Teachers

Science to TrainerText

 

The key to the Trainertext Method is that it takes an “implicit” instruction approach, using the natural strengths of the learner.

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Trainertext Method

There is really no question any more that good Phonics instruction gets better results than Whole Word teaching.

But there are still a lot of children who struggle with phonics because of the substantial inconsistency and complexity of the Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondences in English. Frankly, the rules of phonics just don’t work a lot of the time.

The key to the Trainertext Method is that it takes an “implicit” instruction approach, using the natural strengths of the learner. You learn all skills like walking, talking, catching a ball and riding a bike implicitly through guided practice. Does anyone do an engineering lesson to learn to ride a bike around a corner? No. Implicit instruction is the easiest way to build complex skills. And reading English is definitely a complex skill.

Learn More

The key to the Trainertext Method is that it takes an “implicit” instruction approach, using the natural strengths of the learner. You learn all skills like walking, talking, catching a ball and riding a bike implicitly through guided practice. Does anyone do an engineering lesson to learn to ride a bike around a corner? No. Implicit instruction is the easiest way to build complex skills. And reading English is definitely a complex skill.

Why is this important? Well conventional phonics is an explicit instruction process, which teaches the “rules” of Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs). What that means is that a particular sound (phoneme) is linked to a particular letter or group of letters (grapheme).

That is fine in Italian, for instance, which has around 38 GPCs. It is a very regular language formulated in the 19th century when the country unified. However, English is a language that has grown up loosely over the centuries and has over 400 GPCs. We also pack meaning into our spelling. So mussels are spelled differently to muscles.

In English there are roughly 43 phonemes (sounds) and 120 graphemes (possible letter groups) to generate these 400+ GPCs. So each phoneme has around nine different possible graphemes on average and each grapheme has over three different possible sounds.

Here is an example of what I mean, with three simple words: gas – has – was If you have spent time teaching children to read you will know the joys of the word “was”. Why doesn’t it rhyme with “gas”?

I don’t know, but it makes life very hard for a child following the phonic rules they have been taught. Phonics experts will say “Ah yes! But that is an exception word. Most words follow the rules!” Sadly that is just not true. If you look at the paragraph above, I would say the following words are in some way tricky: you (x2), have (x2), to, know(x2), joys, word, why, doesn’t, rhyme, don’t, child, phonic and taught. So that is 16 words out of 45 (i.e. a third) in a random paragraph. Pick any paragraph and you will find the same pattern.

So, what happens when a child is faced by this inconsistency? Well many bright children will find a workaround. That usually means trying to remember as many words as possible by sight and using the context to fill in the gaps. That is why long words sometimes seem easier than short words; the context is a stronger indicator for a long word.

The Solution

Over the past 10 years we have developed a process we call the Trainertext Method. It is unique in the world at the moment, so you won’t find other references to it.

Using the Trainertext Method we give the child the tools needed to decode any word with visual guidance. So they then start routinely decoding words and with practice that skill becomes second nature to them. It normally takes around 90 short lessons for that to kick in.

Trainertext has the letters with our Easyread Characters floating above each word. Let’s have a look at gas-has-was again to see how it works:

ll.

 

 

Trainertext Method

There is really no question any more that good Phonics instruction gets better results than Whole Word teaching.

But there are still a lot of children who struggle with phonics because of the substantial inconsistency and complexity of the Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondences in English. Frankly, the rules of phonics just don’t work a lot of the time.

The key to the Trainertext Method is that it takes an “implicit” instruction approach, using the natural strengths of the learner. You learn all skills like walking, talking, catching a ball and riding a bike implicitly through guided practice. Does anyone do an engineering lesson to learn to ride a bike around a corner? No. Implicit instruction is the easiest way to build complex skills. And reading English is definitely a complex skill.

Learn More

The key to the Trainertext Method is that it takes an “implicit” instruction approach, using the natural strengths of the learner. You learn all skills like walking, talking, catching a ball and riding a bike implicitly through guided practice. Does anyone do an engineering lesson to learn to ride a bike around a corner? No. Implicit instruction is the easiest way to build complex skills. And reading English is definitely a complex skill.

Why is this important? Well conventional phonics is an explicit instruction process, which teaches the “rules” of Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs). What that means is that a particular sound (phoneme) is linked to a particular letter or group of letters (grapheme).

That is fine in Italian, for instance, which has around 38 GPCs. It is a very regular language formulated in the 19th century when the country unified. However, English is a language that has grown up loosely over the centuries and has over 400 GPCs. We also pack meaning into our spelling. So mussels are spelled differently to muscles.

In English there are roughly 43 phonemes (sounds) and 120 graphemes (possible letter groups) to generate these 400+ GPCs. So each phoneme has around nine different possible graphemes on average and each grapheme has over three different possible sounds.

Here is an example of what I mean, with three simple words: gas – has – was If you have spent time teaching children to read you will know the joys of the word “was”. Why doesn’t it rhyme with “gas”?

I don’t know, but it makes life very hard for a child following the phonic rules they have been taught. Phonics experts will say “Ah yes! But that is an exception word. Most words follow the rules!” Sadly that is just not true. If you look at the paragraph above, I would say the following words are in some way tricky: you (x2), have (x2), to, know(x2), joys, word, why, doesn’t, rhyme, don’t, child, phonic and taught. So that is 16 words out of 45 (i.e. a third) in a random paragraph. Pick any paragraph and you will find the same pattern.

So, what happens when a child is faced by this inconsistency? Well many bright children will find a workaround. That usually means trying to remember as many words as possible by sight and using the context to fill in the gaps. That is why long words sometimes seem easier than short words; the context is a stronger indicator for a long word.

The Solution

Over the past 10 years we have developed a process we call the Trainertext Method. It is unique in the world at the moment, so you won’t find other references to it.

Using the Trainertext Method we give the child the tools needed to decode any word with visual guidance. So they then start routinely decoding words and with practice that skill becomes second nature to them. It normally takes around 90 short lessons for that to kick in.

Trainertext has the letters with our Easyread Characters floating above each word. Let’s have a look at gas-has-was again to see how it works:

ll.

 

 

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