Remember when your child first learnt to walk? The initial step, followed by precarious wobbling and then the inevitable fall? These are some of the most joyful and lovable moments of their growth. But if you look at it from their perspective, even simple things like walking or speaking require great effort. It takes a lot for children to find the confidence to try, to stumble, and to try again when they fail. It’s an ongoing process of trial and error along with continuous learning. Reading is no different. Children often face challenges when learning to read, or even when they can read, they may still struggle to become confident and independent readers. Here’s how I Can Read’s reading programmes can help your child to overcome the odds and become avid readers!
Challenges Children Face When Learning to Read
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As adults, reading seems as normal as breathing to us. But try reading in a language that you are just starting to learn, and you are likely to have a different experience. It’s the same for children, only that they can’t already read in another language! Here are some of the most common challenges that early readers face:
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Reading is a process – from making single alphabet sounds, to blending, then putting words together before going on to the sentence or paragraph level. Children need proper guidance to build their confidence one step at a time. As parents, we have the best of intentions, but we might not know what to expect at each stage. As such, it’s not uncommon to face frustration or even lose patience when trying to teach our children how to read. Children are quick to sense this, and it could cause a huge blow to their confidence.
2. Lack of Phonemic Awareness
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Most children have no trouble with knowing their letter sounds. However, they may not be able to recognise these sounds when sounding out words. For example, they can sound out /m/ /a/ /t/ individually but are unable to put them together as /mat/. It takes time, patience and even specific strategies to help children get past this hurdle.
3. Reading from Memory, Guessing or Skipping
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Children’s books often revolve around simple sentences and repetition. As such, children may pick up patterns and read from their memory. Alternatively, they may skip words that appear difficult or make guesses.
4. Reading with Limited Comprehension
Being able to read is one thing. Being able to understand what you are reading is another story altogether. Reading a text as a whole involves a series of complex tasks. It involves making sense of everything from letters to words, sentences, paragraphs and the text as a whole. As such, teaching a child to read also involves checking for their understanding as they go along. Children are often caught up in sounding the words that they are not processing the meaning.
There are many other challenges that go beyond the initial reading phase. Even older children who can read may face issues such as a short attention span, slow reading speed, poor spelling and limited vocabulary among other things.
Here’s How I Can Read English Reading Programmes Can Help
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The good news is that if your child is facing these problems, you are not alone. These are common and can easily be solved. The key to it lies in proper technique and strategies when teaching children to read.
Not all of us have the understanding or knowledge of how to do this. As such, it might be a better idea to leave it to the experts such as I Can Read, a learning centre which focuses on a total literacy system, designed to encompass all aspects of literacy, be it in reading, speaking, listening or writing English.
I Can Read’s English reading programmes’ primary focus is to ensure that your child overcomes the challenges and difficulties of reading, ensuring that they become confident, independent readers. Their curriculum is student-centred and outcome-driven while all classes are fun and focused.
Structure of I Can Read English Reading Programmes
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I Can Read uses a specially developed system that focuses on developing children’s Phonemic and Phonological Awareness, and decoding skills, to learn how to read fluently. Naturally, children have different needs. To cater to these needs, their English Reading Programmes are categorised as follows:
- Reading Programme for 2.5 to 6 years Old
This programme introduces a progressive, sound-based system that allows students to apply their phonemic awareness skills to decode new and unfamiliar text, especially when the spelling of words is varied or unpredictable. This is common in English and is a reason many young readers or those learning English as a second language struggle with reading.
Throughout this programme, students will have ample opportunity to practice their spelling, build oral and written comprehension skills, as well as be introduced to the fundamentals of grammar thus providing a holistic, full-literacy experience.
- ICR Academy (Primary School) for 7 – 12 years old
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This programme aims to equip students with the strategies that will help them hone their English language skills further. This includes listening, speaking, reading, comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, writing and editing – all of which are necessary for examinations as well.
While being exposed to a range of texts, students will also practise the different skillsets in tandem through a repertoire of interactive activities. This keeps them engaged and paves the way for mastery of language.
Logistics are a concern for some parents. Also, children of today are digital natives and may take better to online learning. Therefore, I Can Read also offers online web lessons for students who prefer attending lessons from the comfort of their home.
Using a web-based platform that is easily accessible on multiple devices, students can choose to either engage with the content collaboratively during lessons, or to complete the lesson at home in their own time and space.
Mums and Dads, if you’re tearing your hair out trying to teach your child to read, perhaps it’s best to leave it to the experts. You know your child is in good hands as I Can Read is the leading English enrichment centre in Singapore and has an international presence of 160 learning centres and school partners across Asia. They have celebrated over 300,000 success stories of children who have benefitted from their English reading programmes.
If you have specific concerns, or would like to know where your child stands, you can start by booking a slot for your child’s free reading assessment. Furthermore, you can enjoy $50 off course fees when you sign up during I Can Read’s Back to School promotion period from 1 Nov 2022 to 31 Jan 2023.
Remember, learning to read should not be a stressful or frustrating experience. With the right guidance, your child will enjoy the process and before long, will be going places. As the famous saying by Dr. Seuss goes,
The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!