I thought I would republish this article which was originally posted on July 24th, 2011. It updated and combined several articles on dyslexia that I had written before, such as this “page,” as well as the textbook I wrote in the early 1990’s that started it all — a multi-sensory approach that could help improve both reading fluency and reading comprehension. If you are a parent or teacher that wants to know how to do the strategy, I am going to put it in the next section under the heading: “The Tape-Recorder Strategy.” That will be followed with all the rationale and technical information — which can be read at a later late.
Using a tape-recorder to improve reading:
When you use a tape-recorder (with both record and playback features), several learning processes are going on simultaneously. The main technique is the repeated readings strategy — which involves reading something three times, but in a slightly different way each time. Plus, there are a variety of other learning strategies being used as well, such as using post-it notes or highlighting (signaling) main ideas.
- First reading: Ask your child to read a a sentence, paragraph or short article from a newspaper or magazine. Have them read the passage slowly read into a tape-recorder or equivalent equipment with record and playback features. At this point, tell them not worry about comprehension, just to record each and every word in their usual voice.
- Second reading: Once the recording is finished, have them put on earphones or ear buds to listen quietly to what they recorded, carefully following the text with the eraser end of a pencil or their finger. Following along is crucial in order to “attend” to what they are hearing.
- Third reading: Then, once the recording and listening steps are fully completed, they should go back over the written copy and pick out the main ideas. I would recommend post-it notes or a highlighter pen if the material is not borrowed. If a summary has to be written, then I would definitely use post-it notes because they can be moved around into their correct sequence and used as the basis for writing.