FAQ: Reading, Speech, Language Problems

FAQs related to reading, speech & language problems

Q: Is there really a reading problem?

A: When nearly half of all fourth graders fail to measure up at even a proficient level of reading, there’s a problem; in fact, some would call it a crisis. More than half of the children find learning to read a formidable challenge. For at least 20% to 30%, reading is one of the most difficult tasks they will have to master throughout their schooling. These numbers include all children and are not limited to those from disadvantaged areas.

Q: Why do some children have such difficulty in learning to read?

A: While some children are simply not exposed to an adequate amount of reading and language patterns early in life, poor reading instruction is reason for reading problems in most children. Family and home-life do have great influences on a child’s proclivity to reading. But the research increasingly shows that problem learners are not exposed to proper, formal reading methods.

Q: At what age should the teaching of reading begin?

A: Both research and practical experience show that learning to read is not natural, as is learning it speak; therefore, it needs to be taught.2 School-age is the appropriate time to begin, starting with some activities in Kindergarten and more formal instruction in first grade. However, children should be exposed to reading from the first days of life with parents at home, and in pre-school if they attend one. They should engage in letter and number games and play with language through nursery rhymes, storybooks, and activities.

Q: What about children who display reading difficulty at an early age?

A: Early reading intervention is important: If reading intervention is delayed until nine years of age, the time when most children with reading difficulties receive services, approximately 75% of the children will continue to have difficulties learning to read throughout high school.

Some children with difficulties have learned to read with ease once they have been exposed to strong programs that compliment their individual styles. That’s why the experience and track record of your child’s teachers and the programs they use is critical.

Q: What about school programs and textbooks? Is one just as good as another?

A: Most textbooks come from one of five major publishers. Their work is not always the highest quality, and oftentimes their work is lacking in fundamental kinds of instruction. Many early “language arts” textbooks (first and second grade, for example) will use the term phonics, yet have too many competing exercises that fail to distill reading into simple, clear lessons. That confusion, and failure to adequately provide step by step instruction, is often what causes the first struggles is younger children.

Q: Is there a particular tutorial approach that works best for early reading intervention?

A: If your child hasn’t learned to read by the second grade, it is important to secure the services of someone who can provide thirty minutes of daily one-to-one tutoring in the components of phonemic awareness, alphabetic decoding, word recognition strategies, spelling, and reading comprehension.

Q: What should a Kindergarten reading program offer?

A: Phoneme awareness and decoding simple words should be a major goal of kindergarten and early first-grade reading instruction.

Q: What should be the focus of post-Kindergarten reading programs?

A: Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension: Reading at a fast pace with larger amounts of text is important. If reading is slow and labored, readers will not remember what they have read, and the meaning will be lost.

Q: What should parents look for in a reading teacher?

A: First, the reading program must be effective. The teacher’s responsibility within the program is to ensure that students are following and comprehending. For struggling readers, the teacher must know how to proceed in a logical manner, and he/she must understand the different learning styles that children display. This may be difficult to manage, as the teacher will have to teach more than one concept at a time while simultaneously tying language study to meaningful reading and writing experience.

Q: Why are some reading teachers’ abilities sub-standard?

A: Many teachers lack basic knowledge because their preparation was not based upon research evidence. For teaching licensing programs, the requirements for coursework in reading are minimal. Additionally, many of the textbooks the teachers have access to are not effective because the commercial developers of the program ignored the research.

Q: How can teachers become more effective?

A: Teachers need training, they should receive high-quality professional development and should be employed, promoted and compensated for knowledge and skill.3 Teachers also need to demonstrate that their children learn as a result of their teaching. A teacher’s effectiveness correlates directly with whether children learn or not.

Q: Why is there a debate between whole languages vs. phonics programs, even within the educators?

A: Unfortunately, many people are caught between conflicting schools of thought about how to teach reading, even teachers: Reading teachers are frequently presented with a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy that emphasize either “whole language” or “phonics”. Whole language approaches commonly use pictures and stories to teach. Most young children just learning to read need the fundamentals (see below) first before reading will make sense. The best reading program offers children lots of opportunities to be exposed to good literature, but requires children to understand the basics before they are expected to know how to read the books themselves.

Originally posted 2015-08-29 01:59:42.

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