Beware of the Reading Traps


Avoid the pitfalls lying in wait for school leaders seeking help for struggling readers.

If we can read, we tend to assume that reading is easy. In a large organisation like a secondary school, those who struggle to read can be overlooked, misunderstood, or not supported as they need to be. If you’re responsible for deciding on what interventions to use for reading, and how to monitor their impact, beware these traps!

Trap 1

Assume that the purpose of the intervention is to compensate for a lack of ability, or to shield the student from the consequences of a lack of ability. The vast majority of reading problems can be resolved through effective teaching.

Implication: Students should not be in reading interventions forever, or even long-term.

Trap 2

Expect slow progress from students in reading interventions. This idea is based on the faulty assumption that poor reading equates to…

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