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Acelin utilizes a multi-sensory approach to help students develop the skills of a strong reader as indicated in the report of the National Reading Panel (2000): phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. For those students who have difficulty identifying sounds and decoding words processing, we use curricula to develop accurate phonics (sound-symbol associations) and stimulate phonemic awareness so that students can distinguish, identify, and sequence sounds in words. With good phonemic awareness skills in place, students practice recognizing frequent letter patterns, or “sight words,” to produce automaticity in reading. We strengthen visual memory by stimulating the brain to create mental images of letters. This strengthens the brain’s imaging capability and produces a quick, reflex-like connection between words and the accompanying sounds. The result is fluency—clear, independent, fluid reading.

Pulling meaning from the words we read in books, magazines, newspapers, street signs or cereal boxes is primary goal of reading. It’s what connects us to the world around us. So all reading instruction eventually shifts from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” The emphasis is placed on understanding the meaning of the words and the text, which is heavily dependent on concept imagery (the ability to mentally generate a pictorial representation of information). At Acelin, we develop students’ concept imagery skills, thereby enabling them to understand what they read—both at the word level (vocabulary) and in connected text (comprehension). With practice, students will not only have good comprehension skills, but also have solid higher order thinking skills for making inferences, drawing conclusions, perspective taking, and argumentation.