There are many adults that never learned how to read. This could be because they simply got by in school and no one noticed that they didn’t have reading skills, or because they had to drop out of school to pursue other things. Others may also not have been able to go to school at all. Whatever the reason, there are many people out there that either can’t read or can’t read well enough. However, just like when children learn, there are easy ways for adults to as well. Here are the steps.
- Learn the letters and their sounds. If you are unfamiliar with the alphabet and the sounds the letters make, this is the first thing you have to learn. If you do know it already, it’s still a good idea to go over the material, including what different consonant clusters sound like, such as ch, st, and th. This not only helps you read along in your head, but can also help when you are reading aloud.
- Start reading books or other materials. Once you know how words and letters operate, you can start reading books. It’s okay to start with basic books at first, because they are designed to get people to start reading. Although they are designed for kids, they still work, no matter your age. Once you successfully read a book, there’s nothing stopping you from reading as many books as you want. The more you read, the more you will learn about how letters, words, and sentences operate.
- Sound out the words. When you’re reading books, you may encounter words you don’t know. That’s okay since you know what the letters sound like. Simply sound out the word, until you’re certain you know how to say the word. It’s a good idea to read your books out loud some of the time, so you can make sure that you’re able to speak words you are reading at a comfortable level. You want to ensure that you can read out loud in case the situation ever comes up.
- Get a dictionary. For words you have never seen before, you may want to keep a dictionary handy. It is inevitable that you’ll find words that you are unfamiliar with. All you need to do is look them up to find out what they mean. In some dictionaries, the pronunciation may also be included.
- Make sure you are retaining information. Besides just reading, it’s just as important to retain what you have read. One way to do this is by thinking about the story in your head. Would you have liked the ending to be different? Maybe you didn’t like one of the characters. The more you understand what is going on, the more opinion you might have about the plot of the book. This leads to a greater understanding overall and can go a long way in your journey to become a good reader.
- Move on to more complicated material. After you have mastered the most basic books, work your way up the ladder. You can read more advanced books, like young adult novels, newspapers, magazines, and more.
- Get help if you need it. It isn’t too hard to do all the steps listed, but others may still need help doing so. There are many places to get help. One place to get help is by asking someone you know and trust if they mind helping you learn how to read. They may have many ideas and resources that can aid you, and they won’t make fun of you or ridicule you because they already care about you. Another place you can look is online. There are a large number of sites that have different courses and plans to help you learn. There are also special online reading programs designed for adults. If you would prefer hands-on training, check in your area to see if there are adult education classes. You can go ask around the local library and they’ll usually have all the information you need to get started. Sometimes classes are offered at college campuses or high schools as well.
It is important that everyone learns how to read. It is essential for you to be able to read documents and be able to understand signs and other things that you might see around you. The issue is that some people aren’t taught properly how to read when they are young. Most children are taught how to read books when they are around 6 years old, but not everyone retains that knowledge.
Of course, there are ways to teach yourself even as an adult, and other resources available, so you can be quite literate. The most important thing is to be familiar with the alphabet and how different sounds work. Then you can move on to reading books and even reading aloud to make sure that you can pronounce the words that you are reading. If you are reading solely in your head, you may be lost when the time comes to start reading more challenging material.
You have to be sure that you can follow the words, as well as understand what is being said, and that you are retaining what you are reading. These seem like complicated tasks, but if you practice every day, it becomes natural to you. You simply need to practice. These sessions can be done by yourself, with a friend, or you can even take a class that specializes in adult literacy. If you are a more private person, there are programs you can purchase online that do the same thing. You can learn on the privacy of your computer and utilize a great number of resources. It doesn’t really matter how you learn, but it is important that you do for your own safety. Then you will no longer have to be ashamed or embarrassed about not being able to read the way you want to.