Our Approach to Teaching Reading

The teaching of reading at Manor Gardens integrates the Language Experience Approach, the Psycholinguistic Approach, individualised reading and the use of the Reading Room, reading skills and the use of reading activities in Themes, high frequency words and phonics.

Language Experience Approach

Our first aim is to develop a concept of print. The beginner reader needs to recognise the relationship between spoken and written language. By using the Language Experience Approach, this development takes place in a natural, meaningful and individualised way.

Some of the children’s first reading material is their own language. Because the reading text is taken from their own vocabulary and experience, it is individualized, child orientated, interesting to them as it is part of their lives, vocabulary and sentence structure is easily processed because the children themselves generate them. In addition, the children are introduced to reading in such a way that it is meaningful and they see the purpose of print.

The approach develops naturally from the pre-primary where children draw pictures and talk about them, and sometimes dictate a sentence to the teacher.

On the first day of Grade One, the children dictate a comment to the teacher. Their comments are written into their own personal readers and the children illustrate to provide a picture cue. This book goes home every day and the children are encouraged to read it to as many audiences as possible. Upon returning to school the next day, these sentences are presented in a variety of reading activities. Words are seldom isolated as it is far harder to read words in isolation than in meaningful context.

A sight vocabulary is built up with repeated exposure to high frequency words in sentences. As a result, children learn to recognize certain individual words in different contexts.

Psycholinguistic Approach to the teaching of Reading

The Psycholinguistic approach encourages children to read for meaning. Reading is a process during which children apply their knowledge of language and the world to make meaning of written language. Developing this essential skill becomes a pleasurable experience for each child.

Children read for understanding at their own pace and level of difficulty. They are not held back by weaker readers, nor pressured by stronger readers. A daily visit to the Library (Reading Room) allows children to develop a deep understanding and love for a variety of written texts. Children read up to 500 books of their own choice in their first year of school.

The Manor Gardens Primary 2011 Kids Lit Quiz World Champions are a testament to the success of this approach.