The following factors are involved with the learning of reading and writing:
- It refers to the phonologic and semantic code the student has. In other words, it’s their verbal language, vocabulary and ability to divide phrases into words, words into syllables, syllables into letters, associate and construct rhymes, say words that start with a specific letter, etc. With children, it’s necessary to work all of these aspects, because they reduce and prevent reading and writing difficulties. Speaking, vocabulary and metalinguistic abilities programs should be introduced to improve their skills, and their teaching should be the absolute priority.
- Motor skills. They affect writing, so when it comes to children, it’s good to do activities that improve them (cutting paper, coloring, etc.)
- The methodology used in teaching. You must carefully follow the steps to teach letters. In children with risk of problems on linguistic codes, attitude, motor skills, reasoning, etc., using the wrong methodology can cause important reading and writing problems.
Any reading and writing problem can be solved in due time. From 4th grade, the reeducation is difficult, and in following grades, the reading and writing problem could become irreversible.
- Verbal reproduction of the sound we’re trying to teach. Teaching the sound (phonologic code). The adult is the model.
- Production of the sound from the students.
- The adult teaches the grapheme. First he’s a model and shows how to start, follow and ends. This has to be repeated many times, and reviewing often (Motor skills)
- Guided learning of the grapheme by the students. Don’t move to the next step until you’re sure they acquired the right sound production and the phoneme’s motor skill.
- From this point on, we introduce activities where the students copy the phoneme.
- When they do those activities well, we go to dictation. Here, we check to see if they acquired the model.
- We go to synthesis exercises. We form syllables mixing the phoneme and the graph learned with the vowels. We review the phoneme’s motor skills, and teach where it starts, where it goes and how to connect it to the vowel.
- We do all the metalinguistic activities: verbal synthesis exercises about the learned phoneme, we switch the vowels, mix them, see the changes they produce in reading, etc. All of these exercises are oral.
- We go to a different phoneme and repeat the process. When doing the metalinguistic activities, we introduce other learned phonemes at the end.
- We do many review activities while the students learn more phonemes. It’s important to do metalinguistic verbal exercises with the letters learned.
- We form words with the categories we worked on, joining the reading and writing processes.
- We divide the words into syllables and corresponding graphemes.
- Form words from given syllables and letters
- Differentiation between words that vary because of a letter or syllable and the association with their corresponding meanings.
- Write phrases with increased complexity, from given words.
- It’s important to do the following oral language exercises at the same time, because they help the student improve his phonological skills: segmenting phrases into words, recognition of the number of words that compose the phrase, omission of a word at the end of a phrase, inversion of words in a phrase… Do the same exercise with words and syllables.