If you have been following along on my LinguisticsGirl Twitter feed, you know that I have been working on a reading program for my second child. My reading program developed in response to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, which I used with my oldest child. When the time came to teach my second to read, I had learned more about the English spelling system thanks to the Lexinars and materials at Linguist-Educator Exchange (LEX). I immediately noticed many problems with the original text. I therefore created my own reading program that presented English orthography as fully and accurately as possible. My reading program is a reaction to, not based on, 100 Easy Lessons.
My reading program is not a phonics book. Phonics is a method of teaching reading that posits that sounds correlate with graphemes in an alphabetic writing system. Phonics assumes letters represent speech sounds. Letters can spell sounds, but not all letters spell sounds. Some letters are markers. Other letters are zeroed. My reading program strives to teach fully and accurately about the English writing system to give a new reader the information needed to read and understand the spelling of any English word.
I am excited to announce that Teach a Student to Read is now available for purchase on Amazon. The print version is available in two volumes (Volume 1 and Volume 2) at $24.99 each for a total of $49.98. Other so-called complete reading programs currently cost $100 each, and none provide complete and accurate information about the English writing system. The Kindle version contains both volumes found in the print version for $19.99. A Reading Supplement that contains the stories in the electronic version is available for $11.99. The Kindle version can be used alone, but the Reading Supplement offers new readers a physical book to hold and manipulate.
Teach a Student to Read (TASTR) developed in response to the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons reading program. Unlike phonics programs that erroneously posit that sounds correlate with letters in an alphabetic writing system, TASTR strives to teach the English writing system as fully and accurately as possible.
TASTR approaches the teaching of reading through the tenet that the primary function of English spelling is to express meaning. The program begins with the expectation that the reading student knows the letters of the English alphabet and then teaches the graphemes of the English spelling system. The student learns about the graphemes, digraphs, and trigraphs that can spell sounds. But not all letters spell sounds. Some letters are markers. Other letters are zeroed. The single final nonsyllabic E, which is the lynchpin of the English spelling system, is introduced in the first lesson. A student must understand that not all letters spell sounds as soon as learning to read begins.
In addition to English graphemes, TASTR also introduces word sums, prefixes, and suffixes. A word sum shows how a word is built. The student will learn the ways that prefixes and suffixes affect the spelling and pronunciation of words
TASTR additionally includes information about some of the most common verbs in English as well as information about nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. A brief tutorial for uncovering the history of a word, and thus an explanation of the spelling, is included in the introduction.
Teach a Student to Read is not a phonics program. TASTR presents English orthography as fully and accurately as possible, thus giving a new reader the information needed to read and understand the spelling of any English word.
Teach a Student to Read is available for purchase on Amazon.
The Teach a Student to Read reading program is also available for purchase outside the United States.