Age 6 - 14 years.

This programme is designed for students who want to improve their reading ability by reading about a subject they are passionate about. 

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This programme is designed for students who want to improve their reading ability, 

The ideal age is 6-14 years and the teacher or parent will have a key role to play to ensure that the reading material selected is based on something that the child is passionate about and that each reader is matched with a tutor or another student at a more advanced level who the reader can relate to.

The first task for the tutor is to work with the readers to change their mindset about reading. This could involve the reader visualising their reading goals and affirming that they will be able to read fluently. Or if they already have well-established reading skills to congratulate them and affirm they will get even better. 

It’s important to be really clear about what reading fluently means.  The best way to do this is to model it. So read the text with expression. Make sure you pay close attention to punctuation, e.g. slowing down for the commas and full stops and your voice is audible and clear. Adjusting your voice for the different characters in the text is important also. 

Have the reader repeat the following….

“I am now so grateful that  I am reading fluently at the right level for my age and can remember and understand what I am reading.”

Another strategy that works well with students who have dyslexia is to make aware that a lot of people have dyslexia, even famous ones like Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Branson.

The tutor can then help the reader to change his non-conscious beliefs about dyslexia by affirming that “In the past, I have found reading really hard and now I am learning to become a really fluent reader and can read books at the same level as my classmates.”

The teacher can then match the reader with a tutor who is reading fluently at least four years above the reader. It is essential that they are compatible, and it would be great if they share similar interests. Parents could do the same thing or find a suitable friend or adult who has the time. 

They can then search online for suitable reading material. For example, one student whom I worked with loved outdoor adventures and he chose a text describing one of Bear Grylls expeditions.

The next stage is based on the premise that when we first learn to read, we do so by hearing our parents reading stories to us. This method is also beneficial for readers lacking phonological awareness.

It is essential to do this for 20-30 minutes daily by working  through the following stages:

Photocopy the text and instruct the reader to place their text face down and listen only. The text chosen should be at least 2-4 years above their reading age and have a high level of interest for the student. 

The tutor then reads the selected  passage of approximately 50 words, if this is not achievable it is best to find another text because it is probably too advanced for the reader to master.

For a more advanced reader, it is recommended that they read 50-100 words. The tutor then reads the selected passage. The reader is told to just listen to the story and make sure they can’t see the text.  

After hearing the passage, the reader is told to read out the same piece of text. 

The tutor then records the number of errors on a graph and times them using a stopwatch. It’s a good idea to have the reader call “STOP” when he/she is finished.

The time is then recorded along with the errors on a graph. 

This process is repeated until the reader is word perfect and the time recorded is much lower.

When the reader is word perfect the tutor moves onto another passage about the same length.

At the end of the session, the tutor can ask the reader some comprehension questions to check for understanding. Then ask the student to read all the text covered for that day. 

Tutors should practice reading the passage before starting each session to ensure they read it fluently. The total number of words can also be recorded for each session and gradually increased and recorded on the fluency graph.

It’s important to find a text for each session that the children are intensely interested in. 

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