Research shows that if intervention for struggling readers is delayed even until the age of 9, then 75 percent of struggling readers will continue to be poor readers throughout high school even with intervention.
The EARLY Intervention Approach is a methodology used in our Lower School and is built around four essential components:
- Providing intensive, specialized instruction four to five days per week in a group no larger than four students.
- Providing approximately 75 to 90 minutes of instruction in the areas of reading, spelling and written expression on most days for approximately three years.(Note: The longer the delay in receiving instruction, the longer that remediation services will take.)
- Providing high-quality, evidence-based instruction by highly trained teachers.
- Using a reading program that focuses on six instructional components.
- Phonemic awareness - understanding that spoken words are made up of smaller units of speech sounds.
- Phonics - understanding that individual letters are associated with sounds.
- Fluency - the ability to read with sufficient speed, accuracy and proper expression.
- Vocabulary - vocabulary development is closely linked to comprehension; the larger the vocabulary, the easier it is to understand text.
- Spelling - the instructional practice of teaching students the skills to form words by correctly ordering letters is critical for reading and writing.
- Comprehension - a cognitive process used by the reader to understand what has been read.
To read fluently and gain meaning from text, all the instructional components must function well. The EARLY Intervention Approach™ supports struggling readers by explicitly teaching skills in a systematic manner, by well-trained teachers, and for an extended period of time. It has been noted that approximately 90 percent of poor readers can reach average levels of reading in word recognition skills when this model is followed.