Teaching Treasures™



four reading methods

Four main methods used to teach students how to read are explained below. This is a guide only and you must work out which methods suit you and your child/students. You may like to try each one for a few weeks and record the results or you can combine two or more methods together like the 'phonics' and the 'look and say' method. Whichever way you choose be patient, consistent and above all creative. Creativity is very important to keep any child's interest and enthusiasm at all times. If you are not sure what you should be teaching at which level, check out the year guide and Teach Reading.

Quick links: Look and Say, Language Experience Approach, Context Support Method, Dyslexia.

Method 1:  phonics

The phonics method is probably the best known and widely used method to teach reading and writing in the English language. It relies on children being taught the alphabet first. They learn the names of the letters and the sounds they make. Once they have learnt the letter sounds they will begin to blend two letters together to make simple words then three letters, then four and so forth.

a-t i-t o-n i-f b-e m-e n-o w-e i-n h-e
c-a-t s-a-t m-a-t f-a-t p-a-t r-a-t c-a-r g-o-d m-e-n
f-l-a-t p-l-a-t t-h-a-t s-p-i-t s-l-i-t g-r-i-t

For children to learn the phonics method they need phonically written books using regular words that are interesting to young children. Each word must be sounded out by the child in order to achieve the highest level outcome.... eg. The cat sat on the mat.   .....  The hen is in a pen.

Learning the sounds and their blends may be disinteresting for young children so you should keep it short and entertaining. Often children are so busy concentrating on sounding the words and blending the sounds that they don't learn the meaning of the word, making it boring for them. Ensure you explain the meaning or expound on the words to keep interest and enthusiasm for learning.

You can introduce one letter a day or one letter a week but the one letter a day method works quite well and it does not become boring, whereas one letter a week tends to drag out and the child often loses the plot halfway through. This in turn gives you a sense of failure and you will become bogged down.

Don't be disheartened if two or three days or even a week is needed to master one letter, students will improve and before long you will find there is no stopping their young brain. Children are natural learners and are more than willing to please you thus doing well in their learning experience. Using the phonics method, most children will learn to read basic words and sentences within three to six months. The phonics system had been used successfully in the USA and Europe for many years to teach children how to read. It supplies the student with tools to expand their vocabulary.

An alphabet table using each letter sound.

a
ape
a
antelope
a
armadillo
b
bear
c
civet
c
cat
d
deer
e
emu
e
elephant
f
fox
g
gerbil
g
goldfish
h
hippo
i
ibis
i
inchworm
j
jaguar
k
kangaroo
l
lizard
m
monkey
n
nightingale
o
okapi
o
ostrich
p
peacock
q
quail
r
rabbit
s
snake
t
tiger
u
unicorn
u
umbrella bird
v
vole
w
walrus
x
ox
y
butterfly
y
yak
z
zebra

Using symbols on top of the following letters will simplify the letter sounds.

the letter a the letter c the letter e the letter g
the letter i the letter o the letter u the letter y


Four main methods learning to read. Copyright © 2000,
Author: Ingrid Griggs, The Teacher Assistant, ISBN 187689315X
Published by: Teaching Treasures Publications ABN 36730101290

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