Language Tune-Up Kit® For Families and Schools
Phonemic awareness is pre-phonics. It is the understanding that words are made up of different sounds. Phonics builds on that skill and teaches children to associate letters with those sounds and string them together to form words. A child with a severe phonemic awareness problem may not grasp phonics.
LTK uses repeated drills on nonsense words to be sure students are decoding words properly and not relying on memorization or guessing.
The LTK curriculum is based primarily on the Orton-Gillingham method of explicit, direct, systematic, intensive, sequential phonics. The technique focuses on building skills in phonemic awareness. At the conclusion of the program’s 87 lessons, a student will have the skills necessary to decode 85 to 90 percent of all words in the English language.
Joe Torgesen, a reading researcher in Tallahassee, has found that two hours a day of one-on-one with a teacher trained to teach phonemic awareness and phonics has helped fourth- and fifth-graders dramatically. The one-on-one training is critical. Often, however, even in special-education classes, students must share a teacher with a dozen or so other pupils.
Another important factor is finding a tutor or a program that understands research-based strategies such as phonemic awareness. Most conventional educational testing for learning problems and disabilities doesn’t check for phonemic awareness. The Language Tune-Up Kit is a multisensory learning dyslexia program that specifically teaches phonemic awareness.
Twenty percent of the U.S. population has some form of learning challenge. Research compiled over the past thirty years has shown that these students require instruction in phonemic awareness. The Language Tune-Up Kit is particularly well suited to students with learning problems. It teaches the phonemic awareness skills necessary to acquire reading proficiency at all grade levels. It is also appropriate for students who can speak English and are literate or illiterate in non-English languages.
The Orton-Gillingham method of explicit, systematic, intensive, sequential instruction of phonics has been recognized as the most comprehensive method of its kind, teaching millions of students since the 1930’s. It is the most researched and most successful of all remediation techniques available today.
Language Tune-Up Kit Overview
All LTK versions operate on Windows 32-/64-bit systems and also Apple® OSX.
What’s Inside the Language Tune-Up Kit – Multisensory Learning Dyslexia Software
The Language Tune-Up Kit is a multisensory learning dyslexia program that contains 87 lessons designed to build decoding skills for non-readers. It is particularly suited to those with learning challenges. The student performs various tasks for each phoneme presented to show how letters, letter combinations and sounds form words. Correlations taught include comparing the number of letters in a word to the number of sounds, syllable division, word building, and decoding skills. The words and tasks become more complex as the student progresses through the lessons. New words are presented in groups of ten. Additional groups of ten words are presented if the student did not achieve 80% mastery for the lesson activity. Each Lesson contains six to ten lesson activities. All student errors are recorded. Quizzes at the end of each lesson measure student mastery.
The student performs various tasks to reinforce how letters, letter combinations and sounds form words. Next within each lesson is an Audio Recognition lesson activity. It emphasizes the correlation between letter sounds, letter combinations, and word formation. Variations of this activity are used for digraphs, syllables, blends, the doubling rule, isolated sounds, and letter/sound placement within a word. The Hint button provides multiple levels of assistance. Lessons 1-41 are devoted to single-syllable words. All student errors are recorded. Quizzes measure skills acquired.
Each of the 87 lessons contains two or more stories that reinforce the skills, words and concepts covered within. In lessons 1-87 the student completes a sentence about the story by typing the missing word, or answers one of the 649 story questions. The multisensory learning dyslexia software speaks dictation words and phrases, and the student types them in response.
The Language Tune-Up Kit is specifically designed to address the special needs child. It has been used very successfully with children who are literate and illiterate in their native language. It can remediate students age 6 and older, teens and adults.
Instruction is provided in English or in Spanish.
New Concepts and Words
An instructional segment begins each lesson. The concepts and phoneme(s) are introduced and examples are provided for reinforcement in a lesson activity named Build Words (see next page).
An LTK Card Deck, consisting of 108 phonemes, is integrated within the multisensory learning dyslexia software. An actual Card Deck accompanies the program and is used by the student to follow along with the multisensory learning dyslexia program and can be used as a reference tool when away from the program.
This lesson activity displays a phoneme, its keyword and associated graphic. The multisensory learning dyslexia program pronounces the phoneme and keyword. The student is asked to record his or her pronunciation of the keyword and compare it to the prerecorded version. The student is then asked to write a sentence using the keyword.
There are 7 variations of this lesson activity contained within the multisensory learning dyslexia program. These lesson activities display an initial series of ten words. The letters of the word are displayed on the screen and LTK plays the letters sounds for each. Then the word itself is displayed. The student is asked to record the sound of each letter and compare his or her recording to the prerecorded pronunciations. The student is asked to count the number of letters and sounds in the word. Next, the student is asked to enter the phoneme for the word displayed (in the example shown below, the student is asked to enter the letter of the vowel sound for the word “dig”). If the student correctly answers the questions for 8 or more of the 10 words displayed, the next lesson activity appears. If not, an additional group of 10 words are presented and the 80 percent criteria is again evaluated.
Each lesson contains Oral Reading lesson activities that provide the student with practice in reading words, sentences and stories. In the example of stories, shown in Figure 3, two story questions in Lesson 76 ask for multiple-choice response followed by a question that asks for a typed response (see Figure 4).
There are 7 variations of this lesson activity contained within the multisensory learning dyslexia program. Each lesson contains Auditory Recognition lesson activities that present a word auditorily and ask the student to enter a missing or beginning/middle/end letter for the word. Other variations of this lesson activity ask for an isolated sound or digraph. In the example shown in Figure 5, the student is asked to type the missing letter for the word “stain”. If the student correctly answers the questions for 8 or more of the 10 words displayed, the next lesson activity appears. If not, an additional group of 10 words are presented and the 80 percent criterion is again evaluated.
Two forms of Dictation lessons activities appear in the first 58 lessons—Dictate Words and Dictate Sentences. In Dictate Words, the student types a word in response to auditory instructions. In Dictate Sentences, shown in Figure 6, the student enters up to five words in response to auditory instructions. Words are spell-checked as each letter is typed. Immediate feedback is provided when an incorrect letter is typed. If the student correctly responds for 60 percent words displayed, the next lesson activity appears. If not, an additional group of words are presented and the 60 percent criterion is again evaluated.
Figure 6 Dictate Sentences lesson activity
LTK Quizzes are depicted as game-like lesson activities. They present five to ten words representative of skills covered within the lesson. There are 14 unique quiz types within LTK. The example shown in Figure 7 is for a syllable lesson. In this quiz, the student is asked to separate the syllables by clicking the mouse pointer between the letters. After the student responds, the multisensory learning dyslexia program pronounces and presents the word in its separate syllables.
Quizzes/Games – Identifying Syllables
In the following Quiz for lesson 036, LTK pronounces a word and the student selects it from a list of choices.
LTK Presents sight words at the end of most lessons. In all, there are 292 sight words presented throughout the multisensory learning dyslexia program. The order of presentation is similar to the order of phonemes presented within the lesson sequence. Some sight words are presented as needed for Oral Reading lesson activities.
The sight word is presented on the screen and the student is asked to record his or her utterance and compare it to the prerecorded version. A Sight Word Notebook button is available on all student lesson screens, allowing the student to click on any word to hear it pronounced by LTK.
Students are provided with 3 word choices and the LTK program pronounces one of them. The student selects the word pronounced. If 2 errors in a row are made, or if the student misses 3 or more in a sequence of 10 words presented, the Placement Test is terminated and the student’s beginning lesson is automatically set.
Scope and Sequence Charts
The order of phonemes presented is based on the Orton-Gillingham method of explicit, intensive, sequential, structured phonics. The LTK Scope and Sequence Chart, shown later in this document, depicts the skills taught within each lesson and the lesson activities contained therein.
Classroom Implementation of LTK
A key challenge for teachers who teach remedial reading to learning challenged students is that it is almost impossible teach to them all using the same level of instruction in a classroom environment. Each student is at a different skill level, has unique needs and learns at his or her own pace.
The Language Tune-Up Kit is a self-directed approach to development of skills in phonemic awareness and phonics. The extensive reporting and student management system allows teachers and administrators to monitor student progress. Each student performs at his or her own pace and automatically receives the appropriate amount of practice needed for mastery. Teachers are then able to focus on specific needs and exceptions, thus becoming more productive in the process. A key benefit is the capability to teach multiple students at a time, each of which is at a different reading level.
Planning and Student Assessment
The primary planning requirement is to assess the student’s current reading skills before using the multisensory learning dyslexia program. The LTK Placement Test is available within the Language Tune-Up Kit For Schools and Language Tune-Up Kit For Home packages, and can be used to place students at the appropriate starting lesson according to his or her current skill level. Placement Test reports assess current reading level, while other reports provide the tools needed by teachers to evaluate student progress and mastery.
Tracking Student Progress
As students progress through the lesson activities and quizzes, the multisensory learning dyslexia program records all errors made.
Multisensory learning dyslexia teaching methods are provided within each lesson. Groups of ten words are provided and 80 percent mastery is measured. If additional instruction is warranted, another group of ten words is presented. And so on. Quizzes at the end of each lesson assess the student’s mastery of the skills presented.
Four levels of reports are available to assess student progress—Summary, Progress, Detail and Placement Test. They are viewable by teachers, administrators and students.
The Student Summary Report shows overall time on the LTK system, average score while using the multisensory learning dyslexia program, current lesson and current lesson activity.
The Progress report provides a quick assessment of student progress. Areas requiring additional practice or instruction are highlighted. Time on task and skills taught are summarized by lesson number.
Figure 11 Progress Report
The student Detail report shows all of a student’s errors made for each lesson.
The Student Placement Report shows a record of all tests taken by individual students. In this example, the student took the Placement Test once, was presented with 11 word groups (3 words in each group) and made 3 errors. As a result of the test, the student was automatically placed at Lesson 005.
LTK At Home
- For student ages 6 through adult
- Takes students to an 8th grade reading level
- Supports 2 students (can be reused)
- Comprehensive Student Reporting System
- All 87 lessons on one (1) CD-ROM or 1 (one) flash drive
- Includes one (1) LTK At Home flash drive and one (1) LTK Card Deck (LTK At Home User Guide is contained on the LTK At Home flash drive
- Also available as a download.
Windows 32-/64-bit or Apple OSX systems,flash drive, sound card, headphones or speakers and microphone.
LTK For Schools
- For student ages 6 through adult
- Takes students to an 8th grade reading level
- Single PC and network Versions
- All versions capable of supporting an unlimited number of students
- Comprehensive Student Management System
- All 87 lessons on CD-ROM (Single Station Version only)
- Included are one (1) or more LTK Card Deck(s) and one (1) LTK For Schools Teacher’s Resource Guide. The LTK For Schools Enterprise Network Version comes with one (1) flash drive (all files are stored on a Server), one (1) LTK For Schools Teacher’s Resource Guide and four (4) LTK Card Decks.
LTK Scope and Sequence Chart
Lesson Number Skills Taught Within Lesson
1-11 Short vowels: a, i, u, e, o; Consonants
12 Doubling rule: ff, ll, zz
13-17 Initial Blends: bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, sk, st, sw, tw, sc, sm, sn, sp
18-22 Final Blends: ft, lp, nt, sk, sp, st, lb, lf, lk, lm, lt, ct, ld, mp, nd, pt
23 “y” as long “i”
24 “a” consonant “e”, “i” consonant “e”, “o” consonant “e”; Long vowels: a, e, i, o, u
25 “u” consonant “e”, “u” as “yu”
26 “e” consonant “e”, “y” consonant “e”
27-28 Plurals: “s” as “es”, “s” as “s”, VCE
29 “s” as “z” between two vowels
30-35 Digraphs: sh, wh, ch, tch, th (that, thin), ck, ng (ANG, ING, ONG, UNG), nk (ANK,
INK, ONK, UNK)
36 Long vowel sounds (closed syllable exceptions–IND, ILD, OLD, OLT, OST)
37-40 Long vowel teams: (EA, EE, AI, AY, IE, OA, OE, OW)
41 Three letter blends: (THR, SCR, SHR, SPL, SPR, STR, SQU)
42-43 Closed two syllables: vc/cv; vc/v,
44 Closed two syllables review; “ic” as /ik/
45 Closed two syllables: vcccv; blends and digraphs
46 Closed three syllables: vcccv; blends and digraphs
47 Silent “E”: Two syllables
48 Silent “E”: Three+ syllables
49 Silent “E”: Exception -ive (vowel sound long or short)
50 Compound words: two+ syllables
51 Open two syllables
52 Open three+ syllables
53 Open exception: one+ syllables (faded schwaa)
54 Ends with “y”: two syllables
55 Ends with “y”: three+ syllables
56 “y” as short “I”; “ui” (build)
57 Final consonant “le”: BLE, CLE, DLE, FLE, GLE, KLE, PLE, TLE, ZLE
58 Final consonant “le” exception: “-stle” (silent “t”), “-ckle” (digraph)
59 R-controlled: -er /er/, -ir /er/, -ur /er/
60 R-controlled: -ar
61 R-controlled: -or
62 R-controlled: -ear /air/, -ear /are/, -ear /er/, -ear /ear/
63 R-controlled: double “r” exceptions
64 R-controlled: Silent “e”
65 Endings: -ar, -or
66 Vowel teams: “oo” (school), “oo” (book)
67 Vowel teams: “au”, “aw”, “augh”, “aught”; Soft “c”; Tented “o”
68 Vowel teams: “oi”, “oy”
69 Vowel teams: “ou” (mouth), “ow” (cow)
70 Vowel teams: “ie” (piece), “ei” (vein, ceiling), “eigh” (eight); Soft “c”
71 Vowel teams: “ea” (bread), “ui” (build)
72 Vowel teams: “ew” (few/stew), “ue” (cue/blue), “eu” (feud/deuce), “ui” (suit), “ou”
73 Vowel teams: Review
74 Vowel teams: exceptions (vowel team and adjacent vowels divided between
75 “i” as long “e” (radio/orient)
76 Suffixes: -able, -en, -est, -ful, -ing, -ness, -ness, -y
77 Word family: /aw/, -ald, -alk, -all, -alm, -alt
78 Digraphs: “ph” /f/
79 ey as long “e”
80 igh as long “i”
81 W-controlled: wor /wer/ (work), war/wor/ (warm), wa (want); Double Dotted “a”
82 Suffixes: -ed /ed/ with “d”, “t”, /d/ voiced, /t/ unvoiced; -ish, -ly, -ment, -ty
83 Soft “c”; hard “c”
84 Soft “g”; hard “g”
85 Silent letters: -mb /m/, -gh /g/, -gn /n/, -kn /n/, -rh /r/, -wr /r/
86-87 Numbers: one/once, two/twice/second, three/third, four/fourth, etc.