Programs for Remedial Reading in High School

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Programs for Remedial Reading in High School

Post by rfasso » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:51 am

Hello everyone. I teach remedial reading in high school in the USA. This weekend I was very excited to find Diane McGuinness' book, Why Children Can't Read. Upon beginning to read the book, my excitement quickly turned to dismay when I saw that the proposed "solution" for older students involved two programs which require sending students to clinics for one-on-one tutoring. To my mind this is no solution at all. I teach in an alternative high school. All of our students have struggled academically, due to a number of problems. Most are poor. Many don't live with their parents. Many of those who do live with parents have nightmarish home lives. Diane McGuinness' book seems to asssume that all students are living with two active, concerned parents with financial resources. I'm genuinely sorry to say that this isn't true.

What I need to know is: Does anyone know of programs which use the insights Diane McGuinness presents in her book and which can be used with *high school* age students in a classroom group.

I understand the wisdom of trying to prevent problems before they occur. But there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of students out there who have reached high school without proper instruction. We cannot abandon these children.

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Post by g.carter » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:27 am

Rfasso - nice to hear from you.

I would suggest that you e mail who founded the Abecedarian company. His materials are highly thought of and I believe that he has recently developed a programme for older pupils.

Also, I'd suggest that you consider the BRI books. They have an excellent Yahoo support group and, although used in the main by younger children they are used with older children, too.

I'm sure you'll get advice from US teachers, as well. good luck!

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Post by Tricia » Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:02 am

Hi rfasso.
I can help you. ThatReadingThing is based solidly on Dr McGuinness' principles. You can see the basics of the program here: ... fault.aspx

I started off exactly where you are now - with teenage boys who couldn't read well enough to pass an exam and a copy of Dr M's book. If you're worried about UK English, I'm Canadian and can drop the u in colour with hardly a flinch! :D

Email me at
Tricia Millar

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Post by Janis » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:04 pm

Isn't that the most wonderful book?! It changed my teaching life as well. I have been trained in several programs (US), and I understand your needs. You need a decoding program that teaches the children the code along with phonemic awareness as quickly as possible. I also highly recommend ABeCeDarian by Michael Bend. Here is the web-site:

I also use the BRI (RALP) decodable readers as a supplement, but only for my elementary students. I use the Quick Reads books (from Pearson Learning) for fluency work with older children because they are more age appropriate. But I use the ABeCeDarian materials to teach decoding skills first.

(Incidentally, I am a special ed. teacher and reading tutor. I do not work for any of the companies I mentioned above.)

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