STEPPING AHEAD (2-4 years old)
Many children are missing out on the essential early stimulation of the brain which activates the pathways to literacy. Being read to and looking at pictures is only the beginning. These easy activities are meant to be followed by explicit instruction aimed at achieving the specific milestones that lead to literacy. These are logographic reading and phonologic sequencing.
The World Literacy program STEPPING AHEAD provides a research based schedule of tasks aimed at activating the left hemisphere of the child’s brain because in many children this part of the brain remains unused when in fact, neurologically it contains a pathway to reading which is ready to be used. The STEPPING AHEAD program guides the parent and teacher in knowing what to do next to achieve the goal of reading by the time the child is five. It does this through two stages which correspond with two neurological milestones that are generated in the early preschool years.
STEPPING AHEAD Stage 1A Logographic
The child first masters picture reading which derives from the child’s progress in logical thinking. At the same time the beginning of phonologic awareness emerges as the child learns that speech canan be written and the words of speech are made up of separate sounds . This is the logographic phase where the child can read from pictures and identify an initial letter sound of a word, usually achievable by age three.
STEPPING AHEAD Stage 1B Alphabetic
Following the logographic phase , the STEPPING AHEAD program focuses on alphabet knowledge for pupils from age two and a half to between ages four and five. Alphabet knowledge means knowing the speech sound, not the spelling sound, of each letter. This will stimulate the neurological pathways in the brain that lead to phonologic sequencing[- the blending of the separate speech sounds that make words. Reaching this milestone is an essential prerequisite to phonologic reading which is Stage 2 of the STEPPING AHEAD program.
STEPPING AHEAD Stage 2 Phonologic
The pupil who has achieved the neurological process of blending two alphabet letters to make one speech sound has reached the milestone of phonologic reading. The logographic stage of reading where the picture prompts the meaning is no longer necessary. Words are read sound by sound and pronounced correctly. The correctly pronounced word leads to the correct meaning, either through in-head knowledge or discovery. Guessing is eliminated.
In Stage 2 the pupil reads FAT CAT SAM. This is a large print first primer which provides practice in sound blending regular consonant-vowel consonant words as well as book knowledge and familiarity with continuous text where there are several lines of print on a page. All words in the 58 pages can be correctly processed, without the aid of illustrations. By blending a consonant and vowel with an end consonant or digraph, the pupil utilises a process that has been already mastered in stage 1B of STEPPING AHEAD. Your pupil is reading with this system, by the age of five.
On completion of this Stepping Ahead the student moves onto Reading For Sure
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