21 Ways to Support Learners Who Lack Word Attack Skills

Are you looking for ways to support students who lack work attack skills? If so, keep reading.

1. Urge the student to scan the newspapers, magazines, etc., and underline words they can decode using word attack skills (e.g., phonics, context clues, image clues, etc.).

2. Make the student orally explain context clues in sentences to find words not known.

3. Get the student to use related images to help find words not known in sentences.

4. Teach the student the most common prefixes and suffixes to add to root words they can find.

5. On occasions where the student has difficulty with word attack skills, urge them to continue working on developing word attack skills. Everyone has areas of weaknesses that require extra work.

6. Get the student to be a peer tutor to teach a concept they have learned to another student. This can serve as a reinforcement for the student.

7. Refrain from placing the student in awkward reading skills (e.g., reading aloud in a group, identifying that the student’s reading group is the lowest level, etc.).

8. Record complicated reading content for the student to listen to as they read along.

9. Utilize reading content with images and predictable reading to help the student master word attack skills.

10. Get the student to read aloud to the teacher each day. Give evaluative feedback.

11. Present new words and their meanings to the student before they read new learning materials. These may be entered in a vocabulary notebook kept by the student as a reference for new vocabulary words.

12. Teach the foundation for reading and writing in a sequential, systematic method with much positive reinforcement.

13. Let the student use the smartboard so that teaching and learning become active. The student hears, writes, and sees the sounds in isolation and then they slide together to make words.

14. The student should practice vocabulary words from required reading content by writing them while saying the sounds.

15. Teach the student pronunciation rules (e.g., vowel sounds, blends, etc.). Begin with simple words and sounds where the student achieves 95% to 100% accuracy. Do not move on to more complicated terms until practice, drill, and review of previous lessons produces accuracy.

16. Get the student to memorize decoding words and practice spotting the most common prefixes and suffixes. Using a sheet of paper with a window cut in it, target the base word.

17. Play a game of alphabet bingo with the student using phonics instead of letter names.

18. Teach the student individual consonant and vowel sounds.

19. Consider using AI to teach reading comprehension.

20. Consider using Alexa to teach reading skills.

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

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