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CAMI Reader - More Info PDF Print E-mail

Learning to read with accuracy and understanding is the most important skill that a learner can attain.  It is the foundation of future learning, as it will allow the learner to acquire the information that others have written down.

The ultimate goal of reading instruction is to ensure that the child can read silently, at a reasonably pace and with a good understanding of the text.

 

Over the past 15 years, CAMI has carved out a niche in the market as the leader in Computer Aided Instruction for mathematics.  When we broadened our scope to include reading, we discovered that traditional reading programs fall short because they do not have the provisions to communicate clearly. Over the years, reading instruction was first based on Webster's "Blue-backed speller",  then on Phonics and Phonetics and, recently, on "whole language" instruction.

The ability to read is based on a phonemic awareness (being able to separate and blend sounds in words) and alphabet code knowledge (knowing the correspondence between the symbols and the sounds), coupled with comprehension.

It is important to realise that the sounds in a language existed long before the letters. The written symbols in  language were invented in order to represent the sounds that we have been using for centuries.  In other words, the sound that you hear and learn at your mother's knee is the real language and the written word is a reflection and record of the spoken word. This knowledge is the key to understanding reading difficulties.

Being introduced to reading at an early age (5 years), using a good reading program will ensure future reading success. The effectiveness of the reading program goes hand-in-hand with important pre-reading skills. These skills are:

  • The ability to scan a text from left to right.
  • The ability to match visual symbols to auditory sounds.
  • The ability to blend discrete sounds into words.
  • The ability to segment sounds in words.
  • The ability to understand that sometimes two or more letters can represent a single sound.
  • The ability to understand that a sound can be generated in more than one way.

Reading Techniques :
In researching the transition from reading the words aloud to silent reading, a number of reading difficulties were noted. Some learners tended to move their head from side to side, mouth words as they read, read words in isolation, lost their place and/or had poor mental retention due to lack of concentration.

When we read, the brain only assimilates the information where the eyes fixate. The reading speed of any learner would therefore double if the learner trains his/her eyes to fixate on two words instead of one. Speed reading techniques therefore concentrate on the broadening of the eye span and minimising the number of eye fixations per line.

Returning to previously read words is often due to a lack of concentration or a lack of understanding of the text.   It is essential to read with understanding and to continuously add new words to the reader's vocabulary.

With the above design criteria in mind, CAMI designed a reading system that would enhance the reading efforts of the learner and focus on the development of new reading techniques.


Features :
The CAMI Reader has been designed around a sophisticated text editor that can change any text into a reading piece for learners.  Being an open text editor, it allows the teacher the freedom to prepare any text for reading purposes. This feature alone is a major benefit for two reasons:

1.  Reading pieces tend to become stale over time. With an open editor, the teacher can type (or scan) the newspaper report of last night's cricket match and place it into the editor for preparation as a reading piece.

2.   The requirements of outcomes based education dictate that reading should become integrated with the other learning areas.  What better source then of new reading material?  By simply using texts from the other learning areas as reading pieces, the learner would receive a double benefit: increased reading skills as well as an increased understanding of the subject matter.

These reading pieces are then presented on a number of different reading platforms in order to measure and improve reading speed, to assist with the training of the eye to move from left to right and to increase understanding of the text.  Comprehension tests can be selected at will at the end of each of these reading exercises.  Advanced reading techniques include flash cards, spelling, eye fixation exercises and speed reading techniques.