Reading is the decoding of written symbols into meaningful ideas.
This section presents techniques for helping beginning readers learn how to read. These techniques are most helpful in tutoring students in kindergarten to grade 3 as well as older students who have not yet mastered the mechanics of reading.
How can you tell if a student is a beginning reader? The student may
- have trouble figuring out how to read unfamiliar or invented words (like glox)
- have a lot of difficulty spelling
- read slowly with many pauses
- tell you that he or she has a lot of trouble reading and writing
Beginning readers need to be “glued” to the print in order to learn how to read. They need to pay attention to every letter and every word.
As a tutor, your role is to create situations where your students are “glued” to the print so they can learn about sounds, letters, letter groups and the connections between words. You can do this by reading a variety of texts, doing language activities, writing stories and using flashcards. You should also model fluent reading for your students.
How do children learn to read?
- Many children learn to read by being read to. Gradually, they notice differences in word patterns and recognize the sounds associated with various letters.
- Other children do not notice the differences between words or the sounds of various letters until someone points out the letter‐sound relationships. These children may need systematic instruction in phonics to help them understand letter‐sound relationships before they can learn to read.
- Keep in mind that for all children, fostering a love of reading and books is essential to becoming a successful reader. Don’t forget to read with your students for enjoyment!