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What is taught in the Barton Reading and Spelling System?

Phonemic Awareness is the first step. You must teach someone how to listen to a single word or syllable and break it into individual phonemes. They also have to be able to take individual sounds and blend them into a word, change sounds, delete sounds, and compare sounds—all in their head. These skills are easiest to learn before someone brings in printed letters.

Phoneme/Grapheme Correspondence
Here you teach which sounds are represented by which letter(s), and how to blend those letters into single-syllable words.

Six Types of Syllables that Compose English Words
If students know what type of syllable they’re looking at, they’ll know what sound the vowel will make. Conversely, when they hear a vowel sound, they’ll know how the syllable must be spelled to make that sound.

Probabilities and Rules
The English language provides several ways to spell the same sounds. For example, the sound /SHUN/ can be spelled either TION, SION, or CION. The sound of /J/ at the end of a word can be spelled GE or DGE. Dyslexic students need to be taught these rules and probabilities.

Roots and Affixes, as well as Morphology
To expand a student’s vocabulary and ability to comprehend (and spell) unfamiliar words, roots and affixes, as well as morphology is taught. For instance, once a student has been taught that the Latin root TRACT means pull, and a student knows the various Latin affixes, the student can figure out that retract means pull again, contract means pull together, subtract means pull away (or pull under), while tractor means a machine that pulls.

A Barton student must receive at least 2 quantity, 50 minute sessions of one-on-one tutoring each and every week in order for it to be frequent and intense enough “to stick.”

Some students can complete an entire lesson in a one-hour session. Others can only complete half the lesson in an hour.

A good tutor will pace the lesson to match the student. A student must master the new skill taught in that lesson, and be able to apply to both reading and spelling, easily and with about 95% accuracy, before moving on to the next lesson.

How long that takes depends upon the student. You cannot rush a student with dyslexia. If you move on before the student has mastered a new skill, the student will eventually hit a wall.