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Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1804
Hemel Hempstead

 Teaching people how to read

With the homeless and others you have a problem is that most of them cannot read and cannot get out of there mess because they cannot we have someone called Jim Ward and others who cannot read atall is there any resources that would be useful so that they could get out of this mess.

Dominic Shiells

 2006/5/8 10:43Profile

 Re: Teaching people how to read

Hooked on Phonics.

Altho, it's kinda funny to me that a program that uses phonics to teach reading is spelled [b]Ph[/b]onics. Shouldnt it be spelled [b]F[/b]onics???

I think you are onto a great idea. Churches should teach people to read who can not! And what better place to start learning to read than the Bible? (KJV, of course) The KJV was used to in public schools to teach reading in America until more "enlightened" folks removed it from the classroom. Now look at our nations illiteracy rate!

 2006/5/8 13:17


Thank you for this post. What an answer to prayer! This is an issue that has become more close to my heart recently. I have been witnessing to my next door neighbour. I get on really well with them. Unfortunatly her husband cannot read and i have been thinking a lot about this. I thought it would be a fantastic idea if the church can teach those (who are willing to learn) who cannot read.

Churches should teach people to read who can not! And what better place to start learning to read than the Bible? (KJV, of course)

Fantastic, i pray that this will become a reality. :-)

 2006/5/8 14:41

 Re: Teaching people how to read

According to research in the UK, we have a 40% adult illiteracy rate, for all sorts of reasons. That large number reflects those who could not pass a school leaving certificate in English, for reading, comprehension, writing and spelling, to an adequate standard - everyone from those who know nothing, to those who have some learning, but, not to an employable level.

Another piece of research identifies [b]half[/b] of adults applying for literacy classes, as experiencing difficulties in the dyslexic spectrum. Some of them have strengths, too, but, when compared with those who do not have dyslexic traits, there is a measurable difference.

This is not just about reading. It is about comprehension - remembering, retrieving information from memory or text, making notes, writing answers to questions and, spelling.

Lastly, as anyone who has struggled with a topic will know, being interested makes a lot of difference to what you learn. In particular, dyslexics process and store (file in their brain), information [i]differently[/i] from other people. They are capable of amazing feats of memory and manipulation of knowledge. Often these people turn into experts in more than one field, but they may struggle with spelling, and have difficulty writing down what they know in a format which would pass an exam. Love them! They are wonderful!!!

 2006/5/9 12:58


Those who've been treated as if they are stupid, because they have a learning difficulty, are not going to rush back into 'education', without a very good reason, and, they need the feeling that they are valued and to be respected for making the attempt.

The biggest barrier to returning to 'learning' is the loss of confidence they experienced when they couldn't learn before, possibly having been ridiculed by the adults who were supposed to be [i]caring[/i] for them when they were (defenceless) children.... a large degree of having no idea at all why they couldn't pick things up the first time round..... and a big fear that this will be the same [i]all over again[/i].

Telling them once that it won't be, is unlikely to be enough. They need to hear it again and again and again; so, patience is an vital ingredient for the teacher.

Also, no time limit on how long it takes them to learn something new, or eventually, to get back their confidence. It took me a long time to tune into just how fragile they feel.

 2006/5/9 13:00

 Re: Teaching people to read

Here are a few more random thoughts about the difficulties you might face with this project.

Remember, they are adults; they can vote with their feet. Right in the middle of a session they can get all flustered and decide they've had enough for that day. Let them go. Smile, wish them a good evening, and say they will be welcome the next time they come... You hope to see them soon. Leave it at that.

There are many useful worksheets on the internet, but, they may be more use to you, than the learner. The learner is usually happy to work very hard, for a small amount of progress. It is much more important that they work at the pace they can manage, than that you cover all the ground you prepared.

It's not about 'fun' either, although every session should contain a game if possible. More use, is a three-dimensional aspect to your presentation... something that can be touched, passed round, manipulated.... something that can be mastered with a little practice.

Sometimes there is a genuine difficulty in wielding a writing tool. Get these learners on to a keyboard if possible and encourage them slowly to learn touch typing, after they have played with the alphabet till they are really comfortable with it, and also, comfortable with a dictionary.

There is also a group who have good short term memory, who seem to be picking things up beautifully, but, when you test their versatility, they have not really understood what they seem to have learned, and soon forget it again, between sessions.

Another thing to bear in mind, is that the appearance of a classroom may be enough to put such people off. Some are phobic about holding a pencil, or hearing chalk on a blackboard.

Quite often, those who simply never had an opportunity, and especially if they are now Christians, will learn quite quickly, (compared with some others), but, [i]wanting[/i] to learn and to change, is essential. You can't do that for them.

A lot of love may be needed, but, there is a saying which has been developed by teachers of dyslexics, which is, that [b]if the learner is not 'learning'[/b], :-? then [u]the teacher has to change the way they teach[/u], 8-) until they find [b]the best way for the [i]learner[/i] to learn[/b]. ;-)

 2006/5/9 13:04

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