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Based on the article, "Dyslexia and the Phono-Graphix Reading Programme" a study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of Phono-Graphix. The focus of study was to analyze the program as a remediation intervention for students with Dyslexia. Through the study they wanted to conclude whether the students' phonological processing skills would improve. They also wanted to discover if the student's phonological processing skills impacted their reading and spelling ability. Lastly, they wanted to assess the program by asking the adults who worked with the students their view and opinion on the intervention. The intervention was implemented at the beginning of September to the end of April. Ten students received 24.3 hours of instruction in one-to-one, twice a week, in 30 minute sessions. The students were aged 9-11 years and identified as having Dyslexia. The students were pulled out of their classroom, but all lessons were conducted at their schools. The instruction was divided into three different levels: basic code, the advanced code, and the multi-syllable words.
The focus in this level is to teach the basic code. This area focuses on segmenting, blending, and phoneme manipulation skills. Students are taught that common sounds can be represented by only one letter. The students are also taught to segment CVC words, and to identify the corresponding letter as a sound is being said. In this level students segment sounds and then blend sounds to form the word the said. Students are also taught to manipulate sounds in words. Students learn the concept of sound-to-print correspondence, rather than letter names. Lastly in this level students read stories containing pre-taught words. This primary focus of this level of instruction is on words that follow the CVC pattern. In the advanced code level, students are taught the remaining consonants digraphs and phonographs. This level continues practicing mapping and word analysis. Oral reading of decodable text is also worked on during the advanced code level. Finally, students learn to spell words using different spelling options, and are asked to identify the correct spelling. In the last level of instruction, the multi-syllable word, students are introduced to words containing two to five syllables. They are first taught to blend sounds into syllables, and then syllables into words. Students practice multi-syllable analysis, and controlled reading by reading word chunks. Process spelling is an important concept in the multi-syllabic word level.
After the instruction had been received, the students were given 4 tests to determine their phonemic awareness. The four tests were created by the Phono-Graphix intervention program and focused on segmentation, blending, phoneme manipulation and code knowledge. After all sessions had been completed, the students were given the phoneme manipulation test. They were told 10 words and were asked to take away a sound and say the remaining word. In the segmenting test, students were given CVC, CVCC, CCVC words and asked to repeat each phoneme in order. The last assessment tested their blending skills. In this process, the examiner said isolated sounds and the students were asked to join the sounds to make words. Code knowledge test was the last phonemic awareness assessment. This section consisted of 20 consonant sounds, 5 vowel letters, 6 consonant digraphs, and 19 vowel digraphs/phonograms. Students' reading and spelling levels were also assessed using the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability and the Vernon Spelling Test. To gain perspective on the intervention, interviews were held between teachers, parents, and researchers. Parents were invited to view a session to get ideas on ways to help their child at home. This research showed that the majority of students gained an average of 21 months in reading, and an average of 12 months in spelling. After this intervention students had a better understanding of the nature of sounds, and understood the concept of the code overlap where one symbol can represent multiple sounds. The majority of the students had a secure knowledge of letter-sound correspondences, and improved skills of phoneme segmentation, blending, and manipulation.
I would use this intervention as a small group lesson in all my guided reading groups. This lesson would benefit all my reading groups, but it would be targeted towards my struggling students and students with disabilities. All these lessons presented by the Phono-Graphix program can be geared for first graders since phonics is an important element in that grade. The first lessons would be instructed in teaching the basic code. The materials needed for these lessons are magnetic letters, small white erase boards, markers, teacher made bingo, and reading decodable texts. We would begin using magnetic letters to form three letter CVC words. As I would say a sound, the students would correctly identify it by writing it on a white erase board or using magnetic letters. We would then review blending and segmenting by having the students' segment sounds of CVC words said, and blend CVC words together. This will be done using the magnetic letters. To reinforce the concept students would play sound bingo based on the sounds being taught. We would conclude the basic code level by story reading. These activities would take place 5 times a week for 30- 45 minutes in a period of 3 weeks. When students have mastered the CVC pattern, we would move on to the advanced code. The materials needed for the advanced code level are "sound cards", white erase boards, and markers. In this level the main focus is teaching students that two letters stand for one sound. Ahead of time I would make sounds cards and introduce them in the form of a game. This game will later be turned into a reading center to allow students to review the skill. In one card I would write a "b", another letter would contain "oa", and finally the last card would have a "t". We would review that the word "boat" has three sounds. The main focus of this level is to reinforce the concept that most sounds can be represented in more than one way such as in the words "play" and "train". Students are taught that "ay" and "ai" both represent the same sounds. Once students review all the sound cards we would play a game where we sort the sounds. Students can sort the cards based on commonalities including shared letters and sounds. This skill can be practiced by having the students work on a word analysis where students identify multi-letter sounds in words. To practice spelling patterns, students will have to spell common sound patterns. After this is practiced several times, a game will be played to allow students to correctly identify words that are spelled correctly. We would conclude this level by having the students search for new learned sounds in stories. This lesson will be carried 5 times a week, for 30-45 minutes in a period of 3 weeks. Finally students will be moved to the multi-syllable level. In this level we will focus on two to five syllable words. The materials needed in this level are a small electric keyboard, letter tiles, and pre-selected text containing multi-syllable words. We will begin this level by practicing syllables in words with the help of an electric keyboard. Students will hit a note for every syllable in a word. This activity can also be done by clapping every syllable found in words. Another activity will be to say multi syllable words and have students use letter tiles to show word chunks. Process spelling will be practiced by having students read words, identify the amount of syllables in words, and underline sound spellings previously learned. This lesson will be concluded by having students identify and read word chunks found in the preselected text. This level will be taught 5 times a week, for 30-45 minutes in a period of 2 weeks.
As a first grade teacher, I know the importance of building reading skills. When students have a strong reading foundation, they are likely to succeed at quickly grasping new reading skills. This includes fluency, comprehension, spelling, and writing. Phonics is an important element in our everyday schedule. I believe this intervention can provide me with a different approach on teaching phonics. I look forward to implementing this intervention in my classroom.