Unlike oral language, which is learned naturally from infancy, reading is a skill that is acquired at an older age, through instruction and with effort. Some children read with less effort than others. I’m sure you’ve heard parents say, my child just started reading one day. Other parents will say, I’ve read books to my children since they were infants and they still do not have interest in learning to read or have difficulty learning to read. Reading is a complex process and requires may skills: the perception and discrimination of forms and sounds; appearance of letters; linkage of names and meanings with clusters of letters and words; and memory, motor, visual, and auditory factors.
“Developmental dyslexia is a disorder manifest by difficulty in learning to read despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and socio-cultural opportunity” (Critchley 1969) Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.
A definition currently supported by the National Institutes of Health states that dyslexia is inaccurate and/or slow, effortful reading that typically originates with weaknesses in the phonological processing system of language, although weaknesses in many other language functions may be observed. For example, text reading fluency, vocabulary acquisition, and reading comprehension are adversely affected by this impairment.
Kindergarten and first grade children with poor abilities in phonological awareness (the ability to identify and mentally manipulate the speech sounds) and timed letter naming are likely to experience reading failure unless appropriated instruction is given. If at-risk children are taught in kindergaten and first grade, outcomes are significantly better than if treatment is withheld until later. First grade intervention takes less time, has more benefit in the long term and is likely to prevent secondary emotional problems, in comparison to programs implemented at the third grade or later.
Effective classroom-based programs that minimize reading failure in all but 2-5% of children include several components: structured phonemic awareness (orally identifying and manipulating syllables and speech sounds), phonics (making associations between sounds and letters), fluency (developing speed and automaticity in accurate letter, word and text reading), and vocabulary expansion and text comprehension. (Louisa Moats 2014)
Fisher Hill’s literacy series support these different components. Each series has six workbooks and each series can be used in conjunction with the other three series. For example the Book Ones in each series can be used together. The titles of these series are:
English Reading and Spelling for the Spanish Speaker
English Reading Comprehension for the Spanish Speaker
English Writing Composition for the Spanish Speaker
English Vocabulary for the Spanish Speaker
Visit our website at www.Fisher-Hill.com to find out more about our workbooks that help Spanish-speaking teens and adults learn how to read, write and speak English.
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