Reading Program - Frequently Asked Questions
Reading Program FAQs
Is the Reading Program suitable for my young learner?
If they can accurately blend 4-sound words with short vowels and recognize some common words, they can start Book 1 of the Reading Program.
Go to the Levels page to find out more information and take the free online test.
For more information about phonics and pre-reading skills, see the Phonics FAQ page.
How old is a young learner?
Each student is an individual and at a different stage in their journey learning English.
Their proficiency also depends on their former education, and whether anyone speaks English at home.
Generally, children learn to read independently from 4 or 5 years old, but some may start reading in English later.
There is no age limit to start reading!
What does this Reading Program offer?
Is the Reading Program based on any scientific research?
Yes! Our Reading Program follows the interactive model with a blended approach to reading. We value both top-down and bottom-up processes and our program subscribes to Scarborough’s Reading Rope principles to help young learners read and interact with the texts.
Our Reading Program offers:
– 50 original stories written for young learners to encourage them to engage with the characters, genres and themes;
– Extension activities to help students relate to the texts using their own experiences;
– Comprehension questions to demonstrate understanding and identify specific grammar rules or semantics;
– Controlled examples of syntax to allow learners to use the language naturally and begin speaking in English with confidence;
– Activities to expand the vocabulary of the students, forging connections to other words and understanding their meaning;
– Tasks that test the inference skills of the student and motivate them to think critically about the text;
– Additional exercises to highlight other language structures such as metaphors and idioms;
– Specific phonemes in the texts that get progressively more difficult to allow the child to decode the texts using their phonological awareness;
– Flashcards to make learning hands-on and to encourage further connections between the vocabulary words presented;
– Spelling booklets in each book bundle to help learners identify spelling patterns and how the base word might change;
– Interactive games designed for children to motivate them to reflect on each text and consolidate their learning;
– Different styles of texts such as poetry and narratives to help students identify text structures;
– Selected Dolch sight words featured in every book to assist students to recognize high-frequency words used in English.
Check out our Reading Strategies blog for more information.
What does each book bundle include?
When you buy a digital book, you’ll receive the following in your download bundle:
1) Reader (monochrome or color)
2) Answer guide
3) Interactive story slides
4) Posters (A3/A4)
5) Flashcards (images and words)
6) Spelling booklet
7) Interactive questions
10) Video reading of book
Watch this video to find out how to buy a book bundle.
Which book should my student start reading first?
We strongly recommend that your learner starts with Book 1 of the Reading Program, followed by Book 2, then Book 3 etc.
The Reading Program introduces one new sound (phoneme) per book, and as they progress the stories become more challenging to read.
In addition to this, each book introduces new common words and skills that they will need for the following book.
Therefore, skipping ahead will not help your student’s confidence or abilities. They will benefit most from learning in the correct order below.
How quickly should my learner progress?
We recommend one book per week to give your student sufficient time to practice the new words and skills properly.
Whether you have a weekly 90min session or five English classes,* we still recommend covering one book bundle per week.
Your student will need to practice reading aloud at home to increase their fluency and pronunciation and revise for the spelling test.
*In this case, spend one or two classes using the Reading Program material and then focus on other skills and topics for the remaining lessons.
How long does the Reading Program take?
This Reading Program will take around a year to complete if the learner is studying one book bundle a week and completing the activities.
How do I assemble the spelling booklets?
The spelling booklets are made from 1 single A4 sheet of paper. Simply fold in half, then again to create the booklet.
You can also watch the short video on how to make the spelling booklet.
Is this Reading Program right for me?
Here are five important things you need to know about the Reading Program. Click on the images to view them full screen.
Or you can watch the video version.
I'm not a teacher. Can I use these resources?
Yes! All the resources on the Teacher Lindsey website are flexible and can be used by parents, homeschoolers or teachers.
The book bundles are comprehensive and easy to prepare. You don’t need to be a teacher to help your child to start reading with these materials.
How can I use these resources?
We have prepared some example lesson plans to demonstrate how versatile the books bundles can be.
There is no correct way to use the reading materials – you can adapt the lesson to suit the needs and interests of your learner.
Should I read aloud to my student and ask them to repeat back to me?
No, this is not recommended since it is not testing their reading skill. It is testing their listening and speaking ability instead.
If you read aloud to the student, they are not getting the benefit of blending the sounds, recognizing common words or building their confidence.
Learning to read is challenging, so allow enough time for them to try read the words on their own. Encourage them to help them stay motivated.
Before they get frustrated, use gestures or remind them of the target sound but avoid giving them the answer every time.
Each book introduces one new sound and 4 new common words so it should not be overwhelmingly difficult for them. If it is, you may wish to review some skills in the Phonics Program before continuing with the Reading Program.
Should I play the story with audio to my learner so they can read along?
The video should only be used after the learner has tried to read the story on their own using the printed reader or interactive story slides.
Your student needs to practice blending the sounds and recognize the new common words to improve their reading ability.
By playing the video first, you may demotivate them. They may not join in, or simply repeat the words without looking closely at the text.
However, the video is a good way to review the story after your learner has attempted reading the story and can help with pace and expression.
I'm not sure how to pronounce some of the words.
The video with audio can help you here, but you must be careful not to let your learner hear the story before trying to read it themselves.
With that in mind, you can play the video privately before the lesson to hear how the word should be pronounced in English.
If you need to help your learner with a correction, you can of course play the video to them to demonstrate it at the end of the story.
My student is reading silently in their head. Is this ok?
You should encourage the learner to read aloud each page of the story so that you can check their pronunciation, fluency and expression.
However, they can read the comprehension questions in their head and answer the questions independently.
Which type of English is featured?
The resources use American English, but the British English versions will be released in the future.
The main differences in these resources include the spelling (e.g. color vs. colour) and word choice (e.g. pants vs. trousers).
You will notice that the video audio is read in a British accent. You can of course read in your own accent if you prefer.
Do I need to print out all the materials in each book bundle?
Not at all! The resources are designed to be flexible to your needs. We also understand not everyone has access to a printer.
The digital story slides, interactive questions and the video should not be printed. Pick and choose from the other activities: flashcards, posters, answer guides, worksheets and activities.
However, we do recommend printing the reader (2x A4 pages). This will encourage a good reading habit and allow the learner to practice writing.
For ideas on how to use the Reading Program resources, download the free lesson plan examples.
Should I print the reader in color or black and white?
It’s your decision! We provide both so that you can choose the best option for your learner / the most cost-effective solution.
The monochrome (bnw) version allows further practice of fine motor skills by allowing them to color in neatly and make it their own.
However, if you want to spend more time on other activities rather than coloring in, you can print the color version.
How should I use the answer guides in the lesson?
There are a few ways you can use these:
1) Print out and give to the student after they have finished so they can mark their own work or peer review.
2) Print out for your own reference and mark their work once they have finished.
3) Do not print out, but use as a digital reference for marking.
In which order should I teach the Reading Program materials?
It is up to you! The bundles are designed to be flexible so you can best adapt the materials to your learner.
You could start with a phonics warm-up by playing with the flashcards, or introduce the theme with the activity first.
Download your 11 free lesson plans to show you the various ways you can teach using these resources. The possibilities are limitless!
My learner has read the book. What's next?
There are follow-up tasks in every book bundle to further consolidate their learning, with interactive questions, worksheets and activities.
The learner can play sorting or matching games with the flashcards, role play the story or create their own using vocabulary from the poster!
The spelling booklet encourages them to review the new words learnt and revise the spelling patterns.
Most importantly, they should practice reading aloud for 10 minutes every day!
How can I measure the success of my student?
Encourage the learner to read aloud to you to check whether they have practiced reading since the last session.
We recommend using our free tracker sheet at the end of each Set of books. There are three ways to measure reading ability:
1) Fluency – how smooth is their reading?
2) Accuracy – how similar to the audio is their pronunciation?
3) Expression – are they reading like a robot or with the appropriate feeling?
You can also keep a note of their spelling scores for further quantifiable evidence.
Can I share these resources with other parents / teachers?
Once you have purchased one of our digital book bundles, you can download and use it with as many of your own students as you wish.
You can send your students resources directly for them to revise or to complete as homework.
However, you are not permitted to share any of these resources with other parents or teachers, as this breaches the terms and conditions of use.
You may not upload any of these resources to a shared drive such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Please direct others who are interested in the resources to our website: www.teacher-lindsey.com
Will I receive printed copies after placing an order?
No, all the resources are virtual products for you to download. You only need to purchase one copy and you can use them with your learner/s.
Every digital book bundle includes interactive resources and printable resources that you can adapt to your student’s needs.