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Jerky pace when reading


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#1 Tom DeCosmo

Tom DeCosmo

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 07:12 AM

TO RICKI LINKSMAN

My first child had no reading problems. My second, age 8, reads in a halting manner. What can I do to help this. He talks fine and is pretty bright. Above average. No stuttering or anything. He doesn't really like to read.
Thank you. Tom


#2 Ricki Linksman

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:49 PM

Dear Tom,

Reading in a halting manner is something that can be corrected through accurately diagnosing the cause. There are several causes for children hesitating or reading in a halting manner:

1) The student lacks the phonics skills necessary to decode the words; thus, the student is stopping to figure out the words by trying to use the context and the first letter to guess or puzzle out what the word could be. This scenario can be corrected by teaching the students all the phonics patterns of the English language using techniques in his best learning style. A phonics test can help pinpoint which phonics skills the child is lacking. I have a phonics test, Linksman Phonics Test, to help you with this.
2) Another cause may be that the child has the phonics skills, but needs repeated practice to recognize the words automatically to read more quickly--this is corrected by practicing the phonics patterns in his best learning style and by reading aloud with monitoring (having someone listen to him read) for about 10 or 15 minutes a night. The practice should be at text at his reading level, though.
3) Another cause may be lack of fluency. Teaching fluency skills, such as how to group words for smooth reading, pausing for commas, periods, questions marks, and exclamation marks with the appropriate intonation, and practicing with someone who can model appropriate fluency, can eliminate the halting manner of reading.
4) Sometimes a child wants to be perfect and is afraid of making mistakes; thus, the child hesitates to make sure the word is right before letting it escape from his lips. If your child is afraid of making mistakes, then see if it is something caused by the attitude of the significant other who your child may fear disappointing. If someone is causing the child fear making mistakes, then teach the child that we all make mistakes when we learn and that it is all right. Train your child that we learn from mistakes and that it is by practicing that we improve.
The difference in reading performance between your two children may be due to different methods of teaching reading that each were exposed to in school. By helping your child master all the phonics patterns in English, giving him daily repeated practice in words with these patterns until he can read them automatically and quickly, and by daily practice in reading aloud with someone listening to him to help guide him to correct his mistakes, coupled with fluency practice in how good reading sounds, you can eliminate the halting reading habits of your child.
With regards, Ricki Linksman

#3 Tom DeCosmo

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 12:50 AM

Wow, where were you when I needed a good teacher for him. I'm going to share this with his English teacher. I have a feeling numbers 3 and 4 may be a big part of the problem. She probably won't do anything about it, but it could help just to have her understand. My wife and I will work on this. Thanks very much. Tom

#4 Ricki Linksman

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 02:35 AM

Dear Tom, Thank you for your appreciation. That is one of the most common comments I hear from people I have worked with--where were you when I needed..."
Keep me posted on what the teacher does to help you.
With regards,
Ricki




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