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When teaching reading to adults they are either second language learners or problem readers.
Here we will leave the second language
learners out and stick to the problem readers. If adults canít read they
could have social problems as well as learning difficulties. They could be
very ashamed of the situation.
I would start with a computer based learning model to see if that made a difference.
Also I would use phonics as they give the learner a road map or code to follow, and after they have learnt some of the phonic sounds they should be able to read simple books. Most adult are more interested in labels in the supermarket than books so I get them to read labels.
If the computer based system is not working I bring out the Montessori sandpaper letters.
Now sandpaper letters could be regarded by some adults as very childish, so if they turn their nose up at them, forget the sandpaper letters and just use the computer. Adults usually respond to phonics as they can see the connection between the sound and the word. They soon realize that those written letters make a certain sound and the sound usually means a certain word so it doesnít take long for them to learn. Adults learn a lot faster than children so they should be reading in a very short time. And adults who have asked for help want to learn to read and that makes a big difference.
For more information about phonics courses I recommend including a Montessori course see our Teaching Reading page.