Techniques that Promote Comprehension

Finger Pointing and Reading Aloud

Finger Pointing

The neurological condition of Learning Disabilities tends to cause jumpy eye movements. This results in an occasional word being snatched from a nearby line and incorporated into the one being read. As comprehension in the early stages of remediation is often poor, these displaced words tend to go unnoticed.

To overcome this problem, instruct the student to slide his index finger under the words as he reads them. The rationale here is that physical guidance encourages a smooth eye tracking motion and thereby can significantly decrease the unintended relocation of words. Finger pointing has an additional benefit as it aids in directing the reader’s attention to the task on hand.

Reading Aloud

During the early stages of remediation, the tendency not to notice misread words increases during silent reading. To correct this, have the student read aloud as this enables the brain to receive information from the ears as well as the eyes. It is this increase in sensory input that helps the brain detect that something is askew.

For instance, when the sounds the ears hear do not match the letters the eyes see, the reader is alerted that something is not quite right and this encourages him to reread the sentence. Therefore, until skills become well established, reading aloud even if it is only in a whisper is highly recommended.

The next posting will address the need for ongoing remediation.

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