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How Complicated Is Reading?

By Glenn Davis

I talked to a friend the other day who mentioned how complicated reading English is compared to other languages, like German. I don't read any other languages so I have nothing to compare it with, but how complicated is it really to understand the written words of English? If we go by the number of people who struggle with it, we would say it must be extremely complicated. However, is it recognizing hard words, or is it the method used to teach word attack skills that are complicated?

Correctly learning phonetics can make reading easier.

We all know English is one of the richest languages in the world because we "borrow" words from almost every other language in the world - including dead languages. All these words make it seem complicated, but when you know the phonetic rules about 80% of English's almost one million words are either phonetic or have significant phonetic components. This leaves only 20% that are irregular [like laugh or rough], which simply have to be learned.

English has 26 letters which only make 44 sounds. Out of the 26 letters, 16 letters almost always make the same sound. This just leaves 10 letters that habitually make more than one sound.

So why do many people struggle with comprehending the written word? The fault is not with the people who struggle - many are brilliant people. The reason is that reading is made unnecessarily complicated by talking about "hard" or "soft" sounds [no such thing really], and teaching more consonant blends than are necessary, and giving long lists of words to memorize.

Academic Associates teaches reading in small, simple steps. By the end of the first lesson [usually 1-3 hours] every student, no matter how young, will have read out loud 300 words. The entire course only takes 30 - 60 hours of instruction on average, and will empower the student to read everything they desire to read.  New worlds of information and entertain will open up.

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