Montana RIB Update




As you are all noticing, MT LINCS is taking on another dimension.  It really is becoming *your* website – a way for all of you to communicate with your colleagues in the field.  Montana ABLE is fortunate to have quality professionals who are willing to share their expertise with one another.  It’s not unlike working with our students, is it?  We capitalize on their positives as a way to strengthen their weaknesses.  Thus, as professionals, that is how we are helping each other.  All of us have a strength that we can share with others.  MT LINCS can be a starting place for that sharing.  (No, =) I am not singing Kumbaya, just reaching out to take your hand!)  Thanks to all of you who have taken time to navigate the website, send in postings, and offer suggestions. 


The November focus on phonemics and decoding is an interesting one because people have a variety of opinions on the issue.  What I find interesting is that many of us use these strategies but are not aware that we do.  For example, we frequently tell students to “sound out” words when they are reading or spelling - regardless of the content area.  (You know; it sounds like ... )  When we are working with our esol students, we also may focus on sound as a learning strategy.  It really is all a part of the big picture, isn’t it?  To quote Billings director Woody Jensen, we all need “another tool in our toolkit.”  Phonemics and decoding is just one of them.






Principle 2

Adult nonreaders have virtually no phonemic awareness ability and are unable to consistently perform, on their own, almost all phonemic awareness tasks (Kruidenier, 2002).

Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (Krudenier, 2002, p.20.) 


But some people (and many poor readers) do not easily acquire phonemic awareness ... This quote from an adult learner says it all:  "It's not that no one ever taught me how to read before; it's just that they never took me back far enough.  They didn't know what I didn't know" (Podhajski, 1998). 

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults:  First Steps for Teachers (McShane, 2005, p.35.)



The ARCSRR administered the Test of Auditory Analysis Skills (TAAS) to assess PA.  As a syllable and phoneme deletion task, it assesses one among four kinds of phoneme manipulation abilities listed by the National Reading Panel (NRP). The tasks can be used to assess phonemic awareness. They also represent the types of phoneme manipulation tasks that can be used during instruction to improve learners' PA abilities.

NIFL Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles,

The TAAS tests oral word analysis skills with 13 single word phonetic deletion items. Test takers are given words orally and asked to delete a beginning sound, an ending sound, or a part of a blend.

Academic Therapy

The author Marn Frank is an Adult Learning Disabilities Specialist.

Reading:  Phonemic Awareness, (Frank, 2003) NetNews.

Phonograph Approach

The phonograph approach is a structured program to introduce phonic principles by using sound clusters within whole words

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:  Reply to this email


    1. Are you aware that some of your students have difficulty with phonemics? 
    2. If so, what assessment tool have you used to determine a student’s difficulty with phonemics?
    3. What strategies have you used to teach phonemics to your students?


Some people have requested that I forward the emails to them.  In case anyone has trouble getting the emails or someone wants to "review" what has been sent, I have now posted them on the website in the Archives.


Some people have requested that I forward the emails to them.  In case anyone has trouble getting the emails or someone wants to "review" what has been sent, I have now posted them on the website in the Archives.


Once again, although every month will have a reading research focus, that will not stop any other type of discussion/questions occurring on the Discussion page.  As the month proceeds and postings are sent in, the chart at the top of the discussion page will change to reflect the contents of the month.  We even have a posting/question on the Discussion page already.  Check it out at .  Thanks to Cathy Smyers of Missoula!    This is a lounge where everyone can feel secure in his/her thinking style whether it be concrete, abstract, sequential, random, or any combination of the four!  Sooooooooooo …


Take a risk and step into Montana ABLE's Staff Lounge!

And even if you aren't a coffee drinker, you'll love the company.




P.S.  If you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!

Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101