My child can't read

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My child can't read

Postby zness67 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:15 pm

Dear parents, my child is 5 this year and he still can't read a simple complete sentence. He has been attending phonics and speech at Lorna Whiston for about a year now. He improves in speech but still can't read.

Please share your knowledge and experience with me. Also kindly advise if my son's case is common and what to do to improve.

Thank you in advance
Best regards

zness67
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Re: My child can't read

Postby sembgal » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:46 pm

zness67 wrote:Dear parents, my child is 5 this year and he still can't read a simple complete sentence. He has been attending phonics and speech at Lorna Whiston for about a year now. He improves in speech but still can't read.

Please share your knowledge and experience with me. Also kindly advise if my son's case is common and what to do to improve.

Thank you in advance
Best regards

Hi, first test your child if he recognizes both upper case and lower case letters of the alphabet. Next, work on those letters that he doesn't recognize. Once your child mastered all the letters, move on to phonograms. Test your child the phonetic sound of /a/ to /z/ and see which one he doesn't know and concentrate teaching him on those. Teach your child blending of sounds. You can go to Popular to buy books to teach your child by yourself. The result of you teaching your child by yourself is better than sending to any branded enrichment school. At the same time, introduce your child to whole word approach. MOE teachers use FRY word lists while there are others who use dolch word lists. Google for them and you find whole lot of resources to teach your child to read. Trust yourself that your child can read. You need to start from scratch and you have to be consistent with revision.

sembgal
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Re: My child can't read

Postby zness67 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:17 pm

sembgal wrote:
zness67 wrote:Dear parents, my child is 5 this year and he still can't read a simple complete sentence. He has been attending phonics and speech at Lorna Whiston for about a year now. He improves in speech but still can't read.

Please share your knowledge and experience with me. Also kindly advise if my son's case is common and what to do to improve.

Thank you in advance
Best regards

Hi, first test your child if he recognizes both upper case and lower case letters of the alphabet. Next, work on those letters that he doesn't recognize. Once your child mastered all the letters, move on to phonograms. Test your child the phonetic sound of /a/ to /z/ and see which one he doesn't know and concentrate teaching him on those. Teach your child blending of sounds. You can go to Popular to buy books to teach your child by yourself. The result of you teaching your child by yourself is better than sending to any branded enrichment school. At the same time, introduce your child to whole word approach. MOE teachers use FRY word lists while there are others who use dolch word lists. Google for them and you find whole lot of resources to teach your child to read. Trust yourself that your child can read. You need to start from scratch and you have to be consistent with revision.


Thank you for your advise! I'll try working on that.

zness67
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Re: My child can't read

Postby sembgal » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:29 pm

zness67 wrote:
sembgal wrote:
zness67 wrote:Dear parents, my child is 5 this year and he still can't read a simple complete sentence. He has been attending phonics and speech at Lorna Whiston for about a year now. He improves in speech but still can't read.

Please share your knowledge and experience with me. Also kindly advise if my son's case is common and what to do to improve.

Thank you in advance
Best regards

Hi, first test your child if he recognizes both upper case and lower case letters of the alphabet. Next, work on those letters that he doesn't recognize. Once your child mastered all the letters, move on to phonograms. Test your child the phonetic sound of /a/ to /z/ and see which one he doesn't know and concentrate teaching him on those. Teach your child blending of sounds. You can go to Popular to buy books to teach your child by yourself. The result of you teaching your child by yourself is better than sending to any branded enrichment school. At the same time, introduce your child to whole word approach. MOE teachers use FRY word lists while there are others who use dolch word lists. Google for them and you find whole lot of resources to teach your child to read. Trust yourself that your child can read. You need to start from scratch and you have to be consistent with revision.


Thank you for your advise! I'll try working on that.

Read stories to your child too. Enjoyment of stories is important. Point to the words as you read them. This allows your child to have print awareness.

sembgal
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Re: My child can't read

Postby iggy » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:36 pm

What are his teachers' feedback, both from school and lorna whiston? Find opportunities to read and talk with him would help. A language rich environment would be conducive.

iggy
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Re: My child can't read

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:43 am

Has he only been taught phonics? Can he recognise words by sight rather than sounding them out? Although phonics helps a lot of kids learn to read, some kids will learn better through recognising whole words rather than sounding out individual sounds. And phonics is only a aid for initial learning as reading fluently requires word recognition anyway.

What is his attitude to books? Does he enjoy being read to? Is his spoken and comprehension vocabulary OK for his age? If his overall language ability is good, then reading will come eventually. The average age for reading independently is actually around 5-6yo, not 4yo as some enrichment schools say. Kids who read late are not necessarily disadvantaged (as long as they do not have a learning disability). My younger daughter loved being read to and had good command of English, but refused to learn to read until past 5yo. But once I convinced her to start learning, she went from basic phonics to short chapter books in 6mths, and has become a very keen reader (she's in sec school now).

Finally, you might want to have him tested for dyslexia if he still doesn't seem to pick up reading.

slmkhoo
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Re: My child can't read

Postby Funz » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:30 am

Agree with slmkhoo. Both my kids read by recognising whole words instead of through phonics. DD started reading only at the end of K1 and only started showing that he is able to read towards the end of K2.

What are his teachers telling you? DS refuse to read aloud to me so there was no way for me to know if he knew how to read if not for the teachers' feedback that he is able to.

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Re: My child can't read

Postby cherrygal » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:14 pm

Dun worry too much. As long as he has no eyesight problems or dyslexia, reading should come naturally. You may also want to check your ds' eyesight. They give up on reading if they cannot see properly.

cherrygal
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Re: My child can't read

Postby jetsetter » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:41 pm

zness67 wrote:Dear parents, my child is 5 this year and he still can't read a simple complete sentence. He has been attending phonics and speech at Lorna Whiston for about a year now. He improves in speech but still can't read.

Please share your knowledge and experience with me. Also kindly advise if my son's case is common and what to do to improve.

Thank you in advance
Best regards




Hi, have you sat down with Lorna Whiston to ask them why? Maybe it's meant to be a speech class, rather than a reading class like I Can Read.

Actually, if Lorna Whiston has taught your son phonics, you can pick up from there yourself. I was quite alarmed at the start of this year when I found that my DS couldn't read! And Christ, that was after attending Pat's Schoolhouse's letterland classes for a year. I was baffled...

Luckily, a friend recommended Oxford Reading Tree series to me. I bought the Stage 1 and 1a and read WORD by WORD with DS every night after my work. In some cases, I even PAINSTAKINGLY broke down the words (ps: I assumed Pat's Schoolhouse already taught the consonants and vowels so I needn't re-teach them) before blending to form a word. E.g. D + a + d = DAD and M + u + m = MUM.

The sentences are repeated, swopped around (Dad and Mum), and swopped back (Mum and Dad) to help the learner internalise the simple words. The cartoons are beautifully drawn and surprisingly, the author managed to squeeze in a simple and REALISTIC EVERYDAY LIFE storyline too :) Of course, the price of each book is very high = $8+ or so. It was so good and my DS got to hooked that I bought the whole set in the end !!

OK, so I persisted by reading 3-4 books nightly with DS and he is able to read them on his own in 3 months' time...

I then advanced to Peter and Jane series Levels 7 to 10 in May. He was able to read them by June this year but he dislikes its 1970ish drawings. He didn't like the small prints either. The old-English storylines are also quite boring to him...Oxford Reading Tree books always have a humorous twist at the end which will made my DS laugh so loudly, whereas Peter & Jane books are usually quite serious in tone.

I do not think sighting words is the right way to learn how to read English books. That's relying on your right brain, much like how you sight Chinese characters to decode its sound and meaning. E.g. you glare at a grapheme: 山 and associate it with the sound of shan(1) and decode it to obtain the meaning of 'mountain'.

When I was still schooling, I had a P2 tuition kid who also relied on sighting English words instead of breaking down the words into phonemes to derive the morpheme and decode the meaning. Unfortunately, his right brain power is weak, therefore he is not suitable to adopt this sort of method. He ended up sighting "fly" and decoding and outputting it verbally as "jump" even though the spellings of these 2 words are starkly different. In his right cortex, he probably already had long equated "f+l+y" with the sound of /jump/. It was an uphill task to teach a kid like that.

If you persevere, I'm sure your son can read very soon too! Remember, you as his parent must not be lazy also!! Once he is able to read, you need to guide him how to comprehend...that's Stage II, so good luck!

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Re: My child can't read

Postby slmkhoo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:06 pm

jetsetter wrote:I do not think sighting words is the right way to learn how to read English books. That's relying on your right brain, much like how you sight Chinese characters to decode its sound and meaning. E.g. you glare at a grapheme: 山 and associate it with the sound of shan(1) and decode it to obtain the meaning of 'mountain'.

When I was still schooling, I had a P2 tuition kid who also relied on sighting English words instead of breaking down the words into phonemes to derive the morpheme and decode the meaning. Unfortunately, his right brain power is weak, therefore he is not suitable to adopt this sort of method. He ended up sighting "fly" and decoding and outputting it verbally as "jump" even though the spellings of these 2 words are starkly different. In his right cortex, he probably already had long equated "f+l+y" with the sound of /jump/. It was an uphill task to teach a kid like that.

It has been shown that a combination of reading through phonics and recognising sight words is the optimal way to learn to read. Both methods have their strengths, and one may suit a child better than the other. The case you cite certainly shows that reading by sight was not the best method for that child, but it doesn't prove that phonics is the better method for all children. I have a counter-example - my older daughter has never really caught on to phonics that well, but could read by sight before 4yo.

Do note that most adults read by sight. If an older child or adult has to sound out every word, they would have a very slow reading speed. So every person will need to read by sight sooner or later. Children who read by sight easily are likely to be fairly fast readers from early on, which can be a benefit. They will then only need to learn enough phonics to aid in spelling and sounding out new words.

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