Many parents call our Reading Clinic seeking help for reading comprehension. Reading comprehension will automatically increase when students begin to read by phonics. This improvement has two explanations:
- When students learn to read by phonics, rather than sight words or guessing by looking at pictures, the brain processes the data efficiently in the left hemisphere of the brain. Language resides in the left hemisphere, whereas images reside in the right hemisphere. A smooth flow of data reduces the brain’s effort by one-third or more. Rather than “shuttling” information back and forth across the brain, reading by phonics keeps language learning on the left side of the brain and efficiently stores it in memory for later recall.
- Poor readers or struggling readers have many “stops and starts” as they are attempting to read a passage for comprehension. They lose track of the information they are attempting to remember. Their eyes may divert to a picture to assist in recall. The original information may never have been stored in memory and therefore cannot be retrieved when necessary.
Reading comprehension cannot be separated from the method the student is using to read. Learning to read by phonics—sounding out the letters in a word—is an efficient and quick method to improve reading comprehension. Phonics readers are generally able to read for extended periods of time, while sight-readers tend to tire significantly when reading. Academic Associates Reading Clinic has a unique method of reading, repeating, and questioning that improves reading comprehension in our students every time.