Do Davis methods address problems with phonemic awareness?
In order to read, it is important that students are able to perceive phonetic components of language accurately – for example, to be able to hear the difference between the short “e” in “then” and the short “i” in “thin”.
It is also important that students understand that letters generally represent specific sounds, and that they can accurately and consistently perceive and recognize the letters – for example, to see the difference between the letter “b” and letter “d”, and to tell the difference in order and sequence of letters in the words “from” and “form.”
Davis facilitators address all of these issues when working with their client. Once these basic concepts are mastered, the Davis reading program is geared to developing whole word recognition and comprehension skills, relating words to their meanings rather than merely to their sounds.
We do not find it necessary to do extensive tutoring in phoneme awareness or symbol-sound correspondence. Many of these problems can be resolved in a targeted way, as most students typically are struggling or experience confusion with only a few specific sounds or letters. The facilitator can easily identify these trouble spots in the one-on-one setting, and then spend as much time as needed to guide the student to recognizing and overcoming the sources of confusion.