How to teach the Scarborough Rope Model for reading

Featured in

    The Scarborough Rope Model is a classic framework of a child’s phonological awareness. Here’s how we understand and apply it.

    The Scarborough Rope Model has been one of the standard measures of a child’s phonological awareness for about two decades. It was developed by Dr. Hollis Scarborough, and the idea of the test is based on the premise that a child’s ability to segment words into phonemes is directly related to their reading fluency.

    What is Scarborough’s Reading Rope Model

    Scarborough’s Reading Rope Model is a framework, or rather a metaphor, that allows for a comprehensive view of a child’s phonological awareness skills and their progress towards desirable language comprehension skills and literacy knowledge.

    The model is presented as a rope that represents the learner’s progress, with knots standing for different levels of phonemic awareness and skills. Those skills range from the simple ability to recognize and replicate rhyming sequences to more complex processes of segmenting and manipulating word and syllable parts.

    Why is Scarborough’s reading Rope useful to literacy development?

    Scarborough’s rope metaphor is extremely useful as it demonstrates the fluidity of reading skills and the continuous progress students make while working on their language decoding skills, especially those dealing with reading difficulties.

    The model also illustrates how each of the literacy skills is woven with other aspects of the written language and thus offers a more nuanced than the simple view of reading competence that we are used to.

    Thanks to its reliance on metaphors of slow but constantly evolving and intertwining language comprehension strands, the model allows those offering reading instructions to identify those areas where each child might struggle and adjust their approach as necessary.

    The two main components of Scarborough’s reading Rope

    The two main strands in Scarborough’s model are Language Comprehension and Word Recognition. These two concepts are closely related in the science of reading, and each consists of sub-strands representing further reading skills.

    1. Language Comprehension: This strand of the rope refers to our ability to understand what is being said or written. That includes the broader meaning and idea of the discourse, details that require inference, and aspects of the language that demand we rely on semantics and background knowledge to make connections between speech and phenomena we encounter in our lives.
    2. Word Recognition: The word recognition strand represents our ability to identify and understand individual words as they are presented to us. That includes sight word recognition, alphabetic decoding, understanding affixes, etc.

    Both language comprehension and word recognition are important aspects of language, and they are crucial for developing early literacy. Teaching reading and writing requires that we focus on the connections between the written word and spoken language if we want our students to leave the classroom as skilled readers.

    Tips for teaching language comprehension using the Scarborough rope model for educators

    The Rope Model is, ultimately, a tool. A useful tool, but a tool nonetheless. That means its efficiency will, in some ways, depend on how you employ it, especially if you’re trying to accommodate students with reading disabilities.

    Below, we have a list of five tips to help you make the most out of your sessions.

    Use assistive technology

    Relying on some assistive technology to supplement the reading Rope Model approach is one of the best ways to ensure quicker progress in learners of all ages.

    Text to speech programs, for example, allow the learners to hear, edit, and later imitate sounds and learn proper enunciation.

    Speechify is especially helpful in that regard, as it was developed specifically for those struggling with reading problems. You can use the app to help dyslexic students practice listening and reading comprehension and teach them phonics, as it can turn any piece of text into an audio file.

    Letting them rely on the app will encourage independent reading, too, allowing for more language immersion and increased language comprehension and word recognition skills.

    Create more opportunities for your students to practice and work on all strands of Scarborough models

    Practice is key. The more we do something, the better we get at it. The same goes for language. You need to provide your students with plenty of opportunities to practice what they have learned. Ideally, they will do it independently, too. So, provide them with appropriate homework material and encourage group activities that will let them immerse themselves in the language more.

    Teach your students how to think about their progress

    With independent practice should come independent thinking and reasoning. In other words, it would be helpful to slowly introduce your students to some self-assessment and self-reflection strategies that will allow them to think about reading in a more objective, meta way. Teach them how to ask questions about any given text, how to create summaries of their reading materials, and how to analyze other aspects of the English language, such as syntax. In addition, teach them about verbal reasoning and explain to them that skilled reading requires more than just sight recognition and subvocalizing.

    Present reading as more than an academic task

    Reading doesn’t have to be just a meaningless drill or a classroom activity. There is a whole world of literature out there, too. You should encourage your students to see reading as something done for pleasure, too. That will help them develop both the lower (more nuanced) and upper strands of the Rope model we described. You can turn pleasurable reading activities into homework assignments and encourage in-class discussion, too.

    Vary your teaching materials

    The International Dyslexia Association often recommends varying teaching materials to accommodate those with learning and reading disabilities. You can do that with students of all kinds since variety prevents boredom and increases engagement levels. Make sure you assign reading material relevant to everyone’s interests and use infographics to monitor how each student responds to different kinds of reading material.

    Keep track of everyone’s progress

    Monitoring and assessing each learner is crucial. Relying on the same approach over and over again without any results is counterproductive, so be sure to always be in the know in regard to every learner’s progress. When necessary, try making adjustments to your approach and come up with appropriate intervention strategies depending on the language structures you are teaching.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

    Recent Blogs

    • How to download YouTube audio
      How to download YouTube audio
      Arrow
    • Voice API
      Voice API: Everything You Need to Know
      Arrow
    • Text to audio
      Best text to speech generator apps
      Arrow
    • The best AI tools other than ChatGPT
      The best AI tools other than ChatGPT
      Arrow
    • Top voice over marketplaces reviewed
      Top voice over marketplaces reviewed
      Arrow
    • Speechify Studio vs. Descript
      Speechify Studio vs. Descript
      Arrow
    • Google Cloud Text to Speech API
      Everything to Know About Google Cloud Text to Speech API
      Arrow
    • Source of Joe Biden deepfake revealed after election interference
      Source of Joe Biden deepfake revealed after election interference
      Arrow
    • How to listen to scientific papers
      How to listen to scientific papers
      Arrow
    • How to add music to CapCut
      How to add music to CapCut
      Arrow
    • What is CapCut?
      What is CapCut?
      Arrow
    • VEED vs. InVideo
      VEED vs. InVideo
      Arrow
    • Speechify Studio vs. Kapwing
      Speechify Studio vs. Kapwing
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Voice123
      Voices.com vs. Voice123
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Fiverr Voice Over
      Voices.com vs. Fiverr Voice Over
      Arrow
    • Fiverr voice overs vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Fiverr voice overs vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Voices.com vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voice123 vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Voice123 vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voice123 vs. Fiverr voice overs
      Voice123 vs. Fiverr voice overs
      Arrow
    • HeyGen vs. Synthesia
      HeyGen vs. Synthesia
      Arrow
    • Hour One vs. Synthesia
      Hour One vs. Synthesia
      Arrow
    • HeyGen vs. Hour One
      HeyGen vs. Hour One
      Arrow
    • Speechify makes Google’s Favorite Chrome Extensions of 2023 list
      Speechify makes Google’s Favorite Chrome Extensions of 2023 list
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Vimeo Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      How to Add a Voice Over to Vimeo Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      Arrow
    • What is Speech AI: Explained
      What is Speech AI: Explained
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video
      How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video
      Arrow
    • The Ultimate Guide to Speech AI
      The Ultimate Guide to Speech AI
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The Best Celebrity Voice Generators in 2024
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      YouTube Text to Speech: Elevating Your Video Content with Speechify
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The 7 best alternatives to Synthesia.io
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Everything you need to know about text to speech on TikTok
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The 10 best text-to-speech apps for Android
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to convert a PDF to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The top girl voice changers
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to use Siri text to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Obama text to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Robot Voice Generators: The Futuristic Frontier of Audio Creation
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      PDF Read Aloud: Free & Paid Options
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Alternatives to FakeYou text to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      All About Deepfake Voices
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      TikTok voice generator
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Text to speech GoAnimate
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The best celebrity text to speech voice generators
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      PDF Audio Reader
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to get text to speech Indian voices
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Elevating Your Anime Experience with Anime Voice Generators
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Best text to speech online
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Top 50 movies based on books you should read
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Download audio
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to use text-to-speech for Quandale Dingle meme sounds
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Top 5 apps that read out text
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The top female text to speech voices
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Female voice changer
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Sonic text to speech voice generator online
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Best AI voice generators – The Ultimate List
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Voice changer
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Text to speech in Powerpoint
      Arrow
    footer-waves