A tutor discussed the challenge of helping her learner break some old habits which were developed over many years of trying to get by with limited reading skills. For example her learner often guesses at words rather than taking the time to decode them.
- The tutor mentioned that she often simply reminds her learner that it's okay to slow down and not be in a rush to finish a piece of reading material. In doing this, her learner is paying more attention to what is being read and doing less guesswork.
We also discussed the use of a structured workbook to teach basic reading skills.
- One tutor mentioned that she wasn't sure how her learner would respond to working with the Patterns in Spelling series. She was happy to find that the learner enjoyed the structured lessons and the ability to look back at previous exercises to see what had been accomplished. Using the workbook also gave the tutor some needed support in teaching some very basic skills.
There was also a discussion of which dictionaries are easier for learners to learn to use.
- A few tutors commented that the more advanced dictionaries were often overwhelming to beginning readers, especially all the abbreviations indicating derivation and parts of speech which often follow the word.
- Two dictionaries, available to all learners, which are slightly easier to use are:
Beginner's Dictionary of American English which not only has examples of the word used the context of a sentence. The downside of this dictionary is that it's missing many words found in other, more advanced dictionaries.
Webster's New World Portable Large Print Dictionary which is easy on the eyes but heavy in the backpack or book bag. It has simply written definitions with less detail than dictionaries having regular size font.