Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sounding Out

Growing up many of us learned to read through sounding out our words. Children today still learn this approach, but how effective is it? Many children find it difficult to use the sounding out approach. The trouble is that there are many words in the English language that have silent letters or can be pronounced a number of ways. One way that children define a good reader is someone who can sound out all the words on the page.

While sounding out can work for some, it does not work for all. Sounding out works on phonemic awareness, but once the child takes all that time to sound out a word in the sentence they are less likely to remember what it was about. They don't comprehend what they are reading when they are so focused on getting every word on the page right.

A great way to teach reading is through meaning, structure, and visual representation. What is the story about? What do you think will happen? Look at the pictures and see what is going on. A lot can be said from a picture. Look at the text pattern.  All these are great strategies to use with children who are learning to read. Once a child had a good understanding of what the story is about and the pictures then they can begin sounding out words.

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