There are different methods for teaching reading in childhood. They have traditionally been grouped into two main categories: the so-called Synthetic Phonics Method, which splits the unit (letter or phoneme) to build a word, and the Analytical Phonics method, which begins by teaching the whole word and then breaking it down into smaller units. These methods make up the so-called Global Reading Method. It is used commonly in children with special educational needs that are derived from cognitive deficits or developmental disorders.
Some advantages of using the Global Method in these groups are:
- Reading is meaningful from its beginning, since the main strategy is pairing two elements, a written and a visual element. The levels of abstraction are lower with respect to the letter or the phoneme and therefore it is easier to understand.
- It allows for a rapid generalization of the reader’s learning of the context through the use of strategies for labeling elements in the learning environment. This serves the dual function of enhancing surrounding information and stimulating reading curiosity.
- It can be tailored to the needs of the individual’s interest by creating personalized materials that increase motivation for learning.
The Global Method process starts with a good vocabulary selection that contains familiar terms that are interesting to the reader. The dynamic consists of linking words with their corresponding images, gradually removing support (for example, the support word can be placed in the image at the beginning) and progressively increasing the difficulty (including new vocabulary or increasing the number of available options). In a second phase, the learned words will be divided, first into syllables and then into letters, in order to form new words from them.
Structured work sessions consist of the following, frequency of reading activities and recording children’s progress. These are both key to improving learning, as long as you do not forget to… combine it with a bit of fun and make reading tasks enjoyable.