Teaching Reading to Children and Adults

Teaching Reading

Teaching someone to read is a rewarding experience that they will no doubt remember for the rest of their life. It can be as daunting as it is enjoyable, however, don’t let that deter you from doing so! Below are some helpful methods and guidelines you can follow before embarking on this wonderful adventure! First we will explore teaching children, then adults.

For Children:

Read…then read some more!

Reading as soon as possible after birth can instill in your little one a love for words. Children read because it brings pleasure, and that begins as home. They also learn from example, so listening to your love of reading will influence them.

It also helps to ask questions regarding the story when reading, as comprehension of the material is a vital. By shifting the task from learning words to learning about the story, their comprehension will greatly increase.

Letters and Sounds

Sounds of letters are much more important then the names of letter. Simply knowing the name will cause confusion, as it is sounds together which make up as word. Also, it is easy to overwhelm a child if they are taught all the letters in the alphabet in quick succession. It is much for important for the child to master the sound of one letter then try to learn three or more at once. Spreading them out will help the child retain the information.

Begin Small

All children learn differently. Some are visual, some learn better via sound or sight.  Experiment by using various ways of teaching.

Small words, beginning with two letter words and moving to three will be most effective in preparing the child to read. Words such as Cat or Ball are great words to begin with as they are familiar to the child and have easily pronounceable sounds.

Practice and Practice

Try to make it a daily activity. Nothing is more important than the joy expressed by reading, as children pick up on that emotion quickly. Remember to have fun! Nothing will deter a child away from reading if it feels like a chore. So practice and enjoy!

For Adults:

Learning to read later in life can bring about a mix of emotions such as anxiousness and insecurity. It is important to acknowledge their desire to read and commend it. Also, reassure them that their familiarity with the spoken word will be a great asset in helping them read.

Sound Check

First, it is important to find out where the adult is in terms of literacy. Can they sound out words, or put sounds together? Do they struggle with more difficult words but have mastered common sight words? Understanding and acknowledge with empathy that is may be difficult, but that you are here to help, and they have nothing to feel insecure about.

Modern Times

Once their level is assessed, you can take the same steps as above, however, make sure the material is current and relevant to their age. Adults are not different from children- we all want to read material which interests us. Finding material that sparks interest with help them greatly on their road to literacy.