Which literacy skills are taught in the program?

Modified on Thu, 3 Aug, 2023 at 1:36 AM

The broad objective of Reading Doctor Online is to improve reading skills by teaching students to become better at decoding unfamiliar words when reading. Research shows that improving decoding ability enables students to be better at teaching themselves new words,  leading to improvements in overall reading ability.

Reading Doctor Online uses a synthetic phonics approach in its teaching methodology. Students progress through an automated systematic synthetic phonics sequence. Additionally, educators can individualise activities and set homework activities to target specific areas. 

The program focuses on improving the crucial skill areas that have been found through research to be essential in developing reading ability. It has a particular focus on the following important reading sub-skills:   

1.  Grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondences

Letter-sound knowledge is knowledge of the letters or groups of letters which represent the individual speech sounds in language. 

Letters and letter patterns that represent speech sounds are called 'graphemes', while the speech sounds of a language are called 'phonemes'. Reading Doctor Online teaches students grapheme-phoneme (letter-sound) relationships in a clearly defined, incremental sequence.

2. Blending

Blending, or the ability to join speech sounds together to make words, is a crucial phonemic awareness skill that helps students to read unfamiliar words.  

Reading Doctor Online teaches students to apply the highly important skill of blending (joining) phonemes in order, all through a word to read it.

3. Segmentation

Segmentation, or the ability to split words up into their separate speech sounds, is another crucial phonemic awareness skill. Segmentation helps students to develop spelling ability. 

Reading Doctor Online teaches students to apply the skills of segmenting (splitting) words into their constituent phonemes to spell words.

4. Sight Word Knowledge

Research also suggests that students benefit from being taught to recognise the most common words in English instantly, especially those with irregular spellings such as 'who' and 'said'.

Reading Doctor Online explicitly teaches students to recognise highly frequent, and especially phonically irregular sight words

In addition to the above skills, the program is designed to strengthen vocabulary skills by teaching students to comprehend and read thousands of words with accompanying sentences and illustrations. 

Activities provide students with an extremely high level of repetition, which is important for developing the skill automaticity required for reading fluency. Research shows that this repetition is especially important for struggling readers. Automaticity is also encouraged through the inbuilt reward system which reinforces speedy responses in addition to accurate ones. 

Reading Doctor Online uses a unique, patent pending teaching methodology which is based on decades of scientific research on reading acquisition. Most importantly, a growing number of studies provide evidence for the effectiveness of Reading Doctor in improving students' reading ability.

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