How We Teach Reading
At LearningRX, we use our revolutionary "sound-to-code" accelerated reading program, ReadRx, modeled after the process by which spoken language is first learned.
Clients who read below grade level have averaged over 3.6 years improvement in reading skills – in less than 6 months. It teaches reading and spelling concurrently through techniques that train clients to accurately recognize and understand that letters and letter combinations stand for specific sounds of speech.
While the program can provide an incredible foundation in reading skills for those clients just learning to read, it also aids individuals of all ages who struggle with reading difficulties. It's especially beneficial for those who might have developed inefficient or inaccurate reading habits.
How does ReadRx work?
Our accelerated reading program is designed to integrate with, and build upon, the LearningRx cognitive enhancement program, ThinkRx®. Research indicates that approximately 85% of clients testing low on reading proficiency also have weak underlying cognitive skills, in particular, auditory processing skills. ReadRx training is provided to clients in conjunction with ThinkRx cognitive training. Clients immediately begin to strengthen their auditory processing skills, the most critical skills required to read effectively.
ReadRx recognizes that some clients do not bring sufficient cognitive skills to the task of learning the reading code quickly and efficiently. Even if the code is taught completely and sequentially, a client who has a severe auditory processing deficiency, or is not concentrating adequately, works too slowly, has poor memory skills, or cannot create good mental images, will complete lessons very slowly or exhibit poor retention. When these skills are in place, however, clients learn rapidly. ReadRx has been designed to remedy these significant problem areas.
ReadRx works in conjunction with ThinkRx to target:
- Memory (the ability to remember the sound-symbol relationship)
- Sound segmenting (the ability to separate or “un-glue” sounds)
- Sound blending (the ability to put sounds together to form words)
- Auditory analysis (the ability to manipulate or analyze small changes in groups of sounds)
- Processing speed and working memory (the ability to retain incoming information and properly process it quickly)
- Attention (the ability to stay on the given task in spite of distraction)
- Visualization (the ability to create and use mental images)
READRX IS PROPERLY SEQUENCED
To handle the complex logic of our alphabet code, a client must master each level of complexity in carefully-sequenced steps.
READRX STARTS WITH THE BASICS
To facilitate this, ReadRx starts with blending, segmenting, and sound analysis. To teach these skills needed for reading, nonsense words are used so clients do not rely on their memory of known words. Practice is provided in segmenting words into isolated phonemes and blending isolated sounds into words. Encoding (spelling), decoding (reading), and writing exercises are used so that the reversibility of the code is made clear.
Some clients struggle to correctly pronounce and differentiate between all the sounds of the standard English language. These individuals get more direct instruction at a sensory level about how parts of the mouth (jaw, teeth, tongue, lips, vocal cords) interact to form the individual sounds.
READRX PROGRESSES FROM THE SIMPLE TO THE COMPLEX
ReadRx is both generally (in the overall layout) and specifically sequenced (in each individual lesson category) for maximum effect. Initially the 12 consonant sounds with only one main spelling – or one spelling by position in a word – are taught (‘d’ = /d/ as in ‘dog’ or ‘fed’). Then, the remaining 12 consonants and their most likely spelling are taught (/ch/ = ‘ch’ as in ‘chip’ or ‘much’). The 18 vowel sounds are also taught from simple to complex. First, sounds spelled with the five vowel letters are taught /a/ /e/ /i/ /u/ /o/. Then, the “e-controlled” sounds /a-e/ /ee/ /i-e/ /o-e/ /u-e/, followed by the ‘o’ vowels sounds: /oo/ /oo/ /ou/ /oi/. Finally, the “vowel + r” sounds are taught (/er/ /or/ /ar/ /air/).
READRX BUILDS FROM THE MOST PROBABLE TO THE LEAST PROBABLE
After the client has learned the most probable spelling for each sound, the less probable, alternative spellings are introduced. For example, the /n/ sound can be represented by an ‘n’ (‘note’), ‘kn’ (‘knot’) or ‘gn’ (‘gnat’). These alternative spellings are taught from most likely to least likely. Through use and drill, the letter patterns and the probability of their appearance are stored in long-term memory. This enables an individual to choose the most likely spelling for a word, instead of randomly guessing.
READRX PRESENTS THE ALTERNATIVES AND OVERLAPS…ALL WITHOUT RULE MEMORIZATION
Additional language complexities such as overlaps of the code (in which a letter or letter combination represents more than one sound) are also taught. For example, the letter ‘u’ can be involved in a number of different sounds: cut, full, cute, and ruin. Such overlaps often create problems when reading. Various exercises are utilized to quickly teach how letters overlap to produce various sounds as new vowel spellings are introduced. The ReadRx method of handling alternative spellings and code overlap without memorizing rules reduces “sight words” and “exceptions” that are required in many other reading systems by about 75%.
READRX USES A UNIQUE METHODOLOGY
Through carefully-designed exercises presented in one-on-one training sessions, ReadRx embeds the standard English reading code to an automatic, subconscious level. This is in contrast to most programs that are designed to passively teach lessons that are easily forgotten in a short period of time. This distinction is especially beneficial for older readers who have developed many bad reading habits and could easily fall back into old ineffective reading patterns.
ReadRx uses the following training techniques:
- Immediate feedback (one-on-one training allows for immediate correction of errors and encouragement of correct responses)
- Concentration (the training drills require full attention which brings faster results because of less time off task)
- Stretching (constantly pushing activities to more demanding levels that challenge or stretch the client’s skills to improve)
- Loading (adding a task upon a task concurrently thus forcing automation and mastery of skills to a subconscious level)
By using these techniques, and by making the sequence of the reading and spelling lessons agree with the logic of our alphabetic system, ReadRx training results in rapid mastery and automation of spelling and reading skills.
The techniques are delivered to the student through one-on-one training over approximately 24 weeks. Beginning readers quickly establish good fundamental auditory and reading skills. Past frustrations and failures are naturally overcome. For these clients, ReadRx training truly offers a second chance at fun, efficient reading.
If you or someone you love struggles with reading, visit www.LearningRx.com to find your nearest personal brain training center. They'll schedule a Brain Skills Assessment and answer any questions you have about the program.