The purpose of reading instruction is to teach learners to be able to progress when they are reading on their own – when they are reading in-between instructional sessions.
Learners who don’t read enough between instructional sessions don’t progress. In terms of the “practice” required to advance in reading, the number of words read during instructional sessions is dwarfed by the number of words learners must read when reading on their own – when reading within the solitude of their own minds.
Good instruction teaches learners to become ever better at autonomous learning.
A tale of two learners. Imagine two groups of learners. One group has helpers that track with them word-by-word whenever they are reading. The helpers are always instantly ready to help them whenever they stumble over recognizing or understanding a word. The other group of learners doesn’t have any helpers. When they stumble on a word they are on their own.
Imagine how differently their reading flows stutter. Their frustration levels. The gap in guessing. Which group do you think would progress better between instructional sessions?
Clearly, in an ideal world, having a full time, real time, helper able to help learners learn to read (recognize) and understand the words they stumble on would be great for their progress in learning. It’s what the best reading specialists, tutors, and parents do. The challenge is how to provide learners such help without needing to depend on reading specialists, tutors, or parents for providing it.
OLSN, the Online Learning Support Net, is a universal learning to read and reading to learn “helper”. It can provide real-time help and support to beginning and struggling readers during their instructional sessions and/or in-between their instructional sessions. It’s free. Click here for more information.