How to Teach Children Word Attack Skills

These refer to the methods used by readers to understand and appreciate new terms they come across. Also known as decoding skills, these help an individual to find meaning in printed words. Word attack skills involve the ability to recognize the phonemes that form a word and to know the meaning of the word, recognize it in context, and understand whether or not it is correctly used in a sentence. Children must develop these skills to become successful readers.

Students, who lack word attack skills, can make mistakes such as adding sounds that are not there, omitting sounds that are there, switching sounds, and substituting sounds.

In the English language, “Wednesday” or “Tough” are examples of words that students might have difficulty sounding out. However, in any case, students learning to read are taught about “silent letters” along with words with letters that don’t make the sounds they would expect.

When children lack word attack skills, they might express frustration because of their unsuccessful attempts to sound a word out. In some instances, they might take a very long time to sound out a word that they no longer understand what the text they are reading is about. They might also give up trying to sound words out, simply guessing what a word might be by seeing its first letters. Students might try to memorize every word, which works well up until the point when vocabulary and curriculum begin to get more sophisticated. These students might make excuses to stop reading or ask their parents for help. Signs of trouble might also be observed in their writing samples.

If a child is having trouble with word attack skills or other literacy skills, their parents should talk to the teacher about the steps that can be taken to help them develop. If the strategies recommended by the teacher don’t help, parents should have the child assessed for a learning disability.

Word-attack strategies stand for the strategies that readers utilize to identify, pronounce, and comprehend unfamiliar words. These strategies help students attack words from a different angle or piece by piece. It means when reading unfamiliar words, students can try to break them down into smaller pieces. They can also utilize the context of what they’re reading for clues to unfamiliar words.

Early intervention plays a crucial role in improving a child’s word attack skills. Regardless of whether a child suffers from a learning disability, they need to receive help addressing their reading problems.

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