Hi, I'm asking this question to try to help out a girl I know. I've only just discovered that she can hardly read at all. She understands and can say some complicated looking words but only based on knowing what they are and having learned them by sight, she cannot work out a word like you or me, she can't look at the letters, break the word down and attempt to pronounce it. She got stuck on a word which was the name of a bottle of wine, the word was "Asti", and more recently the word "Tasters" - she has a nasty habbit of guessing a word based on it's first couple of letters.

I've tried to think of ways in which I can help her, I'm not sure whether she has condition whereby her brain can't recognise the letters in a word and gets them all jumbled up, forgot what it's called now

Can anyone reccomend what I do. I'd like to help her, but she's just a friend, so I don't want to invest my own money in proffessional help for her, what would you suggest I do to find out if she has just never learned to read or if she has further problems

and is there anyone that can give advice (perhaps someone that teaches primary school kids to read) on what the first basic steps are toward recognising how words are made up, the phonetic sounds and how to learn them....and basically just how to go about learning someone about reading, breaking apart sections of words into digestable chinks and then pronouncing them ?

I thought it would be an easy thing to teach someone, but the more I think about it, the more I think I could easily set off in the wrong direction and actually achieve nothing wasting loads of time
Hello Paul

I'm sorry I can do nothing to help you because I'm a mere learner of English. But I would like tell you that, reading your message, I remembered seeing the movie "My Fair Lady".

Maybe you could search the internet for social services in your area that might offer "adult literacy programs." I would think that maybe the welfare department (don't know what you call it in the U.K., sorry!) might have a program. Or, if there is a teacher's college in the area, they might have a suggestion - maybe they can refer students who do this work as volunteers. Good luck!