— Processing Skills
Reading Instruction — Successful Programs are Built on Cognitive Foundations
Reading instruction can only improve reading skills if the student already has a strong foundation in underlying cognitive (mental) skills. Ultimate success in reading fluency and reading comprehension is the direct result of prior-established cognitive capabilities such as auditory processing.
Therefore, a reading instruction program, to be successful, must be rooted in the following:
- identifying a student’s weak cognitive skills;
- strengthening those skills through practical training; and
- applying those stronger skills in an effective manner.
- “Based on decades of clinical studies and real-life student situations, we now know that solid cognitive skills assessment and training is the only reading instruction technique that produces true reading improvement.” — Dr. Ken Gibson, Founder and President, LearningRx
Reading Instruction — A Return to Auditory Processing
At LearningRx, our reading instruction program (averaging reading gains of almost 5 years in less than 6 months) returns to the cognitive fundamentals. We begin with blending, segmenting, and analyzing sounds. Auditory processing skills are strengthened and stretched through a series of “phonemic” exercises. This is where students are trained to segment words into units of sound (“phonemes”) and blend these isolated units into simple and multi-syllable words. Through practice and repetition, the student applies this new “phonemic awareness” to spelling, reading, and writing exercises, which makes the reversibility of the sound/letter code more and more routine.
This reading instruction approach takes the student from simple units of sound to more complex sequences of sound. After the most likely spelling is learned for each sound, the less likely spelling alternatives are presented. Within weeks, the sound and letter sequences (and the likely alternatives) are retained in a child’s long-term memory. This removes the need for memorizing the undependable usage rules that are so prevalent in traditional education. Ultimately, the most complex variations in the sound-to-letter code are learned and practiced. Remarkably, this entire process — from simple units of sound to the entire sound-to-code system — takes less than six months of training at LearningRx. Even more remarkably, by returning to the basics of auditory processing and other cognitive skills, students average over four years of reading improvement during that same six-month period!
Reading Instruction — An Effective and Lasting Alternative
Reading is a complex process. Therefore, reading instruction is crucial. However, traditional instruction methods and rules-based systems don’t work for most children. Without an underlying foundation in cognitive skills, no amount of lessons or tutoring will help a struggling reader.
At LearningRx, our reading instruction is grounded in cognitive skills training, which strengthens the mental tools necessary for reading. Over the last two decades, this has proven to be the most effective and lasting approach for reading success. When you’re ready for a reading instruction program that really works, please contact a LearningRx Center near you.