A bright and articulate eight-year-old, Jacob shifts uncomfortably in his seat when his teacher announces that the class will take turns reading aloud. “Maybe if I ask to go to the bathroom, I’ll miss my turn,” he thinks.
Jacob has an impressive vocabulary and his teachers frequently tell him how smart he is. But he’s beginning to doubt them. When he opens a book, “was” turns into “saw.” And “through” and “though” and “thought” never sound like they’re supposed to. How can a person remember all of that?
For Jacob, reading is the hardest thing in the world and no one seems to know why. But students with a weakness in symbol imagery, which is the ability to visualize letters and sounds within words, may require remediation or additional explicit reading instruction. Weak symbol imagery causes difficulties in establishing sight words, contextual fluency, and spelling.
A few seats over, Emma is able to spell perfectly and decode new words with ease. However, she doesn’t seem to comprehend what she’s read.
The instructor calls on Emma, who always seems to be a step behind in class, and asks her to read from Chapter 2. “What?” Emma asks, seeming uninterested. It’s not that Emma doesn’t care or isn’t listening in the classroom — for her, directions seem to go in one ear and out the other. Emma reads the words on the page quickly and accurately, but she falls silent when her instructor asks what she thinks will happen next in the story.
For Emma, weak concept imagery—the ability to image a gestalt (whole)—may be the cause of her struggles. Weakness in concept imagery will interfere with reading and listening comprehension, memory, oral vocabulary, critical thinking, and writing.
As the critical third-grade year continues, Jacob and Emma are likely to fall further and further behind. They may be present in the classroom every day, but they’re both missing out on content, and their self-esteem continues to quietly plummet.
Here at Lindamood-Bell, we believe that all students can be taught to read and comprehend to their potential. We identify the strengths and weaknesses, like Jacob’s and Emma’s, that may be affecting your child’s performance. Your child’s instruction is always personalized to their learning needs. We are known for the focused, daily, sensory cognitive intensive instruction that leads to success. Now is the time for our unique face-to-face online or in-person instruction to ensure success that your child deserves.
Click here to learn more about how we’re able to make years of gains in only weeks of instruction.
In this video, one family explains why they chose our intensive reading instruction for their struggling child:
We want to be your partner in education and help make your child’s school year a success. To learn more, contact your local Dubai Learning Center at Jumeirah Lake Towers.