Developing Reading Skills with Readable English

Phonemic Awareness & Letter-Sound Association

Phonemic awareness, the ability to hear and identify individual sounds as they occur in words, is one of the building blocks of successfully learning to read. As the Readable English glyphs make it so there is only one sound per character, students learn to associate a specific sound with each letter or glyph. Students can play simple games that develop letter-sound association and phonemic awareness such as the “Choose or Lose” and “What’s Changed?” apps.


Readable English helps students by developing their ability to combine letters in a process called blending. Blending and understanding how different letters can represent sounds in a word is a fundamental building block of reading. Our app, “What’s Changed?”, is specifically designed to develop students’ phonemic awareness of vowel sounds and consonant blends, through exercises that require the student to identify sounds that have been substituted, added, omitted and switched.

Sight-Word Recognition

Sight-word recognition, or the ability to recognize whole words quickly by their shape, is very important for developing reading fluency and contributes to the speed and ease with which students read. While Readable English makes written English phonetic, the spelling of words remains unchanged. This means that while students use Readable English to independently sound out irregularly spelled words, they are also learning to recognize these words by sight. The “Choose or Lose” app specifically aims to build sight-word recognition by having students quickly identify whole words by sight. This game, along with the lessons for learning the Readable English glyphs, expose students to the 1000 most common syllables and words in English in addition to giving students the “code” for decoding these words on their own.

Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension

Reading practice is one of the best ways to develop vocabulary and improve reading comprehension. Readable English provides an instant pronunciation guide within each word, which completes the feedback loop of connecting word shape and sound to meaning. When a learner can sound out a word, they can hear the word in their head, which in turn helps them recall its meaning. They can then connect the meaning of the word to the visual shape, spelling and sound of the word. This allows students to learn the pronunciation, spelling and meaning of words all from a single system.

Readable English also facilitates independent learning, where learners can sound out and learn any word themselves, rather than having to rely on a teacher to teach the rules and exceptions of English. Through the Readable English dictionary and the eReader, students can access the definitions and translations of words in their texts, and also star words to add them to practice lists. And, the “Which Word” game offered on the website develops students’ vocabulary and reading comprehension.