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Learning to Achieve Trainer Snippet #2:

Reading Disabilities

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Module #5 Reading Disabilities

Participant Guide

        Pages:  85-96

        Slides:  26-49


In this section assessments and instruction for the 5 components of reading were  discussed.  Assessments are used to inform instruction in phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.  With appropriate assessment, instruction can match the studentís learning profile. 

Phonemic Awareness:  

People with phonemic awareness can recognize the smallest sound nits of a word.   Both adult beginning and intermediate readers can sometimes benefit from phonemic awareness instruction.  Assessment is done orally and individually.


Decoding is the ability to connect letters and letter combinations with sounds.  Instruction should be systematic and explicit.


Fluency is rapid, efficient and mostly error free reading.  It plays a key role in reading comprehension.


One of the more difficult reading components.  Provide explicit instruction, teach vocabulary learning strategies, engage learners in exploring different ways to understand words, use collaborative groups to foster verbal interactions among learners.


Students can have difficulty with comprehension fors several reasons:  difficulty decoding, limited vocabulary, lack of background knowledge, inability to apply comprehension strategies, and motivation.


Summarizing is a strategy that can help students with comprehension.  Here is a five step strategy for summarizing.  Many students will need to practice one step at a time to develop this strategy.

Summarizing strategy

  1. Delete unnecessary material.

  2. Delete repetitive material.

  3. Select topic sentence.

  4. Compose a word to replace individual parts of an action,

  5. Invent a topic sentence if none is available.

Resources from Learning to Achieve:

For information on the five big ideas in reading: 

Center for Teaching and Learning (n.d.-a). Phonemic awareness. Retrieved June 10, 2010, from

Vocabulary instruction:

Resources from MTLINCS:


        Fry Instant Word List

        Phonograph Approach (phonemics and decoding strategy)

        Three Drills


        Syllabication (pdf)

        Syllabication (Word)


Content Vocabulary

        GED Science Terms

        GED Social Studies Terms

        Math Terms

Structural Analysis Vocabulary

        Prefix List

        Root List

        Suffix List

Vocabulary Strategy Worksheets

        Vocabulary - lincs

        Vocabulary General Strategy

        Vocabulary Signal Words

        Vocabulary Staircase Strategy

        Vocabulary Study Worksheet

Comprehension Strategies

JumpStart Reading Activities

Pre/During/Post Reading Strategies

Before Reading Strategies




        Preview a Paragraph

During Reading Strategies


        Directed Reading-Thinking Activity

        SQ3R Activity

After Reading Strategies


        Cloze Reading Activity

Submitted by Shelley Barrett-Catton, L2A Trainer