The I CAN READ® system, incorporating the reading programme, has been developed over several years by educational psychologists and came about through research conducted between 1995 and 2000 by Antony Earnshaw and Annabel Seargeant. It is structured, cumulative and hierarchical, and is the first system in the world to direct students how to link clusters of letters to single sounds in a unique manner.The I CAN READ reading program enables the student to see how letters combine to create invariant sounds, empowers the student to take control of his or her own reading progress and is fun and easy for children and adults. I CAN READ created the approach to reading which teaches students to analyse single sounds (phonemes) and more importantly theorised the neural linkages between the left inferior frontal gyrus and the left parieo-temporal area which subsequent research has shown enables beginning readers to phonologically link sounds and letter(s) and to assemble the sequence of sound-letter correspondences. Recent evidence using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) supports the I CAN READ approach. I CAN READ teaches three essential skills that the beginning reader needs to learn to read: • Phonemic awareness • Phonics • Blending sequences of phono-graphemes
Cumulative The I CAN READ reading programme overcomes the difficulties that beginning readers face when they learn to read and have to combine letters into blended sounds. The I CAN READ system overcomes the problem of knowing how to pronounce a grapheme when so many letters and clusters of letters can be associated with more than one sound. Commencing with simple, invariant graphemes, the student progresses to learn more difficult graphemes, building upon his or her successes on the way.
I CAN READ is not simply a reading program for early literacy or students with reading difficulties. It is a total literacy system, which is open to all ages and all abilities, to all children and adults wishing to acquire and improve English literacy skills.
I CAN READ is unique because it offers:
- Specialised literacy programmes
- Pre-test / post-test outcomes-based environment
- Quality pre-reading foundation programme
- Qualified and trained teachers
- Effective reading instruction programme
- Language rich environment
- Strong use of expressive (spoken) English
- Well designed and efficient operations system
- Systematic procedures that are evidence based
Reading is a process of translating visual codes into corresponding sounds and linking those sounds to single words. A part of the brain, called the left inferior frontal gyrus, probably operates to help a person vocalise words silently or aloud. At this point, the brain analyses phonemes. Later, the left parieto-temporal area of the brain functions by pulling apart words into their constituent syllables and sounds and linking them to their phonemic identities or appropriate sounds. If the first two stages operate accurately, the left occipito-temporal area helps to automate the process and the person develops into a skilled reader, accessing words quickly and effortlessly.