Helping the Troubled Reader

Helping the troubled reader requires calmness on all sides.

The ability to learn requires self-control, cooperation, and confidence. 

When emotionally upset, students cannot pay attention, learn, or remember.

It takes less effort to teach a young student than one who has encountered years of failure.

Nevertheless, a positive attitude can break down low concepts of self-esteem. Here are some guidelines for helping the troubled reader:

  1. Be positive. Give real praise often.
  2. Reduce the distractions during lessons by providing a quiet place to learn.
  3. Make lesson sessions short and more frequent, rather than one long lesson.
  4. Give simple, exact directions.
  5. Be sure to work at a level that insures success. Begin at an independent reading level (See Choosing Books), and then move to the more desired, instructionally appropriate level.
  6. Provide a large amount of repetition in different ways.  Help these students overlearn in order to achieve the learning goal and build confidence. (Our Bingo Games supply an alternative to the usual decoding workbook pages.)
  7. Model the correct process so that (s)he will be able to copy you and, sometimes even without understanding why, they will succeed.
  8. Offer immediate feedback so that the learner knows whether the answer is correct or not. Traveling along a wrong path for too long causes a need for much more intensive correction than immediately letting the student know whether (s)he is right or wrong.
  9. Punishments and rewards do not work as well as challenge, which generates better effort.


© Reading Spotlight  2017