Reading is a portal to knowledge. When a child’s reading ability is lower than average, then they will also likely struggle in all other areas of their studies. This is why it is vital that children get the support they need during the early years, with continuous support and encouragement.
Reading intervention programs are provided to make sure that students don’t fall too far behind. By increasing their understanding, these programs help struggling students to catch up and fit in with those meeting curriculum standards.
What are reading intervention programs?
These are specially assigned and designed programs provided to improve the reading abilities of a small selection of students. The reading intervention program may have a strong focus on one specific area while providing a balanced approach to increasing reading abilities.
By grouping together students that are facing similar challenges, it can not only help with targeted tuition but also builds confidence. Simply seeing that other students are struggling can often be a great relief to a child that has found reading challenging.
As the program progresses, the key abilities will be addressed. These will normally include:
- Phonemic awareness
- Phonics and decoding
- Study skills
- Test-taking approaches
There may be other areas covered as well, due to the flexible nature of these programs. However, the key is how much focus and support is provided to the problem areas of the group.
Numerous strategies are combined to make sure that all involved reach at least a good standard of reading ability.
What are some reading intervention strategies?
While these programs often have a range of strategies, they will often have at least some of these approaches in common. That said, it will depend slightly around the target problem and the student’s ability level.
Repeated Reading – By repeatedly reading texts or words, it triggers a level of automation and recognition in our brain. Instead of breaking down words or needing to follow the letters, we recognize the pattern of letters and almost instinctively the word itself.
This helps to improve speed and understanding. However, to work effectively, feedback and support need to be continuously given. It is important to correct mistakes made, but not to punish them or make light of them.
It is also important for the student to have time to ‘think through’ challenges, before being provided with support. This time is needed to break down or remember words, developing their own problem solving and building confidence.
Assisted Reading – With this, like repeated reading, support is an important factor. However, when performing assisted reading, the text is often something new.
Where possible, it is most ideal to provide a choice of texts at similar levels. When the learner has the chance to choose, their interest and motivation levels are raised, as the book is something they want to read.
This reading with support nearby allows learners to explore new texts and words with confidence, steadily increasing their reading ability with supported practice.
QAR (Question-Answer Relationship) – While being able to read is important, it is also vital that students (and adults) can find information from the articles and books that they read. This may initially focus on finding facts within a page or chapter, such as “who had a read t-shirt?”. However, as abilities grow, the questions should move onto things about the story, implied meanings, the author’s intention, and even comparing the book to life or personal experiences.
Visualization – This is actually a lot harder than it seems. This is the process of making a movie in your mind, but when reading is already a challenge, this can seem difficult. That said, it is a vital part of comprehension and enjoyable reading. One of the best ways to develop this is to visualize and discuss. This is when a learner reads, imagines, and describes what they see if their head. Often our mind ‘fills in the blanks’ when we read, so this can become quite a fun exercise.
For the above strategies to work, the texts will initially need to be read aloud, so that feedback and corrections can be provided. Interactive activities, questioning, and general interest from supporters can greatly influence the effectiveness of this. Only once reading levels increase to an acceptable level should ‘reading in your head’ be encouraged.
What can you do to support reading intervention programs as a parent?
Assisted and repeated reading are the foundations for developing strong reading skills. This is something all parents can support, regardless of how much time they have. Our reading tutor is AI-powered and supports learners at every step. It supports and corrects their reading, increasing both comprehension and speed.
As a parent, you can monitor progress in the reports and actively show an interest in what they are reading. This means that we take care of the practice part, allowing you to focus on the fun part of questioning and showing an interest in their reading adventures. Why not try Readability Tutor today? Start your 7 day free trial!