While an early exposure to reading in the home language is the road to success, we also help learners who are not confident with their sounds or who can still not read. They too can be put on the road to success!!! Often parents discover at the beginning of Grade 2 that their children simply memorized Grade 1 School reading work and cannot actually read. This can cause tension and lead to a bad learning experience. "Little Readers" can help to identify the problem through a diagnostic test and provide practical help to overcome the problem. If a Grade 3 learner cannot read fluently, it can result in him falling behind in the learning process. It is therefore vital that this must be rectified in the Grade 3 year.
Children that enjoy reading & who read often have a great academic advantage
The actual time allocated to reading in a foundation phase classroom is minimal as are one on one reading times. A child who is able to read in Grade 1 will not be bored in the classroom because he can already read. On the contrary in my many years of experience, such children have self-confidence and in the time after they have completed their work, they enjoy themselves by reading books and stories. The additional reading experience results in a broadened vocabulary and work sheets, word sums and tests are completed with greater diligence and success. But some children did not have the privilege of well-developed reading skills…some struggle.
Without help, struggling readers continue to struggle
The children who don’t learn to read, however, don’t seem able to catch up on their own.
More than 88 percent of children who have difficulty reading at the end of first or second grade display similar difficulties at the end of fourth grade. Three-quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school.
With help, struggling readers can succeed
For 85 to 90 percent of poor readers, prevention and early intervention programmes can increase reading skills to average reading levels. As many as two-thirds of reading disabled children can become average or above-average readers if they are identified early and taught appropriately (Vellutino et al., 1996; Fletcher & Lyon, 1998).