Teach Reading to Adults

Adult Literacy

Teach Reading to Adults

Teach reading to adults with the PRS phonics and basic English course. Teach the phonic facts and syllable division. Adults can now learn to read with confidence.  The Practice Reading & Speaking phonics course works for ALL English accents. Our phonic stories book for adults mirrors the teaching order of the PRS course and makes reading fun.

When you teach reading to adults with empathy, you will be rewarded with students who grow in confidence. You will need to adapt your teaching methods to suit the individual student. As the adult learner develops the ability to learn independently, your input will be needed less and less. The right materials to teach reading to adults can help tremendously. You will need a course that teaches the facts about phonics, along with plenty of practice words.

The Practice Reading and Speaking phonics course, will teach ALL of the different spelling patterns in the English language and the sounds that they relate to. Adults who have not been able to learn to read efficiently,  have proven that not everyone can pick up new facts about reading by chance. With this phonics course, you have the ability to teach over 1,000 different spellings of the common sounds.  The course is called Practice Reading and Speaking. For a brief overview click on the link. There are 70 modules in the course. If your student commits to memory the high frequency words on pages 75 and 76 of the eBook, they will be able to read over 50% of everyday text. Learning phonics will help them learn to read any other word with ease. See how the course works in practice here.

If you’re wondering whether this course is suitable for use in America please read the comparison between American English and British English.   AMERICAN PHONICS

The following story book mirrors the teaching order in the phonics course and covers up to module 39.

PRS Phonic Stories for Adults

This brand new adult literacy resource is called ‘PRS Phonic Stories for Adults‘. This eBook is unique to us too. Your adult learner will have never read these stories before. The eBook contains fiction and non-fiction. A precise knowledge of alphabet sounds and the ability to blend CVC words will be needed in order to begin to read the stories.There are 47 short stories ranging from 40 words to 502 words in length. A variety of true to life themes and believable characters adds interest, humour and colour to these inspirational stories. (See a list of the themes here.) It’s for use alongside Practice Reading and Speaking and follows the same order of teaching. See a sample story from PRS Phonic Stories for Adults.

When you teach reading to adults, appropriate reading material is vital. The stories will NOT make your student feel that they’re being treated like a child. With these stories that relate to life as an adult, your student is given the respect they deserve. As printing permission is allowed (no further license need), the story page can be printed for the student to take home and practice reading.  They could then highlight the  words that they can’t read, to give you insight into what they’re finding difficult.  Ask the student to explain to you which part of the word they can read and which part they can’t. It will help them become more aware of what they need to focus on to improve their reading skills.

As the text is generic to any English speaking country, it is suitable for American English or other English accents. Each story has a heavy concentration of one sound and the spelling variations of that sound.

Practice Reading & Speaking phonic course

‘Practice Reading and Speaking’ has been designed to be suitable for teaching any age group. When using it to teach reading to adults, you will notice that the phonic course is age appropriate for teenagers and adults as well as children. It can also be used successfully with those whose first language is not English as it contains pronunciation tips to help with accent reduction. Phonics has always been the key to an accurate accent.

To teach reading to adults, you will need to fill in the gaps in their understanding of phonics and how words work. By first discovering what the adult literacy student doesn’t know (through testing) or is able to do, you will be refining a starting point with your learner. (Reading tests have been included in the eBook.) As you teach reading to an adult they will discover that it is possible to learn to read.  Adult literacy skills teaching is straightforward with this course. You will be teaching the facts one step at a time, in order of difficulty. See how to teach reading and writing using this phonics course.

The eBook ‘Practice Reading and Speaking’ has the unique ability to teach reading to adults in a way that helps confidence grow. Basic English skills can be taught, succinctly. (Look Inside the eBook here.) You can test the pupil’s understanding of phonics with a view to filling in the gaps in their understanding. Adult literacy students can monitor their own progress and see at a glance what’s left to learn. (They have their own Progress Record which covers the whole course on page 175.) With ‘Practice Reading and Speaking’, the adult literacy student is taught how to read and write English fluently. This eBook, leaves you in no doubt what to teach, how to teach it and the best way to teach it. Read through the teaching notes for each Module before teaching. This will ensure that you use as few words as possible when explaining how to segment words. If you would like your student to have their own copy of the course without the teaching notes, the PRS STUDENT GUIDE is now available.

Teaching Practice Reading & Speaking

  1. First, check that your student can pronounce the individual sounds heard in the English language. (See the Pronunciation Assessment in the eBook. Pages 154-155)
  2. After reading the instructions for testing (page 156 in PRS) set the General Phoneme Assessment (Pages 158 – 159) to discover at what level the student is able to read using the sounds in words.
  3. Next, narrow down a starting point in the course for your student by setting the specific assessment for the Module where your student made their first mistake when reading.
  4. Check recognition of the alphabet and the sounds that they make. (See Modules three to seven in PRS.)
  5. Check that they know how to blend two sounds together to make a word. Use a list of nonsense words for this task. (See ‘Practice Reading and Speaking’ Module nine.)
  6. Give attention to High Frequency words as these make up 50% of our everyday reading. (A list of these can be found on pages 75-76. They’re listed by the Module that they’re found in. Concentrate on the reading and spelling of these words whilst you teach them how to blend and segment the words found in each Module.) Being able to speed read the sample words in each phoneme-grapheme group is also important as it enhances memory.
  7. Test the adult literacy student before you teach a Module to discover what they are able to read from what you are about to teach. Test after teaching to check for improvement and assimilation. (Module Assessments for before and after teaching are found on pages 160-171.)
  8. Students should read material regularly that is appropriate for their reading level. The Phonic Stories for adults eBook should be used. This will give them practice in using what they have learned, by reading sentences, paragraphs then pages of text.
  9. Work at the adult literacy student’s own pace. Encourage them to teach you, family or friends what they have learned. This will aid memory and help them discover what they need to spend more time on. (We tend to remember 90% of what we teach others and put into practice.)
  10. When you teach reading to adults, teach basic English literacy skills too. (See the ‘English Simplified’ chapter on pages 114-134 in Practice Reading and Speaking.)

Continue teaching until your student has a fluent adult reading age if possible. There are 70 Modules or pages in the course in Practice Reading and Speaking. They cover every spelling of every sound (over a thousand)  that the student is ever likely to come across in English texts in order to read fluently. See a preview of Practice Reading and Speaking.

A useful index demonstrating the different ways a single letter or group of letters can be pronounced is found in the back of the book (pages 176-178). This is a useful reference guide as you teach reading to adults. These graphemes have been organised into three levels of difficulty. The first level, covers modules one through to thirty nine. When they get to this stage, they should be able to read most everyday text that they come across. If the student purchases their own copy of the eBook, they may even be able to teach themselves the rest of the course, as everything else to learn is linked to the same colours and images that they will have become extremely familiar with.

Teach Reading to Adults who need Extra Understanding

Adult Literacy students, who need help with reading, phonics, writing and basic literacy have a variety of reasons why they haven’t learned to read and write fluently. When you teach reading to adults, before you can banish their fears of text and motivate successful learning, try to isolate the reason why they failed to learn to read well. It could be that the English skills needed for life, weren’t taught because the student missed school regularly. Maybe, dyslexia unrecognized in childhood, prevented them from making reading progress. Perhaps, a heavy workload looking after a sick parent meant that as a child they missed school regularly so teachers were unable to help them catch up. Lastly, when you teach reading to adults be aware that sometimes a brain injury can interfere with the usual learning process. When you help someone learn to read, remember that adult literacy students need an understanding teacher who will teach reading to adults with sensitivity.

Learn from your ‘new friend’ what they are hoping to achieve. Observe closely if they are tiring. Stop and take a break. Being tired is stressful; especially if you feel someone is expecting you to continue learning. Teach one fact at a time. Pause, let it sink in. Do they have any questions? If you try to teach too much at a time, the adult literacy student’s ability to process what they are learning will be impeded. All you are doing is building a brick wall in their mind and reinforcing the negative thought that they can’t do this. Let them tell you when they need a break. Remind them at the beginning of the lesson how far they have come. Don’t treat them like a child.  Be respectful and kind. Track progress consistently. Aim to understand your adult literacy student’s learning strengths. Keep lessons positive and give lots of praise when you teach reading to adults. (A mind with a smile can learn for a while.) With the phonic story book sold here they will be smiling more often. Humour relieves stress. The stories they contain are both interesting and fun.

Auditory or Visual Discrimination Difficulties

When you teach reading to adults, you will notice that some adults may have problems hearing and separating the sounds in words. A full dyslexia assessment will give you an idea of your students strengths and weaknesses. Do your best to train your student to hear different sounds. Maybe they are a mechanic and can easily hear and separate different car noises and know what they are, even how to fix them. Maybe they can differentiate easily between songs that they enjoy. Explain that repetition has helped them master these skills. The same is true with reading.

If visual discrimination problems is the issue, first ensure that your student can see well. They may need a more detailed eye test. Employ visual and tactile ways to help them learn. Rarely, you may need to teach mainly visually by learning whole words. This course is perfect for that as it begins with the easy most used words and finishes with longer multi-syllable words. If you do nothing else but help them learn to read the words in each module, one module at a time, they will still be making progress. They will have learned enough to make them more comfortable with reading in every day life.

Reading can Improve Physical Health

Improving physical health can help a great deal too. Though you are concentrating on teaching reading, demonstrate that reading can help improve health. Take a look at www.fixbadhealth.com/better-health. Reading can make a difference to our physical health. By reading and taking action I was able to resolve: Migraines, IBS, Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, cyst under the eyelid, lack of sense of taste (all without drugs).  Better health and less pain can mean that the ability to learn is accelerated and physical stamina and brain health is improved. So encourage your student to take care of themselves. They are worth it.

Teach Reading to Adults to Improve Life Skills

Reading relates to life skills for a variety of reasons. When you teach reading to adults to improve life skills you are giving them a way of communicating.  We regularly need to read instructions on food packets or medicines. At times we need to fill in forms. We benefit from searching for information on the internet. Reading for the purpose of learning can give pleasure. Reading text messages keeps us in touch with others. Even map reading would be of no use if we couldn’t read the road signs, road names or the names of places. A car manual too still requires that we read instructions.

The key when you teach reading to adults, is to motivate the adult literacy learner to see how reading and writing relates to life skills. Help adult literacy students to list situations where knowing how to read or write would be useful. When you teach reading to adults, give them ways to make progress when you are not there to help them. Adult literacy students need to know that learning to read is an achievable goal. Also, that learning new things with a teacher who will not criticize but support, is a positive experience. In turn, the ability to recognize and correct their own mistakes will give them hope.

The phonic story book for adults sold here is ability appropriate. It contains a text about improving your health and another non-fiction story about searching for a fulfilling life. Another is about a journalist who challenged his beliefs by researching a story. Research and reading is positively encouraged in this eBook. The student will learn that hope motivates. When we are motivated to improve our lives, success isn’t far away. We need to keep their hope alive.

Set Goals when you Teach Reading to Adults

Set reachable goals for your student.  Maybe they want to be able to write a letter to a friend or a letter of complaint. It could be that the adult literacy learner would like to be able to fill in forms without fear. By setting goals when you teach reading to adults and helping them to reach those goals one at a time, you will be giving them the ability to manage reading and basic English in everyday life. As you teach reading to an adult the student will likely begin to set their own targets. If they have a hobby, they may have reading material that they need help with. Half the battle is won if the student wants to read a text. Students should be aware that learning to read may improve brain health.

Learning to read can also help adults improve their health. Thee are plenty of hints and tips for improving health on the internet. They are often tried and tested and worth learning to read for this reason alone. Check out the following website for tried and tested successful health tips.  www.fixbadhealth.com/better-health

Motivate Adult Learners

When you teach reading to adults and teach adult literacy skills, students often make remarkable progress in the workplace. It may be that the adult has been offered a job and knows that they will have to go through some sort of test in the interview. This could raise motivation enough for the adult literacy learner to speed up the process of learning to read and write more efficiently. (Reading without fear improves comprehension too.) Yet others have come to a point in their life, when what others think of them is no longer an issue.

Give Adult Literacy Students Clear Brief Explanations

Man Reading
Learn to Read Well

When you teach reading to adults and they begin to read for the first time in their lives, they need clear brief explanations of how to separate and pronounce the sounds in the words that they have been speaking their whole lives. When you teach reading to adults, they also need to be given decoding and spelling strategies that work consistently when reading. Learning to write well should also be included when teaching adult literacy students to read. Adult literacy students need to feel a sense of fulfilment knowing that what they have left to learn is achievable. Remember small successes will help the adult literacy student to stay motivated and involved in the learning process.  When you teach reading to adults, If you assume that the adult learner has no prior knowledge of learning how to read and write, testing will help you to discover at what point in their lives learning to read and write stopped. It will also give the adult literacy student a chance to show off what they can do. Starting where they initially stopped learning allows them to build on what they know. Sometimes comparisons can be made to everyday sounds. For example, a mechanic has learned to differentiate between different engine sounds and the sounds in his everyday environment. He will recognise voices. He now needs to learn the’voices’ of letters.

Help Adult Literacy Students Overcome the Fear of Text

It takes courage to try to get to grips with a skill as an adult that you have always found difficult.There is often a fear of text that needs to be overcome when teaching reading to adult literacy students. So teaching sensitively and with empathy is a must. Allow the adult literacy student to show you what they can do. Rather than make them feel that they have a long way to go, remember to keep your comments positive. As you teach reading to adults, praise consistently. They have been very brave to be willing to bare their soul to a teacher. So praise their courage and determination to succeed. This will motivate the adult literacy student to continue allowing you to teach them to read.

Give Adult Literacy Students Time to Think

Give adult literacy students time to think. When you teach reading to adults, stop teaching when they are tired. They won’t be taking anything in.  Regular breaks when you teach reading to adults are necessary to be able to take in and understand new concepts. Pause regularly to allow new ideas to be meditated upon. Thinking time is just as important as learning time. Due to the enormous amounts of effort it takes for an adult literacy student to learn to read as an adult, it’s easy to tire quickly. Your student’s brain will virtually shut down at times, making the student feel sleepy. Short sessions with lots of breaks, is vital. Teach only what can be readily absorbed in each session. Although it’s tempting to try to cram as much as you can into when you teach reading to adults, what will keep them coming back is the simple method you use to teach reading and teach phonics along with the student’s ability to grasp and memorise basic principles. When you teach reading to adults, at the end of the lesson wet their appetite for what they will learn in the next lesson in order to motivate them to return. The book ‘Practice Reading and Speaking‘ can be used with any age group to teach reading and teach phonics to adult literacy standards. It also includes a brief but thorough overview of the skills needed to write well as an adult.

Teach Phonics to Adult Learners

Employ the method of teaching phonics systematically in order of difficulty to adult literacy students. This will give them the best possible chance of reading success. Whenever you teach reading to adults by means of phonic decoding skills or setting homework, give the adult literacy student a means of remembering new facts learned in lessons. Use images, spider diagrams or prompt words that will help the adult literacy student remember the new phoneme-grapheme learned. As you teach reading, employ memory techniques to aid retention. Teach them how to monitor their own progress and recognize developmental steps. Give the adult literacy student the confidence they need to recognize that they are still able to learn. Point out even the smallest of successes and praise achievement regularly. Above all, don’t treat them like a child. Preserve their dignity.

Teach Reading to Adults alongside Writing and Basic English

When you teach reading to adults, the student needs to engage as many senses as possible to enhance memory. Teaching phonics involves looking at letter symbols, recognizing patterns within words and translating them into the spoken word. By learning to write the words, the adult literacy student will be helped to memorise what they are learning. Your students will need to learn the following:

  • Recognise letters, say their sounds and write them in words
  • Combine words to make sentences that are structured in different ways
  • Spell all of the most used words in English without mistakes
  • Understand how punctuation and grammar works
  • Be  able to change the way we structure language for different purposes
  • Learn about alphabetical order in order to use a dictionary and increase understanding of vocabulary
  • Get used to scanning or searching for words, phrases or sentences in a text
  • Learn how to read to extract meaning

All of these adult literacy skills have been included in ‘Practice Reading and Speaking’. The aim of the book is to teach reading to adults until they are fluent at reading and writing. The book helps the adult literacy student to gain a thorough understanding of basic English. This will give them the confidence to write whenever they need to without fear of embarrassment. When you teach reading to adults with this book you have all that you need to hand in one book. You can test adult literacy students reading, teach them phonics help them learn to write and spell to adult literacy standards. Teach pronunciation to adult literacy students whose first language is not English. English learners can learn to recognise how to pronounce words by learning phonics.

For a preview of the eBook, to look inside it and to buy it click here.

PRS STUDENT GUIDE (The phonics course without the teaching notes)

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