Illiteracy is a worldwide problem, and according to the Central Intelligence Agency it is estimated that 793 million adults are unable to read or write. That is why new methods must be created to increase reading proficiency/speed in children, like Dennis Brooks' Teach Children to Read Faster - The Automatic Reading Teacher. Suffering from Dyslexia, the author developed this method to improve his reading, writing and spelling abilities, eventually quadrupling his overall reading speed. His "Say-Spell-Say" methods used with second language students, as well as school-aged children, have proven effective and are now available for use at-home and in educational institutions. There are 50+ lessons, tests, and guidelines for parents/educators, as well as sections about gifted children, auditory learning, automatic reading and syllable stress.
Examples of method:
- arms = a.r.m.z
- teeth = t.e.t.h
- book = b.oo.k
- bicycle = b.i.s.i.k.e.l
- television = t.e.l.e.v.i.z.h.o.n
- Massachusetts = ma.sa.choo.sits
- My cat has nine lives. = Mi kat haz nin livz.
- The sheet is clean and neat. = The shet iz klen and net.
I applaud Dennis Brooks' Teach Children to Read Faster - The Automatic Reading Teacher for being such an innovative way to teach children the basic sounds, syllables, and phonetics of the English language. At first, I was not sure what to make of the "Say-Spell-Say" method or the phonetic (fonicz) decoding the author explained, but as I moved further into the workbook, I realized how the lessons were set up and blended together. I myself have always pronounced words phonetically, (Wednes.day, prin.cip.ple, Fe.bru.ar.y, etc...), so I understand the concept, especially when it comes to multi-syllabic words. However, I am not sure I agree with the use of these methods without associated content; what good is a word if it doesn't have meaning or definition? Just because a child can sound out a word does not mean they understand what they are saying. I was also confused by the disordered alphabets, but I can see how they could help certain students understand uppercase versus lowercase and the irrelevance of alphabetical order. I am very interested to see more data on its effectiveness with second language students, particularly since a student of mine found the syllable breakdowns easier to pronounce than the actual words. I would recommend using this approach along with other methods - I am partial to old-school Dick and Jane myself. Great as a resource for the parents and educators of school-aged children. Rating: 3/5 (Bounty's Out)
The phonics method - Fonicz - presented in Teach Children to Read Faster - The Automatic Reading Teacher by Dennis Brooks is confusing and monotonous to read. I think that teaching someone to read an incorrectly spelled word, phrase or sentence is counter-productive. The use of lists of words with no associated context is the same as teaching math by reciting numbers. The method of learning introduced in this book is too boring to hope that anyone could focus enough to learn anything. Also, there is no association of words with a picture or a contextual definition. I would not use this book as instructional material in a class from Pre-K through adulthood. Rating: 2/5
Literary Lola's Review:
Teach Children to Read Faster - The Automatic Reading Teacher by Dennis Brooks does not take a traditional approach to the study of the English language. Instead, it washes out the formal rules and merely attempts to replicate the sounds of words based on one particular person's pronunciation tactics. There are several different dialects in the USA alone, not to mention all of the countries of the world. You cannot water down the study of phonetics into one, simple, easy to read 1, 2, 3 process book. I would not recommend this book for children. There are ways to teach reading without dummying it down to this level. This review is written by someone who holds a degree in English and a minor in Cultural Studies. Although I do not agree with the author's approach, I do not mean to belittle his attempt to fix the issue of widespread illiteracy. This is a noble ideal and it should be highly praised. Rating: 2.5/5
*** I received this book from the author (Bostick Communications) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.