The Burt Road Show, award winning ISAAC early reading interventions and Much Much More
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The Burt Road Show multi-method approach to the teaching of reading
Research & Rationale
What to do with children (preschool through first grade) who defy traditional reading methodologies is an important issue. When a child has a poor ear for sound and cannot distinguish between the smallest units of sound (phonemes) which alter the meaning of words, what do we do? Is there any help for these at-risk early learners or are they destined to be poor readers and constantly lag behind their peers?
There is help! It can be found in a program called "The Burt Road Show" where whole to parts phonics is taught to preschoolers.
In the past there had not been a developed structure for teaching letter-sound relationships other that those offered by traditional phonics methods. But these approaches to reading are too simplistic. They present reading as essentially a decoding process. Which consists of learning a system of letter-sound relationaships, translating symbols on the page into sounds, and synthesizing or blending sounds together into words. Such approaches tend to play down the other kinds of information that emergent readers use in order to read, and they also ignore the fact that "sounding out" is not a helpful strategy for reading new words for students with a poor ear for sound. In addition, traditional phonic approaches are often overly detailed and insufficiently attentive to the natural way in which many at-risk children go about learning letter-sound relationships. Traditional phonics appears to offer the only solution to current demands for a detailed and sequential pedagogy in teaching reading - and so they are enjoying a revival. Thus we have "Hooked on Phonics", "The Phonics Game" making millions of dollars but also disappointing the parents of millions of children who need the non-traditional , whole-to-part phonics approach, found on the Burt Road Show.
The most interesting recent work in this field of grapho-phonics focused closely on observing how children learn about letter-sound relationships and their use. We draw particularly on the work of certain key researchers in the field of literacy who suggest that, rather than the learning of phonics proceeding from the part to the whole, children (especially the phonemically deaf) are more likely to begin with a repertoire of known words and proceed from whole-to-parts. In other words, children come to understand how to break words down rather than how to build them up. Their favored approaches are analytical rather than synthetic. We are particularly indebted to Margaret Moustafa, American researcher, Uta Frith, UK, and Goswami and Bryant's research on phonological awareness.
The primary purpose of The Burt Road Show is to provide a basic understanding of the reading process and letter-sound correspondence, to give preschoolers an opportunity to "immediately" experience the reading process and to prepare them for academic success. All preschoolers can be expected to learn to read and then memorize the text. They will also demonstrate the ability to transfer skills when using our multi-method approah to the teaching of reading. It will work when traditional phonics fails. It doesn't matter if you are a teacher, tutor, volunteer or parent, you and your child or students will experience success.