***The strategies for overcoming dyslexia, found on this page, are found in all of the Reading Horizons reading curriculum which comprises structured literacy for grades K-3, reading intervention curriculum for grades 4-12, an adult literacy program, and ESL reading curriculum.***
Overcoming Dyslexia - Reading Program Helps
Reading Horizons: A Line-item Program Match With Some Current Language Learning Premises as Described in Overcoming Dyslexia, by Sally Shaywitz, MD.
Throughout this overview, page numbers cross-referenced from Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level signify a correspondence with methods, materials, and learning
Explicit and Systematic
(Overcoming Dyslexia, p. 200)
Reading Horizons instructional methods, in line with the National Reading Panel Report, employ explicit, systematic strategies structured into a logical, sequential, and cumulative
Converting Print Into Phonetic Code
(Overcoming Dyslexia, p. 50)
Reading Horizons demonstrates how print converts into linguistic code - via phonetic code. The instructor pronounces a letter sound then dictates the sound to students. Students verbally mime the dictated sounds then write the corresponding letter match, either on the chalkboard or on individual lapboards. This exercise demonstrates the relationship between the spoken phoneme and its printed correspondent. In the next step, phonemes are blended with a feature vowel sound. At this point, within the first two lessons, students begin forming three letter words. Letters are no longer meaningless marks on a paper but are transformed into meaningful bytes of language.
The Brain's Reliance on Patterns
(Overcoming Dyslexia, p. 84)
Reading Horizons has developed a unique, hands-on marking system, which helps students:
- scrutinize internal word composition recognizing sound/symbol letter patterns;
- refine overall word attack skills.
(Research shows that rapid association between sound/letter patterns not only increases sight recognition but also accelerates the speed at which words are retrieved and stored in the brain.)
Identifying Internal Details of Words
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp. 103, 210)
Reading Horizons, in conjunction with the introduction of selected consonants, introduces short vowel sounds before the long sounds. Following the introduction of long vowel concepts, students learn what this program describes as the Five Phonetic Skills. These skills are simply the main phonetic patterns forming most English words.
Engaging the same marking system used throughout the course, students learn to prove why vowels are either long or short, based on the surrounding word structure. Students mark and identify the letter sounds and patterns. Students read and pronounce the new word. Students emerge from the exercises empowered by language. Overcoming Dyslexia relates that learning to read is like solving a mystery, and the more clues (tools), we give students, the better they can perform. For most students, marking the five skills equips them with the clues necessary for breaking the code of English.
Storing Letter Chunks
(Overcoming Dyslexia, p.104)
Reading Horizons engages a unique instructional sequence wherein new letters are introduced in sets consisting of four consonants and one vowel. The first letter set introduced consists A, B, F, D
(For purposes that better match the learning objectives of Reading Horizons, the short vowel sound of /Aa /, and of the other vowels, are applied during the instruction of this particular early phase and its accompanying skill sets.)
Students first learn the name, sound
At this point, using the four consonants and the vowel A/
Each time new words are dictated, students examine word structure identifying letters, blends, and vowels, (later digraphs, R-controlled vowels, etc.). Spelling becomes a natural extension of listening to dictation and of writing corresponding letter sounds and words. Through
Decoding Unfamiliar Words
(Overcoming Dyslexia, p.104)
A review of the instructional sequence of Reading Horizons:
- hear words correctly pronounced, as dictated by the instructor,
- write and analyze the inner structure of words using the unique marking system employed throughout the course,
- talk about the meaning of words and use them in orally constructed sentences,
- use Reverse Listening Cards developed to give additional practice and to strengthen independent work,
- read words in guided, oral reading.
At this point in structured language learning, students have experienced many explicit exposures to words that have joined other words, which constitute their internal lexicon.
Phonologic Memory and RAN
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.145-6)
The direct instruction, dictation, employed within Reading Horizons requires
The RAN test is found on Reading Horizons computer courseware practice sessions. Students are given 1/10th of a second to view a slide, letter, or word to which they have been exposed and properly identify it. RAN helps students identify familiar combinations, quickly. If unable to make the correct identification, the computer automatically allows a little more time until correct choices are made.
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.144, 182-7)
Reading Horizons employs direct instruction, a dictation process in which letters, blends, words are dictated to students. The student must then segment the spoken word into its sounds and transform each sound into a letter. In reading, the letters are again converted into sounds, which are then blended together to form the word. Through the dictation process, students are actively engaged in both segmenting and blending - encoding and decoding - on a regular basis.
(Overcoming Dyslexia, p.190, 218-20, 263)
Reading Horizons teaches 139 high-frequency words referred to as Most Common Words. Many of these words are commonly referred to as sight words. To aid in the memorization of these words, Reverse Listening cards, Most Common Word wall
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.38, 124, 329-30)
Reading Horizons strongly encourages children to actively participate, writing at the chalkboard. Teachers dictate the name or sound of a letter (later words) twice. Students repeat the sound twice then turn and write the appropriate letter, once, on the chalkboard. This process employs students' learning modalities: listening, speaking, fine-tuning motor skill tasks at the chalkboard (kinesthetic), and also using the tactile functions while writing. Many kindergarten teachers relate that daily board work helps children transfer handwriting skills more readily to paper and that they exhibit a higher quality of handwriting from regularly using the larger motor skills.
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.305-6)
Reading Horizons provides a complete section
Each section in the manual provides lists of literature
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.54-8, 103-5, 236-41)
As soon as the first three letter word, bag, is formed, the Reading Horizons process requires the
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.116-17)
Reading Horizons builds confidence and self-esteem. Younger students move through the material with understanding; special education students can be mainstreamed back into the classroom; older students and adults recognize that within the first few lessons they, too, can learn to read and that the logic of English makes sense.
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.230-5, 270-81)
Reading Horizons is not marketed as a comprehensive reading program, rather, a strong supplementary phonics intervention. However, some aspects of the program aspects lend themselves, strongly, to accomplishing the goals of fluency and guided reading.
The teacher selects a sentence or paragraph from a Reverse Listening Card, appropriate for the class skill level. Students have already been exposed to many words included within the paragraph during dictation portions lessons. Students decode or 'prove' the words on the board, talk about word meanings and apply them in orally composed sentences. Following dictation, the teacher models by reading the paragraph aloud, and the students read along, aloud, also. The paragraph can then go home with students to be read to parents, and, can be practiced the following day, in class, with other students.
The advantage of this type of guided reading is that students have experienced examining the inner details of words while working at the board. They understand how feature words work and know their meanings. All words within the paragraph - even sight words - have been introduced, analyzed, and fall within students' skill levels. Students experience success, and their confidence grows!
Overall Essentials of an Effective Intervention Program
(Overcoming Dyslexia, pp.30-1, 258-60, 262-8)
Reading Horizons meets all essential requirements outlined for early intervention for potential reading problems. Our goal, however, we recommend it used by entire classes, K-3. In several elementary schools, it is initially used in K through 6, because so many children have not been exposed to the benefits of phonics. In schools where Reading Horizons is taught K-3, student scores show tremendous gains: the program is also used widely in middle schools, high schools, community colleges, workplace literacy centers, corrections facilities, and other adult settings.