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The Letter A

A young student struggling to read frequently stopped and remained silent until I told him what the word said.

It might have been a really easy word like ’car’. This continued for some time as I tried in vain to work out the problem.

I tried overlays and magnifiers. He had prescribed tinted lenses for Mears Irlen syndrome and, while this helped, the same problem kept arising.

In ‘banana’, – he said, ‘I don’t know how to say that,’ finally admitting he could not read it.

I realised he had not long finished a series of what I call ‘Biff and Chip’ books in which the letter ‘a’ is printed as the written form ‘a’.  When I told him ‘a’ made the same sound as ‘a’, he said ‘Oh, I didn’t know that!’.

I think he is always going to be a slow reader but what a difference to his confidence!

Richard Ashelford
Richard has been a private tutor of English language, literature and Business Studies for over 15 years. After completing an Initial Teaching course and an English Language course at the Open University, he began to tutor seriously. Says Richard, "It’s been a massive learning curve and my own learning seems never-ending. In 2020, I completed the QT Tier 1 Course and I am an active member of the Community. After my first short blog, I was inspired and encouraged by the QT Team to write more. And blog writing is becoming another new skill! I hope my readers think so ..."

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