(from the Memphis
Literacy Council, Sept. 2001 Tutor Tips)
Being able to pronounce
words quickly and accurately when reading is an important skill. If
a student recognizes words easily, he or she can concentrate on the
meaning of what is read. But if the student spends a lot of effort figuring
out how to pronounce words, there will be little energy left to comprehend
what is read. Here are several strategies for learning how to pronounce
words more quickly.
How can I figure
out what a word means when I dont recognize it?
- Use context clues.
- Look for help
from the author such as synonyms, explanations, examples or definitions.
For example: The cat is nocturnal, so its up all night.
- Make a list of
difficult words in the passage and their meanings.
- Use an electronic
How can I figure
out how to pronounce words quickly when Im reading out loud?
- Read more slowly
when reading out loud.
- See if the word
is a compound word.
- Say the parts
of the word you know.
- Say the word
in a whisper before you say it out loud.
What can I do about
adding, omitting, changing, or substituting letters or words when I
read? Write this checklist on an index card. Use it to figure out the
types of errors you make. Awareness is the key; you cant correct
something you arent aware of.
- Add endings
- Add letters
- Add words
- Substitute different
- Leave off endings
- Leave out letters
- Leave out words
Read into a tape
recorder to find the errors you are making. Read a paragraph from one
of your books. Use your normal reading speed. Rewind the tape. Listen
to the paragraph you recorded as you read along in the book. Whenever
you have made an error in your taped reading, mark it on your checklist.
Circle the categories in which you have the most check marks. Then read
the selection again slowly, concentrating on the types of errors you
You can find the
unedited version (with much more detail) of this selection in Help
Yourself, How to Take Advantage of Your Learning Styles, by Gail