Dynamic Reading and Writing  - Expert Techniques by Sylvia Hannah Sinclaire

Solve the Mystery of Print

For many individuals, words are a mystery. They are random sequences of letters that are hard to memorize. English seems to have no system. At least, not a system that they can figure out.


  • have difficulty keeping up with their peers at school
  • learn spelling words for weekly tests, then forget them
  • don't understand why words are hard
  • put so much energy into trying to get words correct, that they have less energy to understand what they're reading
  • use simple words when they write
  • avoid reading out loud
  • avoid jobs where reading and writing are required
  • know they're smart, but can't seem to show their intelligence easily, through fluent reading and writing
  • make errors when reading and spelling, and don't correct them (because they don't know how)
  • can't choose what they'd like to eat on a menu
  • feel anxious about reading and writing tasks

Why Is This?

The reason is that some individuals don't understand how to figure out printed words.

What Are Printed Words?

Printed words are, basically, speech turned into letter sequences. What starts as sequences of sounds (in time) is translated into sequences of letters (in space). This translation is like a foreign language for some.

Those individuals can't hear the sound sequences they produce, in enough detail to match what they're saying to what they see in print (reading) or what they need to produce in print (spelling and writing).

The academic term for this is "lack of phonological awareness". This is the ability to detect the number of sounds you make when speaking, and their sequence. If you don't have this ability, you find it difficult to match your speech to print.

For many individuals, this ability develops unnoticed, as they "play" with sounds when they are learning to speak English. For some, though, this skill does not develop naturally.

One-quarter to one-third of our population have phonological awareness difficulties. Unless this is addressed, individuals continue to experience difficulty into adulthood. Unless this difficulty is addressed, individuals experience frustration, pain, and embarrassment throughout their lives.

There is a solution.

The solution is correct, or sound, teaching.

Correct teaching:

  • gives individuals a personal awareness of the sounds they make when they speak
  • teaches them how to match what they say to what they read and write
  • gives them the power and skills to correct their own errors
  • enables them to learn words and not forget them
  • allows them to make progress that is rapid and lasting
  • solves the mystery of printed words, so that they can read and write with confidence and skill
  • let's them get on with the real job of reading, which is comprehension
  • let's them get on with the real job of writing, which is communication

on Elementary School Children.

Dynamic Reading And Writing:

  • teaches children that words are sounds
  • teaches children that words use the sounds that they speak
  • teaches children how speech is connected to print
  • teaches children that words are sounds written down
  • teaches children that the alphabet is "letters that represent sounds"
  • teaches children how to decipher words and then use them. Confidently.
  • accelerates children's school progress
  • makes reading, spelling, and writing easier
  • makes reading a joyful experience
  • makes writing a personal, creative activity, not blocked by spelling uncertainties

on Junior and Senior High School Students.

Dynamic Reading And Writing:

  • teaches them how to un-lock long words
  • teaches them that English is a system
  • teaches them what that system is
  • teaches them that the system is fascinating
  • teaches them that their frustration with reading can be alleviated
  • allows them to notice they are now finally progressing with reading
  • allows them to notice that they are reading more easily
  • enables them to more quickly select correct spellings on their spellcheckers
  • enables them to use advanced words that they can spell, when they write
  • takes the pressure off. Now students don't have to try to memorize long words. Now they don't need to think about words as long, at all.

They can learn about:

  • syllables
  • open and closed vowels
  • schwa
  • roots
  • prefixes
  • not-fair suffixes
  • word building
  • syllabicating words from the back

This knowledge turns long words into words made of short chunks of meaningful information. This knowledge:

  • takes the pressure off. Now students don't have to try to memorize long words. Now they don't need to think about words as long, at all.
  • gives them real confidence with print, because they now have the skills needed to join the game of literacy success
  • allows their marks to improve because they now have the underlying tools of skillful readers, spellers, and writers

on Adult Learners Who Have Previously Struggled With Print.

Dynamic Reading And Writing changes an adult's expectations for their future. They might have become used to their literacy struggle. They might be resigned to their literacy limits. This can change! It is never too late to change what you know. To change how you learn. To alter how quickly you are able to learn. As one adult said to me: "I now have a new shelf in my cupboard."

Dynamic Reading And Writing:

  • explains why they have experienced difficulty in the past. There are reasons. This is a tremendous relief to adults. They now understand why they had difficulty learning to read and write words.
  • gives them real hope because now they are experiencing noticeable gains with reading, spelling, and writing. They may have been "flat-liners", adults whose reading/spelling had not changed for many years. Now they truly have a learning curve.
  • enables them to read computer text at higher levels, along with higher levels of book/newspaper reading.

This is essential for 21st century workplace literacy.

  • gives them courage to apply for jobs that require literacy skills
  • gives them confidence to offer their expertise as a reader and as a writer, e.g. taking minutes at a meeting, working at a polling booth, volunteering to read with children at a local school
  • allows them to write at the same level as their thinking. They do not need to "dumb down" their knowledge because they don't know how to spell longer words or how to write more complex sentences.
  • means that adults do not need to rely solely on assistive technology to give them access to print. They, personally, can read what they need to read, e.g. menus, bus schedules, etc., and write what they need to write, e.g. grocery lists, instructions to a babysitter, etc.


Dynamic Reading And Writing:

  • gives you the tools and techniques to help your struggling child
  • allows you to create a confident reader and writer
  • teaches your child to be an accurate, self-correcting reader and speller
  • enables your child's grades to increase
  • teaches your child to notice the print around them and to try to read everything they see
  • changes a discouraged reader, lacking skills, to a dynamic reader, who isn't afraid to try to figure out words. Because now they can do it!
  • changes a child who avoids, or hates, reading to a child who takes a book to bed with him/her
  • gives children the reasons why certain words, or parts of words, are hard. They learn that they only have difficulty with things that are already hard!

My book, "Why Your Child Can't Read And Spell And What YOU Can Do About It", explains all of this and more, and shows you how to help your child. To purchase my book, visit my store.


For a further understanding of the principles behind Dynamic Reading and Writing, see my article on this website "Why Teachers Need to Know Dynamic Reading and Writing".