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Innovative Reading Program Produces Exceptional Results in Nationwide Tests
Exciting brain research is translated into new ways of ending one of the nation’s most persistent and pervasive problems, reading difficulties. Sound Reading develops new a new concept, called “Reading Therapy.”
By: Bruce Howlett
Ithaca, NY September 2, 2009 – Literacy education is nearing a crisis point. No Child Left Behind has had only a minimal impact on reading scores. The Department of Education recently announced a new initiative, called Race to the Top. The message to educators is clear, innovate or innovation will be forced upon you.
There has been an explosion in educational research into the reading process, with brain imaging leading to radical breakthroughs. Yet the instructional methods used by teachers are little changed. Reading instruction still focuses on printed words, via phonics and reading practice, resulting in static reading scores.
“What struggling students need isn’t more reading instruction. They need reading therapy,” states Bruce Howlett, the founder of Sound Reading Solutions. “Reading therapy goes to the source of reading problems, the way the brain handles spoken words.” Working with dozens of educators and researchers, Sound Reading developed the first new reading method in decades.
“Reading has very little to do with the black-on-white printed words and almost everything to do with gray matter, the spoken words that flow through our brain,” Howlett explains. Reading uses almost the identical areas of your brain as having a conversation on a cell phone does. Reading is all about listening and hearing inner speech.”
Virtually all kindergarteners and first graders with reading difficulties have subtle weaknesses in their listening skills. “The same kids who struggle to understand a story when it is read to them will struggle when they try to read to themselves. The research on teens and adults with reading problems is clear; they invariably suffer from auditory processing, or listening, difficulties.”
The research that lead up to No Child Left Behind focused on one auditory skill, called phonemic awareness. This ability to hear each distinct sound in a spoken word is the critical skill needed for early reading development. Current research has focused on a broader range of auditory issues that hinder reading and makes learning phonics difficult.
“I think the biggest issue with phonics isn’t just the visual approach – letters and printed words. It’s that English is, by far, the hardest language to read if you start with letters. English also requires exceptional phonemic awareness because its sound system is exceedingly complex.” Read more about why phonics just aren't enough here - http://www.soundreading.com/
English has the world’s most challenging spelling patterns, with over 1200 spelling patterns. Spanish has thirty. Howlett recently presented his findings on the limitation of phonics at the annual meeting of The Council for Exceptional Children.
Sound Reading was the subject of a recent research paper showing that phonemic awareness and auditory skills are even more critical in older students. “As students progress in school the written words get longer and harder to hear distinctly. So teens and adults need greater phonemic awareness to read words like unconstitutional than they need to read cat or run.” To see this paper go to this link - http://www.soundreading.com/
Some early attempts to take the auditory approach to reading, including Cognitive Concepts’ Earobics and Scientific Learning’s Fast Forword relied on classical phonics methods to teach word reading. Sound Reading developed the Clear Code Methodtm using software todevelop the neurological conditions that allow struggling readers to use the same skills “natural readers” use to learn to read with so little effort. “We need to stop looking at reading as something to teach students. Rather we should develop the brain processes that lead to meaningful, effortless reading.”
"Innovation is important, but the real test of an educational method is it effectiveness"
For additional information please visit Soundreading.com or contact Bruce Howlett at 800.801.1954. Sound Reading also sells to parents and home schoolers. All Sound Reading products are guaranteed to bring reading decoding, fluency and comprehension to grade level.
About Sound Reading Solutions, Inc.:
Sound Reading Solutions is a ten-year-old company founded by a group of educators and researchers. Sound Reading produces true innovations in reading and math instruction. Using advances in the cognitive sciences the Sound Reading software, games and reading practice are easy to use and highly effective. Sound Reading is used in schools, nationwide. Sound Reading also has software for home use. Sound Reading’s partnership with Costco Wholesales to create a volunteer literacy program. Each year, 2000 Costco employees tutor elementary students, nationwide.
Jonathan Meyerhoff, Director of Public Relations
Sound Reading Solutions
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Sound Reading Solutions is a educational solutions company with the core product being their innovative reading software developed by Cornell Researcher Bruce Howlett. Sound Reading Solutions has been in existence for ten years and is based in Ithaca NY.