“Looking for Literacy”

A ‘natural’ way to learn to read

An Overview

For a number of years I have been modelling how people who learn to read, by themselves, before they start school, accomplish that skill. The people I modelled came from diverse economic and educational backgrounds, and had diverse levels of intelligence. As far as I can tell, this ‘learning to read’ model is consistent; they all did it the same way. I wondered whether you could teach this very efficient model to children who have not happened upon it themselves? I taught it to reception children in two primary schools, with some intake from areas of severe deprivation. I worked with non-reading children below the top level of the classes. In general, I saw the children once a week, for twenty minutes to half an hour, in small groups of one to three children; depending on concentration levels. I saw most of them about ten times. The class teachers were not carrying on the method during the week.

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