Learning English as a second language

BRI-ARI is the result of many years of research and development by linguists and educational psychologists. It has been extensively trialled and tested. The text is known as MLT, ‘Maximally Learnable Text’, and is well-suited to students who do not have English as their first language. The linguistic underpinning of the books ensures that the initial selection of words actively promotes the process of blending: students find it easier to blend some sounds, e.g:

/I/ ‘I see Sam.’

(Note that the grapheme ‘ee’ is introduced immediately to demonstrate a characteristic of the Alphabetic Code: more than one letter can correspond to a single sound.)

The repetition of words, selection of sounds, and careful choice of vocabulary, provide the greatest possible help in developing foundational skills. The repeated instruction to ‘say the sounds’ in the context of word reading provides practice in spoken English pronunciation and in syntax of increasing complexity.

BRI begins with only five phonemes and three words, gradually introducing additional sounds and words as the student reads through the first set. Each new sound is taught before the student is asked to read the book and there is frequent repetition of both new and old sounds in successive stories to ensure that information is embedded. The stories are lively and engaging, helping students to read with expression and to understand what they are reading. ‘Story Summaries’ and ‘Story Questions’ in each book provide ample material for further development of comprehension and language skills.

Students gradually learn to read new words by mastering the skills of decoding and blending the text. To ensure that they ‘read through the word’, and to eliminate guessing and memorising, many of the words used in the text are chosen because they look similar (e.g. sheet/shut/shell/shall/sell).

SPELLING Workbooks are particularly helpful for augmenting learning for second language students (See Buy books).

“Have a young child, age 6, adopted from Russia 5 months ago… We decided to start BRI even though she does not know English fluently yet. Today we did set 1, books 1-3… There is something about those first words, ‘I see Sam’, that somehow magically get the kid blending. I was left flabbergasted watching this child, she sat mesmerized by the stories… She understood it all; these amazing pencil drawings convey so much.” Reading Tutor
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Learning English as a foreign language EFL, TFL

Reading support for children learning English as a second language.

“I came to China 8 years ago and discovered that for the amount of time that Chinese children studied English very little was accomplished. I began searching for a solution and ran across the BRI books a little over five years ago. I have found that Synthetic Phonics is the answer for teaching English not only for China but for students of other languages as well.”English Teacher