I am pleased that an updated version of Reading and Spelling via Phonics (RSvP)–Step by Step (a remedial program for students in grades 4 through 12 and adults) is now available. This text is the first manuscript I produced after retiring as a Reading Specialist from the special school where I was employed for 10 years. There, I worked with students, grades 1 through 12, who had serious reading problems. During that time, I developed an understanding of their issues. I noticed a lack in each of these students of both visual and auditory perception skills. In plain words, that means they could not associate letters with sounds on the printed page. And I realized that I was well prepared to help these students.
I had earned a major in Speech Therapy as my undergraduate degree along with a major in English. One very important course I studied in the Speech Therapy program was Phonetics, which provides an excellent foundation for understanding the role phonics plays in the development of word analysis skills. Later I earned my Reading Specialist Certification in the Masters Program, The Psychology of Reading, at Temple University in Philadelphia. Add to this over 20 years working as a volunteer Reading Consultant for the Delaware County Literacy Council. The outcome of all my experience and training is a systematic program for teaching phonics that has proved successful in meeting the needs of students in all grades, K through 12, and adults.
In additional posts to follow, I will explain my revolutionary program for teaching phonics. I use the term “revolutionary,” not in a combative sense, but to imply that I have dared to make changes in terminology, definitions, approaches, and even diacritical markings, all accepted as almost sacrosanct in the teaching of phonics for years and years. The most welcome aspect of this program, Reading and Spelling via Phonics–Step by Step, is that it can be understood and taught by almost anyone—a concerned parent, a spouse, a volunteer tutor in a literacy program, a friend, and of course, a dedicated teacher. The remedial program, Reading and Spelling via Phonics–Step by Step Teacher Guide was prepared with not only the trained teacher in mind, but with a realization that most older students no longer have access to the public schools and its teachers. The Teacher Guide can be understood by tutors in literacy centers or anywhere, especially a parent or spouse who wishes to guide an older non-reader toward reading success.