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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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ZYX To ABC: Battling Dyslexia

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Phonics and Dyslexia

In my thirty years in the educational field, I have always been an advocate for phonics instruction for children with dyslexia. Phonics is the system of relationships between letters and sounds in a language. When a kindergartener learns that the letter B has the sound of /b/ and a second-grader learns that “tion” sounds like /shun/, they are learning phonics.

Learning phonics will help your students learn to read and spell. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of letters and letter combinations will help students decode words as they read. Knowing phonics will also help them know which letters to use as they write words.

If children do not master the different phonemes, they will be unable to attain fluency, comprehension, higher vocabulary or appropriate spelling (four essential skills developed in later levels of reading).

In addition, the National Reading Panel, composed of experts in fields of literacy was asked by the United States Congress to examine the research on the teaching of reading. What they found had important implications for phonics: they determined that phonics is an essential ingredient in beginning reading instruction and without systematic and explicit phonics instruction, students will significantly lag behind their peers. Interestingly, the panel also found that phonics most benefits children who are experiencing difficulty learning to read, such as those with dyslexia.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.


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2 Responses to “ZYX To ABC: Battling Dyslexia”

  1. Cody Flecker says:

    I was born Dyslexic and had great difficulty in speaking and reading a simple sentence. Born in a Brooklyn Jewish family, and not being able to read or speak coherently, rendered me stupid in the eyes of my parents and siblings. A Jew who was left back as many times as I was became a great disappointment to my parents. Having a photographic memory allowed me to learn how to speed read by taking an Evelyn Woods Reading Dynamic course. The damage was already done in my relationships with my family. I was always looked upon as a stupid person, even though I possess three college degrees today.

  2. There are different approaches to reading. Some prefer the whole word approach, and others prefer the phonics approach. But trying to decipher how to read the word is about stage 4 in the reading process, not stage one. And this is because we never read the word that is on the page. We only EVER read the word that shows up in our consciousness.The first stage is that the reader needs to know WHERE the word is on the page. Then they need to direct their eyes to that word. They need to be able to align both their eyes accurately on that word, and they need to be able to focus their eyes comfortably on that word. They also need the ability to understand where the next word is and to be able to move there. They need the ability to do that all in an easy manner that does not interfere with the simultaneous task of visual processing and phonological decoding. Most of the above skills are not assessed in most kids with dyslexia, and it is nothing sort of tragic. You can read more on
    http://www.aaopt.org/Media/Default/Newsletters/Revised%20Oct%2018_BVPPO_Position_paper%20AAO%20website%20formatFINAL.pdf .
    My professional life is dedicated towards the diagnosis and management of people whose visual system is interfering with their ability to reach their learning potential.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/zyx-to-abc-battling-dyslexia/2013/11/15/

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