179. Based on Question #13 from EducationalQuestions.com:   How would you grade spelling quizzes or written answers on any test for a student who appears to be dyslexic? He has not been labelled as so by any test that I am aware of, but he can't read aloud without help with basically every word. Also, his discussion answers are impossible to read. The letters do not make words. It's as if they're jumbled up.

The first thing you may wish to do is to refer this students for testing. Definitely, there is a problem here and it is better to find out what the problem is ASAP.

However, I would like to comment on the technique of having students read aloud.

The first step in TEACHING reading is to provide the necessary background experiences for students to understand, BEFORE they read, they key ideas and the key concepts in the reading selection. Thus, ALL reading INSTRUCTION needs to begin with an experience where the students develop the necessary concepts and have the opportunity to LISTEN and SPEAK the language they are about to read.

The second step in TEACHING reading is to provide for the students the WRITTEN WORDS they just heard and spoke during the background experience so that ALL key words are heard, spoken and seen BEFORE the reading. Thus, students are provided an opportunity to perceive the experience and the words that describe the experience.

Now the students --having listened to, spoken and seen the words they are about to read-- are ready for the third step in TEACHING reading: They must hear someone --the teacher or a tape-- reading the selection so that they hear the selection being read with good intonation and proper rhythm and pace. At this time the teacher may wish to use a technique where (s)he reads and stops at any one point in the reading selection. The students read only ONE word after the teacher stops and then the teacher continues reading aloud with fluency, intonation, rhythm and appropriate speed. This technique gives students the opportunity to decode or decipher the words they have seen before in isolation.

Finally, the students read the selection silently and proceed to do follow-up oral discussions or other instructional activities where they can provide evidence of understanding.

READING ALOUD by students should never be done on NEW reading selections. Students should read aloud ONLY previously mastered reading selections. Reading selections to be read aloud should be those that students
(1) fully understand because they were provided the necessary background experience(s);
(2) have listened to, and spoken, the key words in the reading selection;
(3) have seen the written words BEFORE actually silently reading along with the teacher, or another person, or a tape;
(4) have repeatedly silently read so that they truly can read aloud with fluency, with intonation, with feelings, with rhythm and at an appropriate pace.

Reading aloud, during adult life, is rarely done by most people. Teachers, librarians, actors, newscasters, etc., are among the adults that read aloud as part of their jobs. Most people need not read aloud to make a living. Thus, reading aloud should be done as if the reader is talking, not as if the reader is reading for the first time a selection.

TEACHING reading aloud requires teaching many pre-requisite skills, as indicated above. No student should be asked to read aloud a reading selection that the student encounters for the very first time.

Now, about writing: If a student has a very difficult handwriting, you may wish to have the student word-process (h)is/er composition rather than writing it by hand. This way the student can spell-check as (s)he types (h)is/er composition.

If the student just does NOT know how to spell, you may wish to have the student DICTATE the composition to another student, or to a tutor or assistant. Then that other person can word-process the dictation and show the student how the words (s)he has said can be written down. The student can then re-copy (h)is/er own words using a word-processor or in (h)is/er own handwriting.



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