Learn to Speak and Read English
Brenda Geier (K-12 Educator/Reading Specialist)
May 1, 2008
It is easier than most think, learning the English language. Im referring to learning how to speak and spell correctly, write, and read in English. Let me share with you just how little daily time it takes and how easy it is.
Below is a daily diary of how one female student quickly and painlessly succeeded at bringing up not only her reading level but, every other academic area as well. Students must be able to decode words to read any type of material. She was failing in all of her classes because she could not read at her grade level.
At http://www.childfont.com I teach the same curriculum I taught to the student in the following diary. It is an excellent program for online home schooling as I teach phonics lessons combined with many years of research. It is a total reading lesson plan with reading assessment included for each age group. Regular classroom child educators are not equipped with the knowledge needed to specifically teach children to read, speak, spell and write proficiently in English.
Student 1 -Maria ? Age 15, reading, writing and spelling English at a 2nd grade level joined my class to bring her skills level up to her age group. Obviously, she had little confidence that she would succeed. After all, she had not succeeded thus far at anything in school and she is now 15 years old. She had so little faith in herself or me.
Day ONE - 10 minutes - First, I made sure that Maria knew the sounds of the letters in the alphabet, A-Z. I went through the alphabet with her and she knew each sound that each letter made.
20 minutes - I then taught Maria the basic vowel sounds. a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes, y. She learned the short sound and the long sound of each vowel. The sounds these vowels make are the knowledge base for learning the English language. Maria did not know any of the vowel sounds. She learned these vowel sounds in 20 minutes. She is already learning to read after the first 10 minute session.
Day TWO - 20 minutes - Today, I sat next to Maria as usual with our materials on the table. We had one sheet of paper with several SHORT VOWEL three-letter words on it. Some of the words are: mat, cat, tat, sat, lat, pat, jat, gat, zap, tap, it, sit, kit, lit, bit, fit, kip, pip, jip, hip, mom, Tom, jom, lom, jet, let, set, met, pup, tup, nut, etc. If you notice, some of the words are not really words at all. They are made-up words or nonsense words. It doesn't make any difference if the words are real or not. It is the SOUNDS that the letters make together that Maria is practicing to read. She did great by the way and even laughed each time she read a nonsense word. She is now gaining the confidence that was so elusive until now.
Day THREE - 20 minutes - Maria read some LONG VOWEL words today. Some of the words are: Pete, hope, cope, joke, mope, kite, lite, mite, keep, me, tee, see, seed, meed, cape, tape, made, jade, lape, Kate, Nate, cute, lute, jupe, lupe, cake, make, etc. Nonsense words are always present. Maria had no problem in reading every word three different times. Since she knows the SOUNDS that the vowels make, she speeds right along and reads every word correctly. I made sure that she understood what distinguishes a SHORT vowel word from a LONG vowel word. For example, din is a SHORT vowel word but, if we add an "e" to it as in: dine, it is now a LONG vowel word. Examples: cut- cute, but- bute, kit- kite, din-dine, sit-site, bit-bite. It is always the same.
Day FOUR - 15 minutes - Maria had in front of her one sheet of paper with some more three-letter words. This time, the words had double consonant endings such as, hill, sill, fill, fall, jall, call, cuff, puff, pull, sull, jull, lull, buzz, fuzz, fuss, miss, kiss, tiss, biss, bell, sell, jell, etc. I used all of the vowels (a-e) in these three-letter words, a, e, i, o and u. Yes, nonsense words are also on this sheet of paper. The nonsense words are very important as Maria must correctly read all of them quickly and easily. She did a wonderful job and did not misread any words. We laughed at the nonsense words again. But, of extreme importance is the fact that Maria can learn to read. She didn't believe in herself before now. She is looking forward to coming to class again tomorrow.
Day FIVE - 25 minutes - Today is a little different. Maria went over all of the words she has learned to read from day one with no difficulty whatsoever. She then read short stories that used all of the three-letter words (including nonsense words) she had learned. No problem at all. We laughed and laughed as the nonsense words made the short stories extremely funny. Then, we read some words that begin with "c" and "k" such as; cot, cub, kid, cab, kin, cod, etc.
The last 8 minutes of the lesson, I introduced her to some new SOUNDS. Two letters that make ONE sound. "ck" make the /k/ sound. Words Maria read were; pack, back, sack, Jack, Mack, lack, Zack, luck, duck, muck, suck, yuck, tuck, puck, nuck, lick, sick, Mick, kick, Nick, neck, peck, jeck, heck, hock, lock, jock, mock. Since she already knows the sounds of the vowels, Maria breezes through all of these words where "ck" makes ONE sound, /k/. Notice the nonsense words in the list again. She laughs at her new found ability and then starts to cry. I start to cry with her. She then hugs me and thanks me for teaching her what she never learned as a child.
Day SIX - 15 minutes - Maria is waiting at my classroom door as I am returning from lunch. I am early but, so is she. In fact, she has left her previous class early because she is so excited to learn some more about decoding in my classroom. I told Maria that she should not leave her other classes early to come to mine. But inside, I am as excited about her learning to read as she is.
Today, Maria and I sat next to each other as usual. There is one sheet of paper on the table in front of us. It has two-letter blends on it and nothing else. Maria needs to be able to say the sound that each two-letter blend makes. They included: br, cr, dr, pr, cl, bl, sl, sh, ch, etc. She went over the sounds that the two-letter blends make several times until she was able to say them quickly and easily. Maria wanted yes, WANTED me to give her some homework. How often does a student ask a teacher for homework? I asked her to take the previous sheets of words home and write a sentence using each word in the sentence. She was excited to get this homework assignment. I felt so happy inside!
Day SEVEN - 25 minutes - I could continue here with the diary but, I'm certain readers are already aware of how little time it takes per day to learn to read, write, speak and spell English proficiently.
Maria continued with me for 15-25 minutes each day, Monday - Friday for about three months. At the end of the three month period, I retested her with the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test. Her test results proved that she was now reading on level at 10th grade. Oh, the tears that came from Maria and me as we hugged.
Her new reading skills enabled her to excel in all other academic areas. Her classroom teachers came by to thank me as in their words, "Maria is a different person now". Of course, I already knew that as I had the opportunity to watch her change each day in my classroom in adjustment to her newly found reading skills.
It's that easy. Learning to read, speak, write and spell in English is so easy yet many believe it is a painful undertaking. Some teaching websites attempt to teach the English Language but, do not have the expertise needed for children to succeed in a short time frame. At http://www.childfont.com all children succeed in a short time frame. We make sure of that.