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Phonics for Older Students

Submitted by an LD OnLine user on

I’ve worked one-on-one with around 200 struggling readers over the past decade or so and during that time devised a relatively simple technique for teaching a child to decode longer words, the ones they often guess at if their decoding skills are poor (or if they’ve adopted guessing as their dominant strategy in such cases.)

The entire curriculum, with supporting word lists, is freely available on my website as the [url=]OnTrack Reading Multisyllable Method[/url]. The program described there is aimed at working one-on-one with individual students and is well-tested in the sense that I’ve used it successfully with well over a hundred children by now. Either a parent or teacher could use it, by the way.

What I always observe when working with a child who has a habitual guessing habit when faced with unfamiliar longer words is that the method quickly makes sense to them. That is, they find that it works better than guessing, and in a relatively short time they begin to adopt the new strategy and dump their old guessing strategy.

For teachers working with students in a group I’ve tried to distill the approach down into a [url=]Junior High Phonics Course[/url], but since I haven’t worked with such groups, that curriculum is untested.

I’m just noting their availability here in case parents or teachers find either program interesting. Also, I’d appreciate any feedback from teachers who attempt the classroom version so that I can address any shortcomings you might find. As I said, the one-on-one program works quite well, although that is admittedly somewhat dependent upon the student having developed a basic understanding of the phonics code.

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