3-STEP DECODING SYSTEM
Teach Students How to Pronounce Words
Using the Read Quick 3-Step Decoding System
3 Simple Steps + 8 Rules =
Step 1 - Combinations
Forty seven letter clusters we call Combinations
are the "heart" of the Read Quick
reading program for learning how to pronounce words.
Each Combination consists of 2-5 letters each and
are taught much like teaching the alphabet; each with consistent
speech and spelling, found in nearly every word in the English
language. If Combinations are 'not' found
in a word, then Steps 2 & 3 will develop the proper letter-sound
control to decode the word for correct
* Decode: A method or strategy a person uses to
"figure out" a word to pronounce.
2 - Borrowers (C, G, & Y)
are controlled by 5 rules:
C - followed by 'e, i,
or y' will borrow the 's' sound, if not, it will borrow the
G - followed by 'e, i,
or y' will borrow the 'j' sound, if not, it will borrow the
'g' sound, with a few well know exceptions (like get - girl);
Y - When 'y' is the
first letter in a word, it is a consonant and says 'y-' (like
In the middle of a
word, 'y' is a vowel and borrows the 'i' sound, it may be long
- short or silent ;
and, when 'y' is at
the end of the word, it is a vowel and borrows 'e' or 'i' -
always try 'e' first.
Step 3 - Vowels
Vowels, not part of a
Combination, are marked long if they follow the
double vowel rule or the final 'e' rule. If a vowel cannot be
proven long by either vowel rule, then it must be marked short in
Rule: When two vowels are together, the first
vowel will be long and the second will be silent.
Final E Rule:
The final E can jump back one consonant to a single vowel and
make that vowel long.
The 'O' before the letter L is long in approximately
50% of words.
vowel is marked short and word does not make sense, then
change vowel sound to long and see if word sounds correct to
the *Reading Brain. Changing from short to long is not a
common occurrence but may be necessary to pronounce words
properly, based on the ultimate vowel control using
(*Reading brain =
recalling how words sound and are pronounced from the
learner's auditory language memory using both Gestalt and
logic brains for processing.)
Ultimate vowel control occurs with
Read Quick by controlling any vowel not part of a
Combination. Vowel sounds should be repeated in
isolation and in words. Their instant speech control is
essential for reading fluency.
Unusual vowel sounds are controlled by
their use in the 47 Combinations.
Twelve (12) prefixes with long vowels
that do not follow a long vowel rule are taught to help
reader before decoding. If missed, when vowel marked
and pronounced short, student's reading brain will change
vowel sound from short to long. All other prefixes
have long vowels that follow vowel rules. This is a
critical and accurate decoding strategy for word fluency
After applying the 3-Steps,
prefixes, suffixes, and their vowel sounds are so
accurately controlled, mastery generally occurs
Combinations replace "Unreliable"
syllables for decoding.
may control an entire word, resulting in exact
Borrower rule provides correct initial sound.
Example of C, G, Y
rule. No Combinations, accurate rules provide rapid
Combination with short 'E' sound. Some
dictionaries teach DE as long 'E' prefix.
Uses all three steps with
accurate letter control for correct pronunciation. Sample of word
readable by 5 year olds.
All markings are eliminated from the
process as student gains control of the system. 3-Steps
as students control the C, G, Y and vowels, with modest practice.
3-Step System provides student with a consistent,
dependable and accurate "mental frame of reference" while
decoding easy to multi-syllable words. Use of the system will
occur in 5-30 days if they have used the 3 steps, marked words
in software, completed pencil and paper practice - at least one
hour a day. Students must mark words, hear and say
Combination sounds as often as possible, on a daily
The 3-Step System is
reciprocal for spelling words making the reading and spelling
application based on one system.
Mastery occurs when students have memorized
Combinations, rules for Borrowers
and vowels and is able to apply the 3-Steps for
proper word control without assistance from instructor. This
level is based on instructor using the program as suggested and
students daily practice marking unknown words while reading.
Special needs and ESL students will achieve mastery
in how to read words between 6-14 months. However, all students learning
Read Quick will begin to apply the system
within 5 hours of instruction if they interact with at least one
lesson in each step when using the software.
practice and reading words for comprehension should occur using lessons that motivate, not bore
sounds are part of Combinations. Few remaining
are corrected by tutor or parent, when met.
Quick does not emphasize learning affixes as part of
the decoding process. The 3-Step System
accurately controls sounds in affixes. Affix learning should be
part of reading comprehension, writing activities and vocabulary
Read Quick - The only
decoding method ever needed. There are no levels.