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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

Ray is in his thirties and has been driving buses for about five years. He missed out on learning to read at primary school because his family moved many times and he was shifted from school to school. Reading was not a regular activity at home. By the time he got to high school, Ray had given up on reading and he left with no academic qualifications. He had a succession of unskilled jobs before he became a bus driver.

Ray has developed some sophisticated compensation and avoidance strategies when called on to read. For example, he asks others to read aloud for him, claiming he can’t find his glasses. So far in his job he has relied on workmates to help him out with the reading and writing he needs to do.

He is keen to do well in his job, as it is the first time he has felt the real prospect of a long-term career. To progress to a more senior role he knows he will need to read and write more effectively. This realisation has prompted him to enrol in an adult literacy evening class at his local polytechnic.

His tutor has established that he knows the names of the letters of the alphabet, but he has difficulty matching some upper and lower case letters. He knows some common sight words, for example the suburb names for the destinations on some of the bus routes he drives. He has limited phonemic awareness and is unable to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words.

Teaching suggestions for Ray

  • Use flashcards of upper and lower case letters and ask Ray to match upper and lower cases.
  • As he matches the cases for a letter, tell him the sound that this letter represents then ask him to repeat it. Ask him to tell you a word that starts with or contains that sound.
  • Repeat this activity until he is able to tell you the sound and an example word for each letter.
  • Using materials he may need to read for work (or newspaper headlines), ask him to point to all the words that start with (or end with, or contain) a given sound.
  • Use words from these texts to make flashcards of more complex words, for example, those beginning with consonant blends. Make separate cards for the initial blend and the remainder of the word (for example, one set of cards for the blends: cr, fr, bl, tr, sl etc; and another set for endings: -y, -ue, -ash etc). Ask Ray to put cards together and read the words they make (for example, cr-ash, tr-ash, sl-ash).


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