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Methodology to teach reading to students with disabilities

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Rodrigo Arancibia

on 15 May 2014

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Transcript of Methodology to teach reading to students with disabilities

Reading instruction is designed to teach two elements of reading: mechanics and comprehension.

Reading mechanics and comprehension comprise various skill levels that are typically taught in a progressive fashion. Skill levels involved in reading mechanics include
pre-reading, decoding and fluency

Pre-reading skills
build upon an individual's growing range of experiences that develop awareness and appreciation of printed words. Individuals can acquire a more sophisticated understanding of written language by learning:

The alphabet, including the names, sounds, and shapes of letters, and how to write them.
That English has a left to right directionality.
That words are made up of letters and syllables.
That words are made up of sound elements or phonemes, and by learning the practical application of the relationship between sounds and their representative letters by counting the sounds in a word, through rhyming games and exercises, phonemic substitutions, and creating nonsense words by substituting or rearranging phonemes (phonological awareness).
Methodology for students with disabilities: reading

Decoding is the process translating a written word into a spoken word. An individual who has developed adequate decoding skills can begin to acquire fluency when reading no longer requires a conscious, deliberate effort. When fluent, reading becomes automatic and consists of word recognition rather than sounding out and combining syllables necessary to decode words.

Teaching decoding provides students with the keys to unlock new words. Teaching the regular phonetic patterns of English can do this. These rules can be applied to words with which the student is already familiar. New words are then introduced beginning with simple words and working through more complex words. Finally, irregular phonemic patterns can be introduced and eventually mastered.
Comprehension skills

Individuals typically shift their attention to reading comprehension once they have established appropriate mechanical skills (decoding). Comprehension skills, like mechanical skills, usually build progressively from fundamental to more sophisticated levels. Therefore, it has traditionally been helpful for individuals to learn to read for factual information before they begin to compare and evaluate the information they read. It will normally be easier for an individual to learn to read and comprehend material at these two levels before learning analysis and synthesis.

Reading for factual information requires that the sequence of events and the details of a story be followed so that, for example, it is possible to read a murder mystery and solve the story's dilemma or to understand how it was resolved.

Learning to compare and evaluate information from different sources requires the reader to be able to derive the main ideas from a text and isolate its organizing idea or thesis. This fundamental level of critical reading allows the reader to apply evaluative techniques like comparing and contrasting what was read in order to solve and verify statements.

The more advanced critical reading skills of analysis and synthesis allow the reader to draw salient conclusions and to make reasonable inferences from the information contained in the text. In addition, these skills allow the reader to engage the text with greater sophistication and to evaluate materials for relevance, consistency, and bias.

(Reading skills are: skimming, scanning, extensive reading and intensive reading)
Selecting the appropriate method

A significant part of selecting appropriate instructional approaches is understanding the learning profile of an individual. A diagnostic program is necessary to identify students with learning disabilities. A cognitive profile is also necessary to determine precisely what students' needs are, their strengths and weaknesses, whether they have difficulty with working memory, if they have inadequate language skills, etc. Students with learning disabilities need to be taught strategic approaches explicitly. They need to have ideas made conspicuously clear to them.

Persons with learning disabilities who need to work on reading mechanics frequently respond to explicitly taught code-emphasis developmental reading methods such as phonic, linguistic, or multisensory approaches. Some of the more popular approaches are briefly described below.
Reading: A Problem for Many Persons with Learning Disabilities

For the person with learning disabilities, the process of learning to read can break down with reading mechanics or comprehension, and at any of the specific skill levels. It is also important to note that children with learning disabilities do not always acquire skills in the normal developmental sequence.
If an individual does not develop adequate phonemic awareness during the pre-reading period, effective decoding may not be possible, which influences the development of fluent reading and comprehension skills. Also, children with learning disabilities often come to the reading task with oral language comprehension problems. When assessing and planning for instruction, consideration of these oral language comprehension problems may facilitate acquisition of reading comprehension.

No single reading method will be effective for all students with learning disabilities. Most individuals with learning disabilities will benefit from the application of a variety of methods. Therefore it's necessary a repertoire of instructional methods.

As teachers, we should be able to appropriately and systematically modify or combine methods, and utilize different methods in order to meet an individual's changing needs. Selecting the appropriate program to apply to the student is not a simple matter, and requires a careful assessment of where the student is in the developmental process. It is not uncommon, for example, to observe an individual with all the pre-reading skills, numerous comprehension skills, and simple decoding skills acquired during the student's progression through mechanical reading instruction. Because there may be a lack of understanding of the sophisticated decoding skills needed, reading with fluency suffers.
Phonics approach.
The phonics approach teaches word recognition through learning grapheme-phoneme (letter-sound) associations. The student learns vowels, consonants, and blends, and learns to sound out words by combining sounds and blending them into words. By associating speech sounds with letters the student learns to recognize new and unfamiliar words.

Linguistic method.
This method uses a "whole word" approach. Words are taught in word families, or similar spelling patterns, and only as whole words. The student is not directly taught the relationship between letters and sounds, but learns them through minimal word differences. As the child progresses, words that have irregular spellings are introduced as sight words.

Multisensory approach.
This method assumes that some children learn best when content is presented in several modalities. Multisensory approaches that employ tracing, hearing, writing, and seeing are often referred to as VAKT (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile) methods. Multisensory techniques can be used with both phonics and linguistic approaches.

Orton Gillingham method and Dicker reading method

Pre-reading skills
Vocabulary - Knowledge of the names of things. Most children enter school knowing between 3,000 and 5,000 words.

Print Motivation - Interest in and enjoyment of books. A child with print motivation enjoys being read to, plays with books and pretends to write.

Print Awareness - Knowledge of how to handle a book and how to follow words on a page. A child will point to the words on the page of a book.

Letter Knowledge - Awareness that letters are different from each other. A child will know the names of letters and their sounds.

Narrative Skills - Ability to create stories and to describe things. A child's ability to relay what happens at a birthday party or on a trip to the zoo.

Phonological Awareness - Ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. A child will hear and create rhymes, say words with sounds or chunks left out and be able to put two word chunks together to make one word.
Neurological Impress

. This is a rapid-reading technique. The instructor reads a passage at a fairly rapid rate, with the instructor's voice directed into the student's ear. The teacher begins as the dominant reading voice, but gradually the student spends more time leading these sessions. Students who have learned mechanics without adequately learning reading fluency frequently benefit from this, as do students who read slowly or who hesitate over a number of words but are able to identify most of the words in a sentence. A student is directed to read a passage without errors. This method functions most effectively when it is practiced for short periods every day.

Language experience approach.
The language experience approach uses children's spoken language to develop material for reading. This approach utilizes each student's oral language level and personal experiences. Material is written by the child and teacher for reading using each child's experience. This can be done in small groups and individually. Familiarity with the content and the vocabulary facilitate reading these stories. Each child can develop a book to be read and re-read. This approach helps children know what reading is and that ideas and experiences can be conveyed in print.

Reading comprehension support.
Persons with learning disabilities who need work on reading comprehension often respond to explicitly taught strategies which aid comprehension such as skimming, scanning and studying techniques. These techniques aid in acquiring the gist, and then focus is turned to the details of the text through use of the cloze procedures. The cloze procedure builds upon a student's impulse to fill in missing elements and is based upon the Gestalt principle of closure. With this method, every fifth to eighth word in a passage is randomly eliminated. The student is then required to fill in the missing words. This technique develops reading skills and an understanding not only of word meaning but also of the structure of the language itself.
What method would you consider in your everyday instruction?
A chosen methodology to teach reading to students should focus on:

Pre-reading decoding fluency comprehenscion

What's our goal?
Our main goal is to help our students achieve automaticity in reading.

How do we do it?

Phonemic awareness
Phonemic Awareness (PA) is:
the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in spoken words and the understanding that spoken words and syllables are made up of sequences of speech sounds.

Essential to learning to read in an alphabetic writing system, because letters represent sounds or phonemes.

Fundamental to mapping speech to print. If a child cannot hear that "man" and "moon" begin with the same sound or cannot blend the sounds /rrrrrruuuuuunnnnn/ into the word "run", he or she may have great difficulty connecting sounds with their written symbols or blending sounds to make a word.
A strong predictor of children who experience early reading success.

"One of the most compelling and well-established findings in the research on beginning reading is the important relationship between phonemic awareness and reading acquisition." (Kame'enui, et. al., 1997.)
Phonological awareness
It requires readers to notice how letters represent sounds.
It gives readers a way to sounding out and and reading new words.
It helps readers understand the alphabetic principle (that the letters in words are systematically represented by sounds).
Although there are 26 letters in the English language, there are approximately 40 phonemes, or sound units, in the English language. (NOTE: the number of phonemes varies across sources.)
Sounds are represented in 250 different spellings (e.g., /f/ as in ph, f, gh, ff).
The sound units (phonemes) are not inherently obvious and must be taught.
The sounds that make up words are "coarticulated;" that is, they are not distinctly separate from each other.

Examples of Phonological Awareness Skills
Blending: What word am I trying to say? Mmmmm...oooooo...p.
Segmentation (first sound isolation): What is the first sound in mop? /m/
Segmentation (last sound isolation): What is the last sound in mop? /p/
Segmentation (complete): What are all the sounds you hear in mop? /m/ /o/ /p/
The alphabetic principle
The alphabetic principle is composed of two parts:

Alphabetic Understanding: Words are composed of letters that represent sounds.

Phonological Recoding: Using systematic relationships between letters and phonemes (letter-sound correspondence) to retrieve the pronunciation of an unknown printed string or to spell words.

Phonological recoding consists of:
Regular Word Reading
Irregular Word Reading
Advanced Word Analysis

In teaching word recognition, it is important to consider the differences among regular, irregular, and sight words in order to develop lists of example words for teaching and practicing word recognition skills. Knowing these types of words also helps with selecting appropriate passages for reading connected text.
A regular word
is a word in which all the letters represent their most common sounds. Regular words are words that can be decoded (phonologically recoded).

Because our language is alphabetic, decoding is an essential and primary means of recognizing words. There are simply too many words in the English language to rely on memorization as a primary word identification strategy.

Beginning decoding ("phonological recoding") is the ability to:

read from left to right, simple, unfamiliar regular words.
generate the sounds for all letters.
blend sounds into recognizable words.
Beginning spelling is the ability to: translate speech to print using phonemic awareness and knowledge of letter-sounds.
Irregular word decoding:

Although decoding is a highly reliable strategy for a majority of words, some irregular words in the English language do not conform to word-analysis instruction (e.g., the, was, night). Those words are referred to as irregular words.

A regular word cannot be decoded because either (a) the sounds of the letters are unique to that word or a few words, or (b) the student has not yet learned the letter-sound correspondences in the word.

In beginning reading there will be passages that contain words that are "decodable" yet the letter sound correspondences in those words may not yet be familiar to students. In this case, we also teach these words as irregular words.

To strengthen students' reliance on the decoding strategy and communicate the utility of that strategy, we recommend not introducing irregular words until students can reliably decode words at a rate of one letter-sound per second. At this point, irregular words may be introduced, but on a limited scale.

The key to irregular word recognition is not how to teach them. The teaching procedure is simple. The critical design considerations are how many to introduce and how many to review
Advanced word analysis
Advanced word analysis involves being skilled at phonological processing (recognizing and producing the speech sounds in words) and having an awareness of letter-sound correspondences in words.

Advanced word analysis skills include:

Knowledge of common letter combinations and the sounds they make
Identification of VCe pattern words and their derivatives
Knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and roots, and how to use them to "chunk" word parts within a larger word to gain access to meaning.
Knowledge of advanced word analysis skills is essential if students are to progress in their knowledge of the alphabetic writing system and gain the ability to read fluently and broadly.
Fluency is reading words with no noticeable cognitive or mental effort. It is having mastered word recognition skills to the point of overlearning. Fundamental skills are so "automatic" that they do not require conscious attention.

For students to develop fluency, they must:

perform the task or demonstrate the skill accurately, and
perform the preskills of the task quickly and effortlessly.
Once accurate, fluency develops through plentiful opportunities for practice in which the task can be performed with a high rate of success.

Why Focus on Fluency?
To gain meaning from text, students must read fluently.

Proficient readers are so automatic with each component skill (phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary) that they focus their attention on constructing meaning from the print (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000, see References)..
Learning, as a language based activity, is fundamentally and profoundly dependent on vocabulary knowledge. Learners must have access to the meanings of words that teachers, or their surrogates (e.g., other adults, books, films, etc.), use to guide them into contemplating known concepts in novel ways (i.e. to learn something new).

Definitions of key Vocabulary terminology:
Contextual Analysis:
A strategy readers use to infer or predict a word from the context in which it appears.

Expressive Vocabulary:
Requires a speaker or writer to produce a specific label for a particular meaning.

Morphemic Analysis:
A strategy in which the meanings of words can be determined or inferred by examining their meaningful parts (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc.)

Receptive Vocabulary:
Requires a reader to associate a specific meaning with a given label as in reading or listening.
Factors that Impact Reading Comprehension

Reader Based FactorText Based Factors
Phonemic Awareness
Alphabetic Understanding
Fluency with the Code
Vocabulary knowledge
Prior knowledge
Engagement and interest
Narrative v. Expository
Genre considerations
Quality of text
Density and difficulty of concepts

Research on Reading Comprehension tells us that...

Readers who comprehend well are also good decoders
Teach decoding and word recognition strategies
Time spent reading is highly correlated with comprehension
Provide for lots of in-class reading, outside of class reading, independent reading
Encourage kids to read more and read widely - develop a passion for reading

Causes of reading comprehension failure
Inadequate instruction
Insufficient exposure and practice
Deficient word recognition skills
Deficient memory capacity and functioning
Significant language deficiencies
Inadequate comprehension monitoring and self-evaluation
Unfamiliarity with text features and task demands
Undeveloped attentional strategies
Inadequate cognitive development and reading experiences
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