How quickly a student learns to decode depends on several factors. Fluent decoding of first and second grade level material requires that a student has virtually instant recognition of a large number of frequently occurring words and word analysis skills to help him rapidly figure out unfamiliar words he comes across. Having these skills involves a good visual memory for words, which is aided by good knowledge of letter/sound associations, and the ability to hear a string of isolated sounds and know what word is made up of those sounds in that particular order. The stronger a student's visualizing skills and blending skills when he starts, the faster he will make progress.
Many kindergarten students will be able to complete ABeCeDarian Levels A1 and A2 in 9 months if they receive 15-30 minutes of instruction a day. This translates into roughly 45 hours of instruction. A large number of children can make it through the material in considerably less time. A small number of students will need 45-60 minutes of instruction a day to make this progress in 9 months. After completing this level, students will know the 1-letter consonants and vowels, the digraphs sh, ch, th, and ck, read about 40 high frequency words easily, and have the skills to sound out 3 and 4 sound words with the letter/sounds that they know.
First grade students
Almost all first grade students will be able to complete ABeCeDarian Levels A Short Version and B1 by the end of first grade, assuming about 25-30 minutes of instruction daily. This translates into a total of about 72 hours of instruction time. Most students will be able to complete these materials in considerably less time. If a student begins first grade after having already completed the A1/A2 sequence, he will very likely be able to complete B1 by the middle of the year. After completing Level B1, students will have learned 26 vowel digraphs, will recognize 100 high frequency words easily, and will be able to read first grade material at least 50 words correct per minute.
General comments about remediation
Remediation of older students is almost always more difficult than teaching students making normal progress. For one thing, remedial students are more likely to have severe difficulties with the skills involved in developing automatic word recognition, and need much more intensive practice to develop these skills. In addition, older students who are behind aremore likely to have behavior problems in response to the frustration they have experienced with their earlier learning. The goal of remedial instruction is to help students make more than one year's academic growth in a calendar year.
Remedial students (second grade reading level or lower)
Remedial students who are non-readers or read at about a first grade through second grade level can usually progress through Levels A (Short Version), B1, and B2 at a rate of about 1.5 to 2 hours per unit. To go through all three levels usually takes about 60-80 hours of instruction time. Students should be able to read second grade level well after completing Level B2. A number of teenagers and adults with very low reading ability have an extremely difficult time learning how to blend. Depending upon their level whenn they start ABeCeDarian, these students may take a couple of years to progress to second grade level reading ability.
Remedial students (3rd grade reading level or higher)
Remedial students who read at a third grade level or higher can usually complete Level B (Short Version), Level C, and Level D in 45-60 hours of instruction time. By the end of this work, most students will be able to decode at a sixth grade level. For the fastest progress, remedial students should read about an hour outside of their lessons each day.