Simply by teaching the core framework of the Reading Horizons methodology - the 42 Sounds of the Alphabet, 5 Phonetic Skills, and 2 Decoding Skills - students are empowered with skills that allow them to prove they are reading, spelling, and pronouncing the majority of the words in the English language with accuracy.
The alphabet is introduced in letter sets consisting of four consonants and one vowel. Each letter sound is introduced individually, and students learn the name, sound, and formation simultaneously. Letters that commonly cause student confusion if introduced too closely are deliberately separated. Immediate application of each letter set helps solidify understanding.
Once the 26 letters are learned, additional sounds of the alphabet are taught, including:
The Five Phonetic Skills allow students to identify the five common patterns of English words and prove the vowel sound in a word. Proving words using the Five Phonetic Skills is an indispensable tool used to decode, pronounce, and spell new words. These skills are gradually internalized and become automatic, resulting in greater reading speed and fluency.
A student’s ability to read long words fluently depends on his or her ability to break words into syllables. The Two Decoding Skills help students know which specific letters and sounds should be split apart in order to properly pronounce each word. Once students use the Two Decoding Skills to split multi-syllabic words into the correct syllables, students then apply the Five Phonetic Skills to determine the correct sound of each syllable. This process empowers students with skills for reading words of any length.