Method 1 of 3: Teaching the Essentials

Teach the alphabet. The first step in learning to read is recognizing the letters of the
alphabet. Use a poster, chalkboard, or notebook to write or display the alphabet. Go
over the letters with the student until he or she learns them all. Use the alphabet song
to help the student to remember.

 !nce the student knows the alphabet in order, challenge him or her by writing
several letters out of order and ask them to recall the letters.
 "ou can also name one of the letters and ask the student to point it out.
 #hen teaching a child, start by teaching his or her the letters of their own
name. This makes learning the letters personal and important. $ecause it is
something important to the child % his own name & the child 'owns( his
learning, and will be e)cited by it.

Teach sounds. !nce your student is familiar with the alphabet, you will need to teach
them the sounds of each letter. ,earning the name of the letter is not enough, as a
letter may be pronounced differently depending on the word. -or e)ample the b sound
in the word .bob. is different from the b sound in the word .bee.. !nce the student
has mastered the sounds of individual letters, they can practice blending letter sounds
together to form words.
 This knowledge of the basic sounds of spoken language and their ability to be
manipulated to form different words is known as phonemic awareness.

 Go over each letter and teach the sounds that the letter makes. Give e)amples
of words that start with each letter and ask the student to give e)amples as
 "ou can also try stating a word and asking the student which letter it starts

 "ou can then familiarize students with common letter pairs which make
specific sounds, such as 'ch(, 'sh(, 'ph(, '0u(, 'gh(, and 'ck(.
Teach short, one-syllable words. 1ntroduce your student to basic reading by showing
them two or three letter, one&syllable words. $eginners tend to do best with words that
have a consonant&vowel&consonant pattern, such as 2+T or 3!G.
 4tart by asking the student to read a simple, one&syllable word such as .sit..
5ave the student name each letter, then attempt to read the word. 1f the student
makes a mistake, ask again what sound the letter makes. The student will
reflect and either remember or have to be reminded. #hen the word is read
successfully, generously congratulate the student.

 6epeat this process with other simple, one&syllable words. !nce a list of about
five words is created, go back to the first word and see if the student can read
it more 0uickly.

 2ontinue to introduce more words, gradually introducing longer and more
comple) words.

Teach sight words. 4ight words are words that need to be learned by heart as they
diverge from the normal rules of spelling. 7any sight words such as .father., .again.
and .friend. are also high fre0uency words. -or this reason, it is very important that
readers are able to instantly recognize these words when they come across them in a
 The most common sight words have been compiled onto lists, such as the
famous 3olch 4ight #ord 4eries and the -ry ,ist.

 To teach sight words, try associating each word with an illustration. 9resenting
students with illustrations of sight words along with their print versions helps
them to make important connections between the ob:ect and the word.
 -lashcards or posters with a colorful picture and the word written under it are
e)cellent sight word teaching tools.
 6epetition is key to sight word ac0uisition. $eginner readers should be given
the opportunity to read and write a new sight word multiple times. The
repetitive reading of te)ts featuring certain sight words is one good strategy
for helping students commit these words to memory.


!uild "ocabulary. + student<s reading vocabulary is defined as the the number of
words that they know and understand as they read.
=)panding your student<s
vocabulary is an integral part of teaching them how to read. The wider their
vocabulary, the more advanced te)ts they will be able to read and comprehend. "ou
can help your student to improve their vocabulary in several ways>
 $y encouraging then to read as much as possible and to vary the type of te)t
they read. #hen reading, ask your students to underline any words they don<t
know, then you can e)plain or help them look them up the meaning in the
dictionary later.
 $y teaching them the definitions of words or other attributes of words, such as
the meanings of common roots, prefi)es and suffi)es.
 Using association methods to help students draw connections between what
they do know and words that they do not know. 9airing a new word with a
known synonym is an e)ample.

!uild fluency. -luency is the ability to read 0uickly and accurately, with appropriate
rhythm, intonation, and e)pression. $eginner readers do not possess this ability. +s a
result, they often struggle through te)ts that are beyond their .comfort. level. #ithout
fluency, a reader will focus all of their energies on correctly pronouncing the words in
front of them, rather than absorbing their meaning. #hen this happens, the reader fails
to understand the meaning of the te)t, making the ability to read it pointless. That is
why building fluency is so important.
 4ome non&fluent readers will hesitate when reading, unable to sound out
words or figure out punctuation. !thers will read without e)pression or
changing their tone, rushing through the words without thinking about their
 The best way to promote fluency in beginner readers is through repeated
reading. 1n repeated reading, the student reads a passage many times while the
teacher provides feedback about speed and accuracy levels, helps with
problem words, and demonstrates fluent reading.

 1t is also important to ensure that the student is familiar with different types of
pronunciation. 7ake sure that your student knows how punctuation marks
such as a comma, a period, a 0uestion mark and an e)clamation point will
affect the flow and intonation of their reading.

Test reading co%prehension. 6eading comprehension is the process of constructing
meaning from what is read. 1n order to comprehend a te)t, a reader must associate the
words they read with their actual meaning. =nabling your student to comprehend the
te)t they are reading is your main goal as a teacher, as without comprehension,
reading is meaningless.
 1n order to test your student<s progress, you will need to assess their reading
comprehension. Typically this can be done by asking your student to read and
answer 0uestions about what they have read. -ormats include multiple&choice,
short answer, and fill&in&the&blank 0uestions.
 "ou can also assess your student<s knowledge of comprehension strategies by
asking them 0uestions while reading, getting them to give you a summary of
what they have :ust read and by observing them as they read.
Method 2 of 3: Teaching &hildren
'ead to your child. 6ead to your child as often as possible. 3oing so teaches your
child that reading is fun and also introduces your child to the way that written words
sound when spoken aloud. 6eading to your child is also a great bonding e)perience
and will encourage them to love books.
 "ou can begin reading to your child from infancy onward. Use picture books,
te)tured cloth books and books of lullabies for babies and toddlers. !nce they
get a bit older, you can introduce alphabet books and rhyming books.
 =ngage your child by asking him 0uestions about both the content of the book
and its pictures. +sking your child 0uestions about the book you are reading
together makes the whole e)perience more interactive and encourages the
child to actually comprehend what he is seeing and reading.
 #ith babies, you should try pointing at certain pictures and asking 0uestions
such as .3o you see the tractor?. while pointing at the tractor. This will help
his vocabulary, while allowing him to interact with the reading process. +s he
progresses, point at animals like cats or sheep and ask him to make those
animals< noises & like .meow. or .baa.. This shows that your baby is
understanding what they see, while also providing great entertainment@

(et a good e)a%ple. =ven if your child displays an interest in reading from a young
age, he will 0uickly lose interest if reading is not demonstrated or encouraged in the
home. 2hildren learn by e)ample, so pick up a book and show your child that reading
is something that adults en:oy too.

 =ven if you<re very busy, try to let your child see you reading for at least a
couple of minutes everyday. "ou don<t to read a classic novel to set a good
e)ample. 6ead a newspaper, a cookbook, a thrillerBitCs up to you@
*oo+ at the pictures. ,ooking at picture books is a great way to build vocabulary and
to help children understand what is going on in a story. $efore reading a new book,
:ust flip through the pages, commenting on the pictures. 4how your child how to spot
conte)t clues that will help them to read.

 Try asking 0uestions that they can answer from looking at the pictures. -or
e)ample, if there<s a color word, ask them to guess what the word is from the
 9raise correct responses, and ask more 0uestions to encourage them if they<re
,se "ariety. #hen choosing materials to help your children learn to read, include a
mi)ture of phonics books that they can eventually read all by themselves, slightly
more advanced stories that you<ll read together and :ust&for&fun materials of their
choice, like comic books and magazines.
 Using various types of materials and activities helps make learning to read an
en:oyable activity, not a chore.
 3o you have a childhood favorite that you want to share with your kids? 1f
there<s a book that you<ve read over and over again, your love for it can be


!e creati"e. + little creativity goes a long way when it comes to teaching kids to
read. 1f your child is stimulated by the learning process, you will find it easier to hold
their attention and they will learn much faster as a result. Think outside the bo) and
turn learning to read into a fun activity.
 9ut on a show. "ou can make reading stories fun and help improve reading
comprehension through role playing. Tell your kids that after reading the book
together, you<ll decide which characters each of you will play. "ou can write a
short script together, create props and dress up in costumes or masks.

 Try making letters out of 9lay&3oh, writing in the sand at the beach, drawing
on the carpet or using pipe cleaners to create words.

Method 3 of 3: Teaching -dults
,nderstand that teaching an adult how to read is a difficult underta+ing. +dults
are not as 0uick at learning new skills as children and they may find it difficult to
remember letter sounds and words that a child would pick up easily. 5owever,
teaching an adult how to read is also an e)tremely rewarding e)perience. "ou will
:ust need time and a considerable amount of patience.
 Unlike children, adult learners cannot spend several hours in a classroom
everyday. 1f they are :uggling work and family life, they will have a couple of
hours a week at most to work on their reading. This can significantly prolong
the learning process.
 1lliterate adults may also have a lifetimes<s worth of negative e)periences and
emotions that they associate with their inability to read, which can be difficult
to overcome.
-ssess their ability. 1n order to find out where to begin, you will need to assess your
student<s current reading ability. This may be a professional assessment or simply
asking the learner to do whatever reading and writing heFshe already knows, and
taking note of where heFshe struggles.
 2ontinue observing your learner<s level throughout the learning process.
 1f he or she consistently struggles with a particular skill or concept, take it as a
cue to help work on that skill.
Ma+e the% feel secure. +n illiterate adult<s greatest challenge is overcoming
insecurity about their ability to read. 7any adults suffer from a lack of confidence and
from the fear that it is too late for them to learn how to read. =)press confidence in
their learning abilities and reassure them that it is never to late to start.
 6eassure them that their familiarity with spoken =nglish and their pre&e)isting
vocabulary will play a ma:or role in learning how to read.
 7any adults have spent years hiding their inability to read from teachers,
family and co&workers. ,et them know that they no longer need to be ashamed
or embarrassed and that you respect their courage in coming to you to learn to
,se appropriate %aterials. #hen teaching adults, look for materials that are not too
childish, or at least ask whether they mind using children<s materials. 5owever, keep
in mind that children<s books can be easy beginning materials, as they use simple
words and rhymes to reinforce the connection between letter patterns and sounds.
 +lso remember that if you use materials that are too difficult or outside of
their comfort zone, adult readers can easily become discouraged.
 Using materials that are challenging, yet manageable will help to build the
adult reader<s ability and confidence.

Ma+e it rele"ant. Try to use material that is interesting and relevant to your student.
$y using relevant materials, you are making the learning process less of a chore and
are encouraging your adult student by showing them the practical applications of
learning to read.
 Try using road signs, newspaper articles or restaurant menus when practicing
 Use technology by sending your student each new word they have to learn via
te)t message. This makes learning fun and relevant to everyday life.
Gnow another method for 5ow to Teach (o%eone to 'ead? +dd it here...
Name yo
-dd Method
• The learner must be motivated and praised for any effort.
• !ne approach to reading may not be successful for all learners. often a
combination of methods is most successful.
• -re0uent shorter lessons are more valuable and makes for less fatigue
for both tutor and student. 3aily lessons will prove to be more
successful. -amiliarity with the process will give the best results.
• +nyone can learn how to read, no matter the age or level that was
obtained in school. !ne on one help, a desire to learn and the patience
of the teacher will result in success eventually.
• Go in stages.
• The sub:ect matter must be of interest. 1t is essential. =nsure that the
ideasFconcepts in the reading material are familiar to the learner. Talk
about the te)t before reading.
• !ne approach to reading may not be successful for all learners. !ften a
combination of methods is most successful.
• 5ave the learner<s eyesight checked if heFshe seems to have trouble
distinguishing letters or words. 1f you suspect other learning
disabilities get professional help identifying them so that you can know
how to work around them.
• 3ifferent commercial .learn to read. programs are based on different
methods. "ou may want to find a phonics based program to go along
with other graded materials of interest to the learner.