of difficulty is acquiring the skills to break the Code in which English is written. Failure to break the code means failure to read. It is important to realize, however, that reading problems or delays did not occur because of any failure of child or adult. Whatever the reason, reading problems are never the fault of the individual.

Reading is indeed the ability to manipulate a code. Language is the foundation for thought, speech, reading, spelling, and writing. Our thoughts and ideas can be spoken, represented by words. Words are made up of specific sounds so when thoughts and words are written down, those specific sounds are represented by specific letters or letter groupings of the 26 letters of the Alphabet. Those letters and groupings of letters are the symbols in the Code for English. When the code is very specifically taught, and when it is then practiced until the recognition of the phonograms becomes automatic, most children…and adults…can acquire good reading skills.

Decoding is the ability to look at letter groupings and figure out the word it represents, but that is only half of the reading process. Comprehension, or understanding the meaning that those words are trying to convey, is the other half. In addition to having good decoding skills, it is also very important to have a good vocabulary base. Therefore, this book teaches decoding skills, encourages vocabulary expansion, and provides specific and logical reading lessons and practice towards the development of broad comprehension skills.

The lessons in this book are designed and organized to methodically teach the absolutely essential skills for reading. Users are advised to learn each lesson well before moving on to the next. The goal of these lessons is to train the brain to become a reading co-pilot. Good readers have learned the tools of reading so well that their brains most often run on autopilot. To repeat: When the reading tools are learned so well that decoding becomes automatic, the brain has succeeded in taking over the job of Decoding. That allows a reader to attend almost fully to the job of Comprehension. Comprehension is the reason that we want and need to read.

It is advised that you study with another person. The coach you choose should be a person who reads well enough to understand the directions, explain the instructions, and correctly pronounce all words. Your coach should correct any words that you mispronounce. It is very important that both of you speak and hear with care and precision.

Move as quickly, or as slowly, through these lessons and the practice materials as you need in order to gain full benefit from each page. Vital information will be taught and practice words will be given. Read aloud until you do not need to read aloud any further. Think about the importance of what I just wrote, “Read aloud until you do not need to read aloud.” By reading aloud, our brains develop full understanding…and a good mental file system with many different mental connections…for how the Sound of a Word, the Meaning of a Word, and the Spelling of a Word work together for complete comprehension.

When you begin the reading the practice stories that follow the decoding and vocabulary development sections, keep careful records of your reading level for each story. When you notice that you are reading higher level practice stories with greater confidence and comprehension, you will know that you have learned the decoding lessons well. This book is your tool and you are in charge of your own success. We hope that you enjoy the process and benefit from it for the remainder of your life.

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