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Teaching-Engine

Certainly a thirty-five year old is not going to try to enroll in a local primary school so he can sit with six year olds and read about tea parties with the cat. Furthermore, any attempt to try to learn the basics again would probably have to be done part time because of full time employment obligations. Also, he (or she) really doesn't want to open up opportunities for more scorn and humiliation by exposing deficiencies.

Computer Learning with the Teaching-Engine

The Teaching-Engine computer program was designed from the beginning to be a reading mentor or tutor. This means that a person can use the program and work completely independently. This is because the sounds for words and parts of the text are available so if there is a word or phonic sound that the student doesn't know, clicking will cause the sound to be heard.

Because thirty-five year olds don't want to read about cats and tea parties, lessons can be made which can be at the most basic reading level, but still can be on adult subjects, maybe about a braai and mountain lions. Spelling and reading comprehension exercises and tests can be included so progress can be tested and revision prepared.

Of course the whole operation is under the control of the student, and if the going is slow, it doesn't matter. Go at your own pace. There doesn't have to be any judgment by anybody else, it can be a totally private effort.

There is a website with additional lessons, and more can be added at anytime. As of this writing, the downloading is free, but there may be a reasonable charge at some point in the future.

Look over the website and learn more about how it works. There are a number of movies with sound. Maybe it can be the way to sort out a very old problem.

• The parents of children with learning difficulties may have ---------- had problems themselves
• Sometimes young students are not yet ready for the ------- --- -------- current level of schoolwork
• Early difficulties with literacy can ruin the whole ----------------------- school experience
• Going back to the basics may fix a life long problem
• The Teaching-Engine is designed for self study

Parents are usually interested in the Teaching-Engine to help their children. It is interesting to note however, that probably 50 percent of the parents who have children who struggle in school, struggled themselves. If the children have some sort of learning limitation, one of the parents had similar difficulties. The parent's experience is typically that they could not read well, could not spell, and had a terrible time in school, often resulting in not obtaining a matric. This in turn had a dramatic effect on their lives, especially if it affected the male, who in turn experienced a huge disadvantage in earning a living. (See comments on the movie Stanley and Iris in Remedial)

Academic learning difficulties are the result of a huge number of widely different factors and so there is no single solution for everyone. But very often many young students are just not ready for the tedious and highly disciplined requirements of academic work. The reading, spelling and writing is just such unrewarding hard work that at the time, it isn't worth the pain and effort to succeed. Because of this, the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy are not learned well enough to support the later subject learning and more advanced maths. School becomes a very unpleasant and humiliating experience, and many understandably drop out.

Although these people have had a real bruising early in life, many are able to pick themselves up and find ways to earn a living, have a family and live a decent life. They found ways to succeed without the academic qualification that society values so much. But the hurt from the bad academic experience hangs over them, and many would dearly like to right the wrong. But how, especially if the reading basics were never learned.