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How Readable English Supports Struggling Readers, ML Students, and Students  with Dyslexia

 Tim Waldron

In education, ensuring that every child can read proficiently is a cornerstone of academic success. However, many students face significant challenges due to language barriers, learning disabilities  like dyslexia, or other obstacles. The experiences shared by New Albany Schools in Mississippi from working with third-grade students highlights the transformative impact of Readable English, a tool that can significantly aid those struggling to read. The following insights are gleaned from the work of Gywn Russell (Former Principal and now Director of Curriculum), and Beth Matlock (Principal and Dyslexia Specialist) at New Albany Schools.

Transformative Impact on ML Students

Working with a diverse group of third-grade students, including those repeating the grade, and Multi-Lingual Learners (ML)  learners, revealed some profound insights. One particular example was a non-English speaking girl who initially struggled to understand essential  words. However, she quickly caught on using Readable English, which integrates a pronunciation guide into every word.  For example , when introduced to the word "cello" with the corresponding word marked up and a picture, she grasped its meaning and pronunciation. This quick adaptation underscores how Readable English can bridge the gap for ML students, making the learning process more intuitive and less daunting.

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Boosting Confidence in Struggling Readers

Another student, repeating the third grade due to failing the state Gate exam three times, faced confidence issues and a tendency to guess words based on initial letters. As a dyslexia therapist, the facilitator recognized this common mistake. By implementing Readable English, which encourages looking at the whole word (with an embedded pronunciation guide and the spelling intact), rather than just parts of it, the student's guessing habit was corrected. Over a few weeks she no longer resorted to guessing, her fluency improved significantly, boosting her confidence. She became a leader in her group, ultimately passing the Gate exam and gaining a sense of accomplishment and self-assurance.

Building a Strong Fluency Foundation

A critical insight from working with students is building a solid fluency foundation. For third graders, narrowly meeting the basic reading level, continued support using Readable English can propel them to proficiency by the end of grade. This foundation is critical as it allows students to focus on vocabulary and comprehension once they can read fluently. Teachers often emphasize that getting students to read fluently enables them to engage deeply with the material during classroom instruction, enhancing overall learning outcomes.

Integrating Readable English with Existing Educational Strategies

Readable English does not aim to replace other educational strategies or content. It provides the  essential scaffold , enabling students to read words effectively in any content area or setting. Once students learn the system, Readable English provides ongoing support  that allows students to access and comprehend grade level content.  Additionally, this approach allows students to receive comprehensive support both in specialized settings and in their regular classrooms.

The Process and Phases of Readable English

Readable English provides  a structured framework  including  four instructional phases. Phase 1 focuses on teaching the Readable English system. Phase 2  focuses on word attack skills, accuracy, and basic fluency. Phases 3 and 4 delve deeper into comprehension, writing, vocabulary, and advanced reading skills. Following this process systematically is essential  to ensure students build a robust foundation before progressing to more complex tasks. This methodical approach has proven effective in quickly establishing fluency allowing for deeper learning and comprehension.


Readable English offers a promising solution for ML students, those with dyslexia, and  any child struggling to read. Focusing on building a solid fluency foundation, and integrating seamlessly with existing educational practices, Readable English accelerates and empowers students to overcome  reading challenges. The experiences shared from the classroom highlight how this tool can transform lives, helping students achieve academic success and build confidence in their abilities.

If you missed our webinar last week that highlighted the great work the team at New Albany is doing, here is a link to the recording. We encourage you to leave a comment, ask a question, or spark a discussion. 

If you are interested in learning more about Readable English, please visit us at and request a demo of our program.