Why Is Academic Associate Reading Instruction Methods Better Than Others?
There are many reading instruction methods on the market today. Each
has its own way of doing things with various levels of success. Some
methods require students to come into a classroom, some are
do-it-yourself teach at home courses, and still others are free - often
sponsored by government.
With all these choices in reading instruction methods, why would a
parent or student choose Academic Associates? What is it that sets
Academic Associates reading instruction methods in a class by itself?
Academic Associates founder Cliff Ponder explains:
reading instruction methods must begin with unlocking the coded symbols
that stand for words. Unfortunately, most methods leave large gaps in
this crucial step, so students can never move past Step One. A frequent
and legitimate question is, “What’s the difference between the Academic
Associates® method and other instructional methods? Aren’t they all the
same?" We hesitate to present the following because it may make our
method appear too complex and difﬁcult. But even very young students can
easily learn all of the rules and sounds below in small, logical,
sequential steps. Our ﬁrst-grade students learn everything on this page,
and much more. Any good teacher can teach reading effectively once
these concepts are placed in a usable format. Please don’t think these
things will be difﬁcult. They are easy for ﬁve year-olds and they will
be far easier for you, the teacher.
Most phonics programs teach
only one or two sounds for each letter. Our course also includes all
those basic sounds. They are not listed below. The following elements
are largely omitted from nearly every instructional course. You will
know some of them, but there may be others whose existence you never
even suspected. And until you see how they work, it’s difﬁcult to
imagine how extremely important they are in reading instruction methods. Our course doesn't stop with
word-attack skills, but also teaches comprehension and ﬂuency.
1. Our course typically requires only 30-60 hours to complete. In that
time, students raise their grade-level to at least their school-age
appropriate level. Other courses require as long as several years.
2. What are the nine sounds of A? Most phonics programs teach only two or three. All nine are essential.
3. What are the six sounds of E? Most phonics programs teach only two.
4. What are the ﬁve sounds of I? Most phonics programs teach only two.
5. What are the ﬁve sounds of O? Most phonics programs teach only two.
6. What are the ﬁve sounds of U? Most phonics programs teach only two.
7. What are the six sounds of Y? Most phonics programs teach only two or three.
8. What are the ﬁve sounds of IE and EI? Most phonics programs teach only two or three.
9. Why the old spelling rule, “I before e, except after c...." is inaccurate and misleading.
10. What rule dictates when Y will always copy the sound of long I?
11. What rule dictates when Y is always silent?
12. What rule dictates when Y will almost always ( 98% ) copy the sound of long E?
13. Why is the silent W in words such as low and glow?
14. Why is a silent D in words such as ledge and judge?
15. Why is a silent U necessary in words such as guess and guitar?
16. How many vowels can copy the sound of short U? And why is this so important?
17. When and why does the suffix ED make each of its three distinct sounds?
What rule determines when C will copy the sound of S and when it will
copy the sound of K? This important rule affects about 250,000 words.
19. What rule determines when G will copy the sound of J and when it will make its own sound?
20. What rules determine when S will make its own sound and when it will copy the sound of another letter?
What are the six sounds of OO? Most phonics programs teach only one or
22. What are the 25 OUGH words? That’s all there are. But OUGH
makes six common sounds.
23. What are the fourteen AUGH words? That’s all there are, and anyone can learn them in a few minutes.
24. What are the eleven ways to spell the sound of OO, as in boot?
25. What are the fourteen ways to spell the sound of shun, and why are they so important?
26. What are the six common ways to spell the sound of SH, and why is it crucial that students learn all of them?
27. What are all twelve sounds of EA? Most courses teach only two or three.
28. What is the secret vowel sound which precedes all the tions, tials, tious's, sions, ceans, cians, cions, etc.
Please remember that these sounds and rules are in addition to the
basic sounds taught in other courses. Each of the above-mentioned sounds
and rules is easily learned as we progress through the course. Our Rule
Cards and Reading Lists, plus continuous review, assures that every
student learns to read.
After considering all these factors,
some will say, “I learned to read without knowing all that, and so did a
lot of other people. Why should we be so concerned with them?" The
answer is that the students who didn’t learn to read well will never
learn to read well without knowing those things. Those things greatly
simplify learning to read.
The reason so many students didn’t
learn to read by the whole-word method, or typical “phonics" method is
because of the differences in the way human brains process incoming
data. Most males and many females process written data by a system that
is largely incompatible with the whole-word method and many phonics
reading instruction methods. The typical male—and many females—do not learn reading or much
of anything else from inference. They must be told plainly and directly
exactly which letters make which sounds under what circumstances. In an
only partially facetious example, if you tell a male that a trash can is
overﬂowing, he will assume you think the state of the trash can is an
interesting topic of conversation, when you were actually hinting for
him to empty the can. The reason males comprise most of the poor readers
is that they were never told in concrete terms the rules for decoding
words. Unfortunately, almost no one knows these simple rules any
more—not even reading textbook publishers. But when students learn to
read by a logical, sequential method that teaches them rules they can
follow, and exceptions to some of the rules that also make sense, they
quickly and painlessly learn to read. There is no signiﬁcant difference
in the reading abilities of males and females when taught by the
Academic Associates® method. [copyright 1997 by Cliff Ponder, used with
The above may sound complex, but with the simple
step-by-step reading instruction methods of Academic Associates even
first grade students can master reading quickly. Sign up for our
complete reading program
now. If you do not live in Vernon you may be interested in our reading instruction methods
Internet program. Read the FAQ page or drop us an e-mail for more
details. For pre-readers see our alphabet reading instruction methods recommendations.