Why should one have reading skills

Recognize reading weaknesses and develop reading skills

Reading is actually easy - if you can. It is more or less “on the side” and only when you are distracted or the text contains a lot of foreign words do you notice that reading is actually not that easy and natural. And suddenly it becomes much easier to understand that some people have problems with reading.

The learning process of reading can be observed particularly well in the reading beginners in the first grade. The new first graders have to learn to combine many individual letters into a word, to read it and ultimately to understand it. The complexity and the high demands of reading are only really apparent to some people here.

Alexander is a reading professional

Alexander (4th grade) says: “I like to read books with stories and notebooks, but new ones, and if I don't have any new books or notebooks, then I read some of which I have forgotten the content. Most of the time I read quietly, because then I'll finish faster. I also read at night, then I fall asleep reading. I read aloud sometimes, when I didn't understand a word, when I read to my brother and at the beginning when I read at night. If I didn't understand a word, I read the word again until I understand it. If I don't know what a word means, then I see if it's not there, if not, then I try to find out, and if that doesn't help, I ask my parents. ”(Excerpt from the book“ The experience of Reading. Basics of a narrative reading psychology ", p. 246, by Dr. Emil Schmalohr, published by Verlag Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1997)

Recognizing a reading disorder

But reading does not work as well with all children as it does with Alexander. Many children have difficulty doing this. The current state of research names the reading fluency as an important indicator of the development of the reading process. A first indicator for parents that there could be a reading deficiency is reading speed, the so-called reading fluency. The point here is not only that the letters A, P, F, E, L are also recognized as the word apple, but above all how quickly. If parents notice the first problems with their child here, they should not wait but try to intervene as early as possible and support their child.

Findings from science and practice show that early support for a child with poor literacy means that reading skills better match that of good readers and can be made up almost completely (so-called Matthew effect).

What can parents of affected children do?

Parents can first of all do a lot at home in the familiar environment. The PTE learning therapists recommend the following procedure:

1) Keep an eye on your reading fluency right from the start of reading. Regular reading with your child shows progress and problems early on.

2) If you have problems reading, our specialists advise you to talk to the German teacher first. The counseling teachers at a school take a reading test if necessary, e.g. B. the Salzburg reading and spelling test (SLRT II). A comparison with the average results of children of the same age enables a good assessment of whether there is a reading disorder or not.

3) Are there deficits in reading, e.g. Parents can support their children with different approaches according to the “two-way model”, for example slow, halting or faulty reading or reading words letter by letter. This enables the children to read words in two different ways: via the direct way of whole word recognition or the indirect way via reading with the syllable method and spelling strategies. Reading aloud together as a "reading tandem" can improve reading accuracy.

3a) Direct way = quick reading exercise: These are used to quickly grasp whole words. It starts with short, monosyllabic words that are covered and then briefly revealed. In the short phase of uncovering, the child practices recognizing and reading the word. The word length can increase over time.

3b) Indirect access = for longer and / or difficult words: Here, syllable by syllable is read and the entire word is worked through with it. Spelling strategies such as lengthening words (mountain – mountains) or deriving (country – countries) are also used here. Mildenberger Verlag offers books with marked syllables for this purpose.

3c) Reading tandem: The reading tandem is a reading exercise that is carried out with a partner. One partner is the athlete, the other the trainer. Both partners - athletes and trainers - read aloud together. If the athlete makes a mistake, the sentence is started all over again until it is read without errors. A sentence can be repeated up to four times. Once the athlete has become more confident in reading, roles are reversed. The previous athlete then becomes a coach. The aim of this exercise is to concentrate well, read carefully aloud and look closely.

Up to this point you can become active yourself as a parent. However, if you find that reading problems are not improving, you are reaching your limits, and your relationship with your child and family life are suffering as a result, you should seek outside support.

The PTE is there for you nationwide and will help you with qualified specialist knowledge and specialists from pedagogy and psychology.

Contact us! Together we will find the best way for your child!