18 Strategies to Help Learners Who Have Trouble Using Phonics While Reading

Are you looking for strategies to help students who have trouble using phonics while reading? If so, keep reading.

1. Establish a system of motivators, either concrete (e.g., extra computer time, free time, etc.) or informal (e.g., smile, handshake, praise, etc.), to urge the student to be more successful in reading.

2. Develop a list of words and phrases from the student’s reading content that they do not recognize. Get the student to practice phonics skills using these words.

3. Get the student to find words and phrases that they do not recognize. Make these words the student’s word list to be learned.

4. Teach the student word attack skills using a root word sight vocabulary to which several prefixes and suffixes may be added.

5. Praise the student every time they attempt to sound out a word. As the student shows success, slowly increase the number of attempts required for reinforcement.

6. Utilize a peer tutor to review phonics ideas previously taught by utilizing games and learning activities

7. Teach the student to use context clues to find words and phrases they do not know.

8. Make sure the student uses a sight vocabulary to support weaknesses in phonics skills.

9. Make sure the student develops an understanding of hearing word sounds (e.g., say, “Listen to the following words. They all start with a /bl/ blend: blue, black, block, blast.”).

10. Make sure the student develops an understanding of seeing letter combinations that produce sounds (e.g., have the student circle all the words in a reading passage that begins with the /bl/ blend).

11. Give practice with reading /bl/ words, /pl/ words, /pr/ words, etc., by presenting a high interest paragraph or story that contains these words.

12. Show skills in decoding words (e.g., using contractions from conversation, write the abbreviated form of the word and the two finished words to show how to recognize the contraction, etc.).

13. Urge the student to try several sounds to arrive at a correct answer (e.g., omit letters from a word that is used in context and provide a few choices that are to be filled in).

14. Urge the student to scan newspapers, magazines, etc., and underline learned phonics elements.

15. Create a list of phonics sounds the student needs to master. Eliminate sounds from the list as the student shows mastery of phonics skills.

16. Consider using AI to teach reading comprehension.

17. Consider using Alexa to teach reading skills.

18. Try using one of our many apps designed to teach literacy skills and help students with reading issues:

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