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Characteristics of Good Readers:
Things that are Never Taught, but are Somehow Learned

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See also: The Teaching of Reading and Spelling | Whole Language

To list all the many things good readers learn that are not taught in school is almost impossible.  There are so many.  But I am starting a list here on this website and hope that others will add to it.  

  1. Good readers learn to automatically read letter combinations at the ends of words differently than the same letter combinations that form a word. For example, a good reader reads the letters t-r-y as "tree" when it comes at the end of words such as entry, pantry, country, etc.  Likewise, a good reader reads the letters t-y at the end of a word as "tee" as in party, county, jaunty, nasty, and empty.  At the beginnings of words t-y is usually  pronounced tie as in Tyrone, tyre (British spelling), typhoid, and typist.  Tries becomes "trees" in entries, pantries, countries, etc.  Ties becomes "tees" in parties, counties, and empties.  
  2. Good readers learn how to pronounce the -sque letter combination as sk as in Basque, masquerade, mosque, grotesque, and bisque.  They learn that que at the end is /k/ as in unique, technique, and pique.  View more of the specific phonic patterns that are not taught.
  3. Good readers learn how to scan without being systematically taught how to scan.
  4. Good readers can use a dictionary and without being systematically taught have learned to correctly pronounce any word by using the dictionary diacritics.
  5. Good readers can read dialects in print.  For example, the following are definitions from Dictionary for Yankees and other uneducated people by Bil Dwyer.  Bad--a place for sleep or rest.  Bail--this rings on Sunday mornings.  Bait--What people do on "hawse" racing.
  6. Good readers know the conventions cartoonists use to indicate thinking, motion, speed, dreaming, as well as talking.
  7. Good readers catch satire and puns.
  8. Good readers enjoy reading.
  9. Good readers know how to find things in catalogs and can use telephone directories and anything with an index.

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