RESEARCH & REPORTS
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
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 proven effective because of its hierarchical approach to learned skills. The reading program has been developed following ten years of research with children affected by dyslexia, ADD and developmental delay. Piloted in Australia in 1999 with over 400 children and then in Singapore in 2000 by the Ministry of Education, it has proven effective with children suffering from learning difficulties including reading difficulties, dyspraxia and dyslexia. It is ideal for students from non-English speaking backgrounds. It is also the ideal system for pre-school and primary children who need to learn to read and for children who, for various reasons, have fallen behind their chronological age in their reading age. It is equally effective with children and adults who have English as a second language and wish to learn English.
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
The I Can Read System has an impressive empirical track record and growing reputation we are very proud of. This section summarises the results of two controlled studies to measure the effectiveness of the unique I Can Read System.
Our 2000 study took place in Singapore, and was supervised by the Singapore Ministry of Education. In this study, a group of subjects were matched and separated into 2 groups. Both groups were pre-tested to make sure that the groups were academically aligned and confirm that one group was not ahead of the other.
The pre-test measure included the Singapore Word Reading Test (SWRT), a sample word list, a sample passage, 3 additional lists of words containing what we call regularity sight words and a list of what we call pseudo words (regular phonetically, but without meaning).
In the table below, the pre-test observations indicate that the two groups score similarly and there is no significant difference between them.
After 7 weeks, both groups were retested.
During this period, Group 1 (the Control Group) continued to receive their normal remediation classes, while Group 2 received an intervention based on the I Can Read methodology.
The Breakdown of post-test measures on the table above shows that both groups started out with similar scores (a Reading Age of 64 months and 66 months, respectively).
In the post-study follow up, we can see the following:
In the Sample Word List measure, Group 1 students made 35 errors and Group 2 students made .03 errors.
In the Sample Passage measure, Group 1 students made 31.6 errors, and Group 2 students made 0 errors.
In the Regular Word List measure, Group 1 students made 9.1 errors and Group 2 students made 7.75 errors.
In the Sight Word List measure, Group 1 students made 11.6 errors and Group 2 students made 8.75 errors.
And in the Pseudo Word List measure, Group 1 students made 17.4 errors and Group 2 students made 3.75 errors.
The graph above left shows the Reading Age (in months) of both groups of students, before and after the 7 week study period.
The graphs above middle and right show the post-test comparisons for the two separate tests.
The SWRT (Singapore Word Reading Test) post-test measures show that the Control Group demonstrated a reading age of 84 months, while the ICR Group demonstrated a reading age of 93 months.
An independent post-test measure was also undertaken using the NARA (Neale Analysis of Reading Ability) assessment.
In this test, the Control Group demonstrated a reading age of 73 months and the ICR Group demonstrated a reading age of 94 months: an exceptional 21 month improvement of the ICR Group compared to the Control Group.
ADDITIONAL STUDIES 2003 – 2005 IN TWO SCHOOLS
A number of additional studies were undertaken in two schools between 2003 and 2005 for students of six years.
The graphs below illustrate the before and after effects of the ICR System. These graphs show the reduction of errors made in the reading of sight words and regular words post-study. Error rates documented prior to students commencing the I Can Read programme are shown in green and error rates documented after students completed the I Can Read programme are shown in orange.