Reading, Spelling & Comprehension

Reading, Spelling, Comprehension and Language Introduction

 What is Dyslexia?

  • Programs
  • Reading Introduction
  • Dyslexia
  • Spelling
  • Comprehenson/Language
  • Reading Research Article

Reading/Dyslexia Link (Go to our Links/Information button to view the link)

Reading Programs Available at the Lear Educational Center

All Programs are designed to Compensate for Dyslexia

Programs are selected on an individual basis for each student

Wilson Fundations© Barbara Wilson, Author; K-1st

Wilson Reading and Language Program© Barbara Wilson, Author; 1st -Adult

(Lips®): Lindamood® Phoneme Sequencing, the better phonics program; Primary

(SI™): Seeing Stars® Symbol Imagery for decoding enhancement; Primary

(V/V®) Visualizing and Verbalizing® for Comprehension; K-Adult

PA Standard’s “Coach®” Reading Programs; K-11


Remember, children get up every morning wanting to be like everyone else. The child who is having difficulties needs different tools to succeed. It usually means the student needs a program, delivery or study skill change.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is of neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities, and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may included problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (Definition adopted by the IDA Board of Dyslexia, November 12, 2002)

Finding the correct reading and language program is as important as finding the correct educational center to teach a program to your child.

Reading, Spelling and Comprehension programs vary. The best programs are a multi-sensory structured language (MSL) approach. There are only a few multi-sensory programs that have research to back their advertised outcomes. All of our programs are multi-sensory or are being taught with multi-sensory techniques which are backed by research. Our teachers have all passed through an instructional practicum and are continually monitored by a master teacher. We match the best Multi-sensory program with your child and individualize each session to their needs.

Following are the programs we frequently recommend. We are not limited to the programs listed. If you, or a referring physician, recommend a program not listed please ask about your preferred program when you call or during a consultation appointment.

It is also good to remember our teachers are experts with theses programs. They teach these programs, one to one, over a thousand hours a year.


Knowing how to spell, or encode, is based on our initial knowledge of the phonological coding system and is the direct reverse of the same knowledge used for decoding or reading. If we learn how to read using a language coding system then we can spell. It should be noted that accuracy can be impeded by our ability to discriminate sounds at the neurological level. This is not related to hearing but how our brain discriminates the sounds it has heard. Spelling can be about how the brain processes sounds. Please see the section on Auditory Processing Disorders.

Comprehension and Language

If students read the words but don't understand the meaning they are not really reading.

      • Comprehension is why we read.
      • We must understand language to communicate.
      • Reading is communication.

The programs at the Lear Educational Center help to insure we can not only read but can also understand what we are reading.

        • WE read to be safe
        • We read to have fun
        • We read to learn for school
        • We read in our workplace
        • We read to be informed the community we live in

Good readers know about knowing how to learn and comprehend. Learning how to learn is called Metacognition or “thinking about thinking.” Good readers read with a purpose, are actively engaged in reading and understand an author’s purpose in communication.

Students who are good readers know to use their resources when they do have a problem comprehending the text they are reading.

Many students have problems with their language development or processing abilities. Often this is due to poor vocabulary development. Poor vocabulary development can be due to a variety of problems. One problem is that the student has not been exposed to enough vocabulary in their school setting. Also, a student may not know how to study and remember the vocabulary they need, to be successful in school.

Comprehension of reading requires the following:

        • Good decoding skills
        • Strategies to figure out unknown words
        • Good vocabulary base
        • How to find help when needed

All Lear Educational Center reading programs offer:

        • Phonemic awareness
        • Fluency
        • Vocabulary
        • Spelling
        • Multi-sensory instructional techniques
        • Text comprehension through visualization methods

Reading, Spelling and Comprehension

For a More In Depth Look:

The following is a research article I wrote to help explain various positions on Reading Research.
Patricia J. Lear, M. Ed. Copyright 2001

Taking the Mystery Out of Reading

Patricia J. Lear, M.Ed.

"While acquiring language comes naturally for most children, learning to read does not." (Lyons 1997); quoted by Fran James Warkomski, BSE "Closer Look spring 2001) "Over 80 percent of all referrals to special education involve reading difficulties. Effective prevention and early intervention programs have been found to increase the reading skills of 85 to 90% of poor readers to average levels" (Warkomski, F.J., 2001). Warkomski goes on to state that one of the "responsibilities of the school administrator as well as the teacher is to serve on a school–wide team designed to refocus the approach to beginning reading instruction to include explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle and automaticity with the code."

Louisa Moats (1999) stated that “reading is not rocket science, that about 20 percent of elementary students nationwide have significant problems learning to read, but scientists now estimate that 95 percent of all children can be taught to read. It should however be noted that statistics reveal an alarming prevalence of struggling and poor readers that is not limited to any one segment of society.”

It is estimated that about 40 % of the population learns to read without difficulty and without prescribed programs. Another 40% of the population requires the additional help of a phonics program, such as "Reading Readiness" or “Reading Recovery”, to insure they reach their potential. "Most children move easily from the use of alphabetic strategies to the formation of strong orthographic representations that can be accessed automatically." The research submitted in the Fall 2002 report from the International Dyslexic Society states that the remaining 20 percent of the population will require an orthographics processing program, where phonic word attack strategies are systematically taught, in addition to phonics instruction in order for them to master the rules of the English language and make use of the phonic training. "One of the most powerful tools to begin instruction is the visual patterns inherent in the six syllable types (Steere, Peck and Kahn,1988)." It is these letter (orthographic) visual patterns that signal vowel pronunciation (Hook & Jones 2002). Examples of recognized programs offering this instruction are Orton Gillingham and the Wilson Language program, to name a few. These programs offer the instruction for "automatic letter recognition and automatic sound discrimination as key to automatic word patterning recognition or automatic coding and later comprehension.” (Allen and Beckwith 1999)

Hook and Jones of the International Dyslexic Association indicate “most children experience the patterning of orthographic skills and the process relatively seamlessly, moving easily from the use of alphabetic strategies to formation of strong orthographic representations. There is, however, a percentage of “at risk” children (approximately 20-40%) depending on the specific school demographics who benefit from having phonemic awareness and phonic word attack strategies systematically taught.” In addition, (Saunders 2001) states there is “also a smaller percentage of children who will need more intensive work in this area. The children who struggle most with learning to read also fail to develop adequate automaticity with orthographic reading and need structured, systematic training in this area.” (Torgensen et al., 2001) notes, “it appears that early preventive intervention may be particularly important in the development of automaticity and fluency.”

(Steere, Peck and Kahn, 1998) state, “One of the most powerful tools to begin instruction in this area is the visual pattern inherent in the six syllable types. It is these letter orthographic patterns that signal vowel pronunciation.”

Orthographic patterning programs have been devised from the Orton-Gillingham philosophy. It is referred to as the Multisensory Structured language Education process. The international Multi-Sensory Structured Language Education council (IMSLEC) described the necessary program content and the principles of instruction for MSLE programs (McIntyre & Pickering, 1995). It is the process of the English language or syllable instruction, in addition to the phonics basics, that are being taught.

The system should be systematic, sequential and cumulative, following a task-analyzed hierarchy. Instruction needs to be direct and one on one. Diagnostics should be prescriptive and individualized during each lesson. The program chosen should offer analytical instruction and demonstration, using multi-sensory method how to break down the skill being taught, from the whole to its parts and back to the whole again. All lessons should be introduced with an objective and closed, as all sound educational instruction should be.

Automaticity is defined as fast, accurate and effortless word identification at the single word level. Fluency, on the other hand involves not only automatic word identification but also the application of appropriate prosodic features (rhythm, intonation, and phrasing at the phrase, sentence, and test levels. (Wood, Flowers, and Grigorentko 2001).

Letter reading and word reading require automaticity and fluency and “ require smooth integration of the contributions from visual, verbal and attention systems. Letter reading demands knowledge of orthographic symbols" for patterning, "phonological labels and sounds, consistent effort, and general naming ability. In short letter naming is complex, only slightly less complex than word reading.” (Neuhaus and Swank 2002) “Words with an unfamiliar or infrequent letter combination can cause hesitant reading that interferes with the fluent automatic identification of words that then impacts reading comprehension” (Stanovich, 1991). Thus, automaticity should be developed in isolation prior to contextual practice. After automaticity is accomplished in isolation it should be noted that The National Reading Panel (2000) identifies “repeated reading as one of the most consistent techniques for increasing word recognition and fluency.”


Ellis, K., & Gallistel, E. (1974). Gallistel-Ellis Test of Coding Skills. Hamden, CT: Montage Press.

?Gustavson, K, & Watson, N. (1995). Wilson Reading and Reading to Read. Augusta, ME: Division of Adult & Community Education.

Hook, P., & Jones, S., (2002). What does it take to read a letter? The International Dyslexic Association; Perspectives Winter, 2002

Lyon, G.G. (1995). Towards a definition of dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 45:3-27

McIntyre, C., & Pickering, J. (Ed.). (1995) Clinical studies of multisensory structured language education, or: International Multisensory Structured Language Education council.

Moats, L. (1999) Teaching Reading is Rocket Science. Prepared paper for the American Federation of Teachers. Closer Look; Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network, Vol.4, No.1

Neuhaus, G. (2002). What does it take to read a letter? The International Dyslexic Association; Perspectives Winter, 2002

O'Conner, J., & Wilson, B. (1995). Effectiveness of the Wilson Reading System used in public school training: or International Multisensory structured language education. (pp.245-253).

Orton, J. L. (1966). The Orton-Gillingham approach. In J. Money (Ed.), The disabled reader: Education of the Dyslexic Child (pp. 245-253). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Steere, A.,Peck, D. and Kahn,L. (1988). Solving language difficulties. Cambridge, MA: Educators Publishing Service

Warkomski, F. (2001) BSE Committed to Improving Reading Instruction. Closer Look: King of Prussia PA: Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network.

Our Expertise

Areas of expertise at Lear are as follows, but not limited to: Certified Wilson Reading and Language Systems, Orton Gillingham, Phonics Spelling, Grammar, Linda Mood-Bell Auditory Processing Programs, PSSA, PSAT, SAT, ACT Coaching Programs, PA Keystone Exams, Saxon Math, Standardized Academic Testing, Organizational Skills Coaching, Study skills, Pre-Reading Programs, Speech and Language, Pre-Kindergarten Skills, Writing and Vocabulary Programs, All Subjects Tutoring, Parenting Skills Training and Behavioral Programs, Functional Behavioral Analysis, Observational Visits.

Patricia J. Lear, M.Ed. has been documented as a Special Education Expert in the Pennsylvania Federal Court.  Set up a Consultation with her today.  610-252-0965

Our School Students

Participating school students from: Allentown, Bangor, Bethlehem, Catasauqua, Easton, East Penn, Emmaus, Hillside, Nazareth, Northampton, Northern and Southern Lehigh, Parkland, Pen Argyl, Saucon Valley, East Stroudsburg, Stroudsburg, Wilson, Whitehall-Coplay of Lehigh County, PA, Northwestern Lehigh in Berks County, Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, PA, Northampton Community College, Lehigh-Carbon County Community College, Clinton schools of New Jersey, Warren Technical College, NJ, Warren County Community College of New Jersey, Muhlenberg College of Bethlehem, PA, and other near by colleges and universities. We also welcome St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Holy Family, and Saint Ann Schools.

Lear Educational Center | Experience the difference | Learning and Education through Advancement Reading

Dedicated to Learning and Education through Advancement in Reading

1901 Hay Terrace
Easton, PA 18042


Service Area

Proudly serving students, parents and teachers in these communities and beyond:

Lehigh Valley, PA • Allentown, PA • Bethlehem, PA • Easton, PA • Stroudsburg, PA • East Stroudsburg, PA Quakertown • Phillipsburg,NJ • Warren & Hunterdon County, NJ


Lear Educational Scholarship Fund supports students who otherwise would be unable to afford educational instructional services.

Donations to the Scholarship Fund are always welcome!