If you can read this, you’re probably in the majority of readers who have learned to read with very little support. Most people learn to read this way, but it doesn’t work for everyone.
Struggling With Literacy
Often, struggling readers will appear as though they can read, they may be able to spell and read words that they see often and are familiar with, only to be unable to even attempt simple, unfamiliar words. As time passes, the complexity of text they’re supposed to read increases and their skill does not. Failing to develop adequate literacy skills, especially in school aged readers can lead to school avoidance, bullying and loss of self esteem.
Two Main Literacy Skills
People read using a mixture of two main literacy strategies: Knowing what sounds letters make, e.g. c-a-t, and remembering words that don’t follow this rule, and/or several different rules (e at the end makes the vowel say it’s name). Some people are really good at sounding out (phonological awareness) and others are really good at remembering words (sight word reading). The important thing is that you need some combination of both for successful literacy.
It’s really important to find out which Literacy strategies are working for a struggling reader, not just to know where they need help, but to build on the strategies that are working.
Many Things Can Affect Literacy
You also need to be sure that a struggling reader isn’t struggling because of something else, like poor vision or how they hear certain sounds. This is why we begin with a full assessment that covers handwriting and vision.