The Difference

| Results are dramatic

| One-on-one instruction

| It works even when other methods have failed

| No long-term contracts

| Free reading assessment and consultation

In the year 2000 the National Reading Panel finished its study of over 100,000 scientific research studies on reading instruction methods. One of its primary conclusions was that systematic phonics was essential as a cornerstone for successful reading. However, the kind of phonics used by most educators today, visual, meaning-based analytic phonics, can have a deleterious effect upon some students’ ability to read an alphabetic language. Furthermore, the popular “balanced approach,” used by many classroom and special education teachers as well as learning centers, does not use phonics as the foundation for decoding, fluency and comprehension. Rather, it employs phonics (“graphophonemic cues”) along with context cues, syntax cues, configuration cues and picture cues to help students guess at words–but guessing is not reading.

We never allow students to guess at words in our clinic. We give them all the tools they need to properly and effectively decode all the one million or so words in English. This sets them free to excel in fluency and comprehension. The only reading instruction method known to provide a foundation that consistently produces remarkable and dramatic results is the one Academic Associates® uses–intensive, systematic, step-by-step synthetic phonics. Please see the “Scientific Evidence” tab for more information and explanation.

At Academic Associates®, students learn decoding skills to unlock all the words of English, learn fluency, and master comprehension. Critical reading skills are taught. Most read several books during the course and typically gain 2-5 grade levels (even many students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities). We do not use visual, “meaning-based,” or analytic phonics, which is so popular today. For example, we do not have students learn to substitute one consonant for another at the beginning or ending of words to make a new word (or by using whole word analogies in “cut and paste” style such as cat + mop = cop). Please see the section on synthetic or analytic phonics under the “Scientific Evidence” tab for further information.

We do not use flashcards or lists of sight words because that promotes memorizing rather than learning to read phonetically.

We do not use objects, colors or movements to represent sounds because that generates informational overload and confusion.

We do not use pictures in teaching reading, because they prompt guessing. Students should never guess at reading words.

We do not incorporate writing into reading instruction. They are completely different mental activities which engage different parts of the brain.

The goal of many first grade reading courses is to teach 200-600 words. In our very first lesson, our students, including those with learning disabilities, read at least 300 words and are empowered to read thousands more..

Many bright students become crippled in their reading abilities today by instructional approaches which “hardwire” their brains to read as if English were an ideographic or pictographic language. Since they have been programmed to read incorrectly, they need to be retrained to read phonetically.

The Academic Associates® method cooperates with the brain’s own neural architecture. It streamlines the flow of data into the linguistic part of the brain, simplifying and accelerating the process of learning to read. The brain is retrained to read phonetically. This is one of the primary reasons Academic Associates® has been so successful in teaching children who have failed with other programs to read. Please see the “Scientific Evidence” tab for more information and explanation.

Teach Others to Read