WHERE TO BEGIN ?
The Z-Screener is a step-wise procedure for evaluating the orthographic processing required in the first 13 Levels of Lexercise. It focuses on:
1) the (five) short vowel sounds in closed-syllables;
2) syllable-ending single consonants (including those spelled with digraphs);
3) syllable-ending consonant blends;
4) closed-syllable words with inflectional suffixes.
The easy answer to "Where to begin?" is to simply start at Level 1.
Even teens and adults can benefit from beginning at Level 1 to cover concepts such as:
- What the the distinction between a vowel sound and a consonant sound?
- What us a phomeme? What is a grapheme?
- What is Word Inquiry and how do I identify a base element and a suffix?
- What is a syllable and how can it be identified (i.e., by a vowel phoneme)
- What does the plural suffix mean, how is it spelled and what are two sounds it can have (i.e., /s/ and /z/)
Starting at Level 1 allows the client to learn the above concepts and develop the basic instructional routines (like White Board Spelling ) with a small repertoire of phonemes and learn how to focus on speech sounds as separate units from the letters that represent them.
Of course, for an older child or adult beginning at Level 1 you will want to select the less common Level 1 words for the client's Word Bank (e.g., lam, cam, tat). The Socratic method used in the Orton-Gillingham approach is adjustable across the life span.*
The client's performance on the Lexercise Z-Screener can help you decide if starting at Level 1 is best , or if you might be able to teach the concepts listed above in the contest of words at a higher Lexercise Level
For example, suppose the client reads most of the Z-Screener words accurately through Level 7 but starts having trouble at this point:
Lexercise LEVEL 8 <-ng, -nk>
That would suggest that you need to teach the Level 8 phoneme- grapheme concepts directly. You could teach all the concepts from Levels 1 to 8 in the context of Level 8 words. (See the Scope and Sequence for Levels 1 -8 to check out the list of the concepts that you'd need to address.)
If the client is able to read >90% of ALL the Z-Screener words accurately--- that suggests that they need to begin Lexercise at Level 14, the level at which multisyllabic words and syllable division is introduced.
*If you would like to learn more about the structure of English orthography and how to use the research-backed methods of the Orton-Gillingham approach for treating language-literacy impaired clients, check out the Lexercise online professional education courses, designed for (busy) working professionals.