Elements of an Effective Reading Remediation Program

To Improve Reading Skills in Struggling Readers


This information is targeted for students 3rd grade and older and adults who struggle with reading and need a direct effective intervention program to help them acquire necessary reading skills and advance to proficient reading. For information targeted to younger children see the article Elements of an Effective Beginning Reading Program.


1. Teach All Skills Directly 

Always explicitly teach the student exactly what they need to know. Never leave it to chance for a student to discover essential elements on his own. Direct instruction prevents situations where the student does not learn simply because they inadvertently missed essential information or skills. While some students may be able to learn with indirect, analytic, embedded or incidental approaches, many do not. Statistically the majority of children fail to learn to read with indirect and embedded instructional methods. At best, these methods are inefficient.  To maximize effectiveness and efficiency all skills should be directly taught to the student. Direct instruction is particularly critical in remediation as these students previously failed to acquire necessary skills. Direct instruction helps insure the student learns all necessary skills.   


2. Teach In a Systematic Manner

Present information in a deliberate, pre-planned carefully controlled manner. This step-by-step instruction allows the student time to practice and master individual skills before additional information and complexities are taught. Start simple. Introduce new skills and knowledge a bit at a time, adding complexity as the student learns.  The English language is complex. Systematic presentation helps students manage and master the complexities.  A carefully designed program that directly teaches the complete code and progressively builds skills and knowledge in a direct systematic manner prevents the chaos and confusion that is created when you toss the entire complex English language at the student at one time. Systematic presentation helps the student make sense of our complex written language. The purpose of a carefully controlled systematic presentation is to help the student learn.


3.  Always Provide Immediate Correction

Do not allow the student to learn or practice skills incorrectly. Immediate correction is especially critical in remediation. Correction is necessary to help the student extinguish incorrect approaches and develop necessary skills.  It is a disservice to allow a student to perform a skill incorrectly. It is always easier to learn the correct way than to try and unlearn incorrect habits. If the student can not correct himself, or does not understand then you need to teach them the skill they are lacking. As the teacher, it is your job to ensure the student is learning correctly. Correction is NOT a negative action but rather a positive opportunity to help the student learn correctly.   


4. Develop Phonemic Awareness

Directly develop phonemic awareness skills.  Although some children and adults have a definite natural phonological weakness, phonemic awareness (PA) can be taught and learned. The scientific evidence proves that PA instruction has a significant positive effect on both reading and spelling. Directly teach students how to hear, recognize and manipulate sounds within words.  To maximize effectiveness the program needs to directly link the phonemic awareness skills to print.  When remediating older students it is particularly important not only to develop PA but to link these oral PA skills directly to the printed phonemic code.  See Phonemic Awareness Explained for additional information.


5. Develop and Engrain Proper Tracking 

It is essential the student develops and engrains proper directional tracking where they process letters in order from left to right. It is especially important to directly teach and emphasize proper directional tracking to remedial readers. Many struggling readers make frequent tracking errors. They try to look at all the letters at once or hop around searching for words or portions of words they recognize. Overcoming these incorrect strategies requires direct work on proper tracking skills.  Physical pointing, with either the finger or other pointer, is a highly effective way to directly teach this critical skill.  The multisensory benefits of having the student physically move their finger or pointer (kinetic motion) develops and engrains this essential subskill. Especially in remediation, you need to ensure the student processes all the letters in a word in order from left to right. Teach this essential skill until proper tracking is automatic. See Directional Tracking Explained for additional information.


6.  Teach Smooth Blending

The skill of smoothly blending individual sounds together into words is critical. The student needs to learn how to say the sounds smoothly without pausing between the sounds. The instructor needs to always demonstrate the correct blending technique of not pausing between the sounds. Choppy/segmented sounding out makes it very difficult for some students to push the sounds back together into a word. They might know all the individual sounds but by the time they get to the end of the word with separated choppy sounding out they forget what sounds they just said or add in extra sounds when they try to put it all together. If the student keeps the sounds smoothly ‘hooked’ together, the word doesn’t ‘fall apart’. If the student has any difficulty with this essential skill, it is important to directly teach smooth blending. See Blending Explained for additional information.


7. Teach the Complete Phonetic Code

Directly teach the complete phonetic code. All necessary phonograms need to be directly and systematically taught. The phonograms are the alphabetic letters or groups of letters that symbolize the smallest speech sounds of English. The student must have knowledge of the direct print to sound relationship. Although it is best to start with the simple and most frequently encountered sounds, it is not adequate to stop there. It is essential to teach the complete code necessary to master our phonemic based written English language.  This includes teaching: the sounds written with more than one letter (/th/ /sh/ /ch/ /oy/..); the multiple sounds for the vowels (o=/o/, /oa/ and /u/);  the numerous vowel-combinations (ee, ea, oa, oi, ai, ou…); the multiple sounds for certain letters/combinations of letters ( s = /s/ in sit & /z/ in has);  the r-controlled vowel combinations (ar, or, ir, ur, air, ear…etc) and other complexities (ph=/f/).


The student needs to look at the black printed letter(s) and immediately and directly know and process the correct sound. Teaching activities should establish this direct accurate print = correct sound efficient processing. The sound knowledge needs to be direct, automatic, and phonetically correct print to sound. Avoid indirect processing as it is inefficient and makes reading harder for the student. For example, activities that link the sight of printed letters to a word/object (‘b’ = book), or link letters or sounds to a picture ‘b’ or /b/ = &  are indirect processing.


A well designed direct systematic phonics program teaches the complete phonetic code including the multiple sounds for the vowels, the consonant digraphs, vowel combinations, r-controlled vowels and other complexities. It uses direct and accurate print to sound instruction. It includes systematic presentation and allows the student time to practice so that the sound knowledge is automatic. An effective program helps the student acquire automatic, direct knowledge of the complete phonemic code, an essential skill for proficient phonologic processing.


8. Use Targeted Multisensory Processes

Multisensory processes refer to utilizing the different senses to aid learning. The general concept is we learn and remember more when we involve multiple senses including visual processes (pictures, ‘seeing’ images), auditory/oral processes (listening and talking), and physical/kinetic processes (motion, hands on, doing). Multisensory instruction applies two or more of these senses to enhance learning.  However, to be effective in developing reading skills these multisensory activities must be carefully targeted. Multi-sensory approaches in themselves will not help a student learn to read unless they directly build the exact skills necessary for proficient reading.  Effective multisensory activities directly teach correct directional tracking, develop phonemic awareness, create a direct and automatic link between print and sound, teach smooth blending, and establish correct proficient phonologic processing.  It is not the multisensory process itself but the application of these multi-sensory processes to the development of specific skills that is key to enhanced learning. 


For instance, neural research clearly identifies the direct link between print and sound is necessary to develop proficient reading pathways. This automatic direct link between printed letter and the correct sound is the required skill activities need to target.  An effective multisensory instructional activity is having the student write the printed letter while saying the sound.  This simple action directly links the motion of forming the printed letter (kinetic), image of the completed letter (visual) to saying and hearing the correct sound (auditory). This targeted application and integration of the multisensory processes is highly effective in helping the student learn the necessary skill.


In contrast, multisensory activities that are not targeted to develop necessary skills (based on the science of proficient reading) have limited benefit. Activities can even be detrimental if they unintentionally create incorrect processing or utilize energy for unnecessary indirect efforts. A jumping jack, dance or hand sign are misguided application of the kinetic process because these motions are unrelated to skills necessary for reading print. These activities may actually develop indirect, inefficient processing. We know auditory and oral processes of saying and hearing sounds are critical to phonologic processing. However, saying sounds incorrectly, practicing sounds without linking them visually to the printed letters, orally chanting words or singing songs will not directly develop necessary skills of converting printed letters to their correct sound, blending these sounds into words and developing phonologic processing pathways.  Similarly, looking at objects or images, color coding, and other such unrelated visual activities are misguided. Teaching a student to visual ‘recognize’ words by their overall appearance (sight word approach) can be detrimental because it undermines the phonologic processing essential for proficient reading. Remember to be effective, multisensory activities must focus on developing necessary skills.


Mixed in with the multisensory instruction, there is often a good deal of discourse about ‘multiple intelligence’ and ‘multiple learning styles’. These terms refer to theories about how individuals have specific strengths and how some children learn better with certain styles.  This theory professes views such as a student with strong ‘visual intelligence’ learns better with visual instructional approaches and a student with strong ‘auditory intelligence’ learns best with oral instructional methods.  It is very important to realize while individuals absolutely do have specific strengths, this does not mean that proficient reading is achieved by many different pathways. The neural science is clear. To read proficiently the student must convert print to sound and develop phonologic processing pathways. An assumption such as strong visual learners would best learn to read using visual processing completely ignores the science of proficient reading.  In fact, this false assumption is most detrimental to the students with the naturally strong ‘visual intelligence’ and weak phonemic awareness as these students are least likely to develop the necessary phonemic processing on their own. Instruction that encourages the use of visual processing actually leads these strong ‘visual’ students further down the incorrect processing pathways.  Reading instruction needs to be designed to develop the specific skills necessary for proficient reading.


An individual’s unique strengths and weaknesses make it even more important to directly develop necessary skills.  It is especially important to specifically teach, emphasize and develop strong phonemic processing skills in students who are naturally weakest in these areas. Left on their own, many students with poor phonemic awareness rely on their natural strengths and fail to develop necessary phonologic processing pathways. It is also important to realize building a student’s skills for proficient reading never negates or somehow minimizes their other natural strengths. For instance, if a student has strong visual skills, developing their phonemic awareness and teaching them to read with phonologic processing skills will not eliminate their strong visual skills. It will simply teach them to apply phonologic processing when reading. Effective reading instruction is not designed to match an individuals existing strengths but rather designed to intentionally develop and build skills and processes necessary for proficient reading.


In summary, multi-sensory activities are effective tools in helping students learn to read. However, these activities must be carefully designed and targeted to directly teach and reinforce the skill/knowledge necessary for proficient reading. While students may naturally have specific learning strengths and weaknesses, proficient reading requires the development of phonologic processing pathways. Effective reading programs use a variety of carefully designed and targeted multi-sensory activities to directly teach and develop the skills necessary for proficient reading.


9. Emphasize Attention to Detail

To read proficiently, the student needs to learn to pay attention to detail. Teach the student to carefully look at all the sounds within a word and stop him immediately if he skips details. This emphasis on attention to detail is especially important with reading remediation as you need to extinguish the old habit of not looking at all the details and replace it with the careful attention to detail. Proper tracking is also intertwined into the attention to detail skill. An effective remediation program should be designed to directly teach, develop and reinforce this critical skill that is essential for skilled reading.


10. Develop Phonologic Processing (Use a Direct Systematic Phonics Approach)

The student needs to learn to read by using phonologic processing. The most effective way to ensure students convert print to sound and develop the phonologic processing necessary for proficient reading is to teach them with a strong phonics-first direct systematic phonics program. Directly teach students to convert letters into sounds and blend these sounds into words.  Validated research shows this type of direct-systematic-phonics instruction has significant benefits for children in K through 6th grade and in children having difficulty learning to read. [1]  True phonics based programs teach students printed letters represent specific sounds and how to blend these sounds into words. To maximize effectiveness, you need to teach the student explicitly and directly in a systematic and complete manner. An important note: this absolutely is not a blanket endorsement for all ‘phonics’ programs. Many programs labeled ‘phonics’ use indirect, embedded methods or are in fact just sight word programs with a token addition of a few sounds. Other ‘phonics’ programs are incomplete or rely on indirect memorization of long complex lists of rules.


Remediation is not only teaching the correct skills but also helping the student overcome old incorrect habits. By design remediation programs need to insure the student develops and uses correct techniques. Teaching strategies must also prevent the use of incorrect strategies.  Remember phonologic processing is more than knowing the sounds. Efficient phonologic processing requires integration of direct knowledge of the complete phonemic code, proper directional tracking, smooth blending, and attention to detail.


Research provides neurobiological proof effective instruction using direct-phonological-based reading programs can develop the neural pathways for proficient reading in both children and adults.  Effective programs that specifically taught letter-sound correspondence not only improved reading skills in struggling readers, but actually changed brain activity form incorrect neural pathways to the “correct” pathway that good readers use. 


11.  Ensure Phonologic Processing - Avoid Sight/Whole Word Reading

It is important to avoid teaching a sight word approach where the student learns to “read” by trying to recognize what whole words “look like”. Many students who struggle with reading have adopted this incorrect ‘whole word’ visual word recognition strategy. Remediation must focus on eliminating this detrimental habit of trying to visually recognize the entire word.


A ‘whole word’ approach to reading fails because there are too many words and words are too similar to learn by overall visual appearance.  Initially, a simple short list can be successfully “read” by whole word strategies and guessing. For example, a short list of visually different words like …a, the, cat, ball, house, green. This whole word identification “instant reading” may be exciting at first but can encourage the child to develop incorrect reading strategies where they think “reading” equates to simply looking at what the word looks like, recognizing a few letters, and then “word guessing”. Some children, especially those with strong visual memory skills, are very good at this in the beginning. However, as vocabulary expands visually similar words are encountered. The student who has adopted a whole word reading strategy is certain to fail. Not only are there absolutely too many words but words are too visually similar. A child starts school with something like a 24,000 word speaking and listening vocabulary. His vocabulary is up above 40,000 by 3rd grade. It is impossible to learn such an extensive vocabulary visually as whole words. Remember, only 26 letters make up all those words. To read proficiently, the student must look at each and every letter in order and process it phonologically. The neural imaging studies confirm this. The linguistic fact is our written language is NOT made up of whole word “pictures” but sounds that blend together to form spoken words. In linguistic history, written alphabets replaced pictographs precisely because there were too many words to represent by pictures.


The problem is apparent when you observe students who have been instructed in whole word methods and adopted ‘whole word’ visual reading strategies. Their reading errors clearly show how they mistakenly look at appearance or physical structure of the word, look only at a few letters or at part of the word, mix up the order of the letters, or simply make wild guesses. These students say “very” for the word every, “made” for dim, “doctor” for describe, “sleep” for speed, “smell” for small, “volume” for value, “have” for van, “poured” for sprout, “mile” for lime and “soft” for often.  They wildly guess un-common learned words like “chimp” for chart and “prehistoric” for plenty. Frequently, the ‘wild guesses’ are words they specifically have tried to visually memorize. They look at very simple phonetic words like “rod” and “fat” and say, “I don’t know the word”. They cannot read very simple phonetic words even when they quickly recognize a word like ‘elephant’. All of these are actual examples I have observed. In closer evaluation, these students often have poor phonemic awareness, do not know many necessary sounds, do not track letters in order left to right, do not look at all the letters, and have poor segmenting and blending skills. Sadly, they never learned HOW to read and instead adopted a strategy of trying to memorize the entire look of the word - a strategy guaranteed to fail. The brain imaging research on dyslexia confirms and explains why whole word approaches fail. Proficient reading is dependant on phonological analysis. While some words are not completely phonetic and are read partly by “sight”, visual recognition sight word/ whole word reading should not be taught as a reading strategy.


12.  Teach Phonetically Accurate Representations of Print - Avoid teaching “word families” and “blended consonants” as unique units

Use phonetically accurate representations of print. Avoid teaching with inaccurate representations of print such as word families (at, ig, it, am & the hundreds of other possibilities) and blended consonant clusters (bl, cr, fl, sc, sl, bl & the other 60+ possible beginning and ending blended consonant sounds) as unique letter/sound units.  There is no need to do this. All it does is add hundreds of additional combinations for the student to learn. Teach the necessary single sounds and blending skills and the student can then read all possible combinations. For example by knowing 6 sounds (a e m n d t) and developing blending skills the student can sound out 10 different common combinations (am, an, ad, at, and, em, en, ed, et, end). At best, the teaching of blended consonant and word family units is an inefficient and indirect way to teach the necessary blending skill. However, the serious concern is these incorrect representations actually create reading difficulties in some students.


Problems arise when students adopt a strategy of trying to memorize the cluster groups as a visual unit instead of processing each sound. Not only is the sheer number of combinations overwhelming but the visual similarities between the clusters make visual “what it looks like” strategies very difficult for a child to master (such as bl, pl, lb, ld). In addition, if students hop around within words looking for familiar clusters and word families, they often confuse the left to right tracking and sounding out skills that are absolutely necessary. They inappropriately pull out word family combinations from words. They pull out ‘it’ from wait, ‘in’ from coin, and ‘ag’ from page. These blended consonant clusters and word family units encourage some students to not look at all the letters. By overlooking the necessary attention to detail, students who learn with consonant clusters frequently insert blended sounds when they are not present. They read camp as ‘clamp’, tack as ‘track’, fake as ‘flake’, tide as ‘tride’, set as ‘sent’. Because they learned the cluster as a ‘hunk’ they actually ‘see’ the cluster when it is not there. These difficulties are all actual errors made by students who were taught word family and consonant cluster techniques. 


It is simpler, more effective and prevents potential reading problems to teach students the necessary sounds and develop phonemic awareness and blending skills so they are able to combine any letters. Students often do need direct practice the blended consonants sounds as individual sounds within these consonant clusters are more difficult to distinguish. For example, many children hear the first sound of ‘grip’ as /gr/ instead of /g/. These students need to develop phonemic awareness to distinguish the separate sounds. Always teach the blended consonants as processing and blending of the individual sounds NOT by learning cluster units. For example, teach flap as blending /f/ /l/ /a/ /p/ NOT /fl/ /a/ /p/. Same with the common “word families”; teach the blending of sounds /s/ /a/ /t/ NOT /s/ /at/.


Word families and blended consonant clusters are an inaccurate representation of our language. From the very beginning, we need to teach students to carefully process at all the letters in order by sound. Shortcuts that bypass this process can unintentionally create reading difficulties in some students. This careful attention to phonetic accuracy is particularly important in remediation situations. 


13.   Guided Oral Reading is Essential

Guided reading is reading out loud to an adult, or other proficient reader, with feedback.  This is NOT independent silent reading. The key part is ‘guided’. Correction and instruction helps the student learn and improve skills. The validated research shows guided out loud reading has significant beneficial impact on word recognition, fluency and comprehension across a range of grade levels.[2]  Guided reading benefits both good and struggling readers. In contrast, silent independent reading may not actually improve reading skills for beginning readers. Numerous studies show the best readers read the most and poor readers read the least. However, these studies are all correlational. It may be the good readers simply spend more time reading. Although it sounds like a good idea to have students read more alone, there is no research evidence showing independent silent reading actually improves reading skills. If a poor reader sits flipping pages and struggling with the reading and making errors, their skills will not improve, no matter how much time they spend. In contrast, guided oral reading instruction helps the student improve skills. This is NOT saying students should not read to themselves, or there are no benefits for children looking at books, or students do not need to read more. Rather, it says to improve skills, particularly in learning stages, students need to read out loud with feedback. At more advanced levels, silent reading does improve the higher skills of fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.


Guided reading has a significant beneficial impact on developing reading skills and should be a part of reading instructional programs. Guided reading is particularly important tool in remediating struggling readers. Guided reading also is the ideal time to help students develop higher level skills in comprehension.  Specific instructions for conducting guided reading are found in the article The Importance of Guided Reading.  


14. Develop Fluency

Fluency is the ‘fast’ or ‘automatic’ reading where words appear to be almost instantly recognized.  Fluent readers read quickly and accurately without effort. Fluency is the objective for phonologic decoding. The critical information to keep in mind for effective reading instruction is that fluency or ‘fast reading’ is developed word by word based on repeated accurate phonologic processing of specific words.  To build fluency, we first have to be sure the student is reading by correct, accurate phonologic processing (sounding out the word correctly). This foundation of correct phonologic processing is mandatory in order for the student to develop fluency.  Students do not become ‘fluent readers’ overnight but rather build fluency word-by-word over time. With repeated practice correctly reading individual words, the student adds to their storehouse of ‘fast’/fluent words. Effective tools to directly build fluency include guided oral reading and a program of spelling/writing words by sound.  See the article Reading Fluency Explained for further details on helping your student develop fluency.  


15.  Teach Strategies for Handling Multisyllable Words

The majority of English words are multisyllable so it is critical to read them effectively. It is more difficult to process multisyllable words. It requires more advanced strategies and techniques than decoding simple one and two syllable words. Many struggling readers have difficulty with multisyllable words. A remediation program should include both direct instruction and guided practice in handling multisyllable words.  Direct practice with common affixes is also effective in helping students learn how to handle multisyllable words.  If conducted correctly, spelling can be used as an effective tool for learning how to process these longer words. 


16.  Expand Vocabulary Knowledge

Expanding a student’s vocabulary knowledge is important to reading development.  Vocabulary instruction leads to gains in comprehension (noted by the National Reading Panel). A comprehensive reading program needs to include vocabulary development. The student can acquire vocabulary both incidentally through exposure and through direct vocabulary instruction. It has been shown that various techniques designed to directly build vocabulary are effective in expanding vocabulary knowledge and improving reading comprehension. Optimal learning occurs when vocabulary instruction involves a combination of different techniques. See the article Expanding Vocabulary Knowledge for further information.


17.  Directly Develop Reading Comprehension Skills

Comprehension is deriving meaning from text. Comprehension is a complex higher level skill. You can take direct actions to help students develop specific comprehension skills and strategies.  While readers acquire some comprehension strategies informally, explicit or formal instruction in the application of comprehension strategies has been shown to be highly effective in enhancing understanding (from the Report of the National Reading Panel).  These strategies help students think about, remember and understand what they are reading.  These comprehension strategies are effective for non-impaired readers. Remember, if the student has decoding difficulties you need to first establish the necessary fundamental decoding skills of proficient phonologic processing. Otherwise the difficulty decoding will likely inhibit the development of the more advanced comprehension. Some students have no difficulty decoding but struggle with comprehension. These students need direct instruction in developing comprehension skills. Remediation programs should include direct instruction in developing comprehension skills. The majority of comprehension development can be accomplished as a part of guided reading.  See the article Developing Reading Comprehension for further information.  


18.  Practice reading: Read! Read! Read!

Daily reading is critical. Students should read a minimum of 20-30 minutes every day. Of course, the more reading is better!   In learning and remediation stages the majority of this reading time should be guided reading (out loud with feedback). As the student’s skills develop, their reading will shift primarily to independent silent reading. Practicing correct reading skills is essential to proficiency.


In general the student should read level appropriate material. Obviously, ‘appropriate’ is a relative term and the student’s reading level will change and advance as the student gets older and as their skills advance. The appropriateness of material also varies depending if they are reading alone or reading outloud with feedback. Multiple formal methods and systems for evaluating and rating ‘reading level’ exist. Most are based on readability factors such as vocabulary, number of multisyllable words, sentence length and structure, grammar, and complexity of story plot. A few rating systems consider suitability of the content.  Many of these systems provide numerical ratings to evaluate and compare books. These technical methods attempt to provide objective information on the actual ‘reading level’ of a particular book.  The reading level then needs to be considered relative to the individuals’ skills to determine what is ‘appropriate’ for the student. In addition to the formal methods, you can simply listen to your student read and then adjust material to fit.

The following simple rule of thumb can be used to help you determine if a book is the appropriate reading level for a particular student at a certain time and situation:

Independent level:  This is material the student can read with few errors. If the student is making only a few errors on a page the material is at the independent level. This ‘easy’ or independent level is ideal for silent reading.

Instructional level: The learning level material is where the student reads with some errors and skill building. If the student is making 4 or more errors per page the material is considered instructional level and should be read to an adult as guided reading material. This instructional or learning level is ideal for guided reading so you can help the student develop skills.

Frustration level: This is where the material is ‘too hard’. The student makes frequent errors in every paragraph. The reading level is really too advanced for the student. It is best to avoid frustration level material by finding another book. If frustration level material must be read, it is should be read as guided reading with assistance.

When a student learns to read proficiently, they should be able to read all grade level material. In other words, a 6th grader  may have difficulty reading a college level physics textbook but should not struggle with their middle school science textbook or other classroom material. If grade level material is consistently not ‘appropriate’ for your student, chances are they are lacking necessary decoding skills and need direct instruction in developing the necessary phonologic processing skills.


19.    Share the joy of reading

And as always, share the joy of reading. Reading is wonderful. Students have a natural excitement about reading that can be tapped into. Teaching students to read using a direct systematic phonics program does not preclude enjoyment and excitement with reading. In fact, it is the ability to read well that removes roadblocks and provides the route to reading enjoyment. The often quoted observation ‘good readers’ like to read and ‘poor readers’ do not enjoy reading is absolutely true. However, this is a correlational, not a cause and effect, relationship.  This tendency to spend time and enjoy what we are good at is simply human nature. It is difficult to ‘enjoy’ an activity you don’t do very well, make frequent frustrating errors and can only accomplish with difficulty and work. When students learn how to read they are able to become ‘engaged’ and ‘excited’ about reading. This is particularly evident in students who have struggled with reading. Once these students learn how to read there is often a complete 180° change in their attitude toward reading. The same 5th grader who in September told me she didn’t like to read, literally came skipping down the hall to tell me all about the two books she voluntarily read over Christmas break.  A mother of 7th grader I tutored told me she came home from work to find her son voluntarily reading a book, something he had previously never done. A year later he is an avid reader.


An effective reading remediation program intentionally develops necessary proficient reader skills. Structured reading lessons teach your student how to read. However, the lessons alone will not ensure your child achieves a love of reading. Parents and teachers absolutely need to encourage and promote a love of reading. Expose students to a wide variety of literature. Help them discover the amazing wealth of information contained in books. Encourage students to read. Go to the library frequently and search for books that engage the student. Check out numerous books on military aircraft. Help your daughter unpack the box of well worn favorite horse stories that her aunt sent her.  Give your child a flashlight so she can re-read all the Little House books under the covers after lights out. Read all the RedWall books with him so you can discuss the details of how the brave mouse warrior and his woodland friends defeat the evil horde of vermin.  Read the newspaper sports page at breakfast. Follow the latest space shuttle mission on the NASA internet site. Help her find research information. Read a nightly Bible verse. Read the same favorite book over and over. Enjoy books!  However, do not skip the important step of carefully teaching students how to read. Help your student become a ‘good reader’ so they are able to enjoy reading.


Skilled reading is a key that unlocks doors to limitless knowledge, enjoyment and adventures. Give your child or student this key by getting them on the right track to reading proficiency!


These elements are all part of Back on the Right Track Reading Lessons Program. For more information and a preview of the program see www.righttrackreading.com.



This article was written by Miscese Gagen a mother with a passion for teaching children to read proficiently by using effective methods. She is also a successful reading tutor and author of the reading instructional programs Right Track Reading Lessons and Back on the Right Track Reading Lessons. The purpose of this article is to empower parents and teachers with information on teaching children how to read. We CAN improve reading proficiency, one student at a time!  More information is located at www.righttrackreading.com ~ Copyright 2007 Miscese R. Gagen

[1] National Reading Panel’s “Teaching Children to Read” Summary Report www.nationalreadingpanel.org/publications/summary.htm

[2] National Reading Panel’s “Teaching Children to Read” Summary Report www.nationalreadingpanel.org/publications/summary.htm