A Reading Rockets special video series

Reading SOS: Expert Answers to Family Questions About Reading

In this special Reading Rockets video series, experts answer real questions from families about reading and how to support their children's literacy at home.

The Reading SOS video series was produced in partnership with the National Education Association.

Writing SOS

To learn from the experts on how to help your child with writing see our Q&A video series Writing SOS.

Our Reading SOS experts answer your questions about the sounds of speech (phonemic awareness), phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, reading and motivation.

Our experts also provide help for bilingual families and for children with special needs, including dyslexia and other reading disabilities.

Featured question: Should I correct my child when she reads aloud to me?

It depends on the situation, says Sandra. If your child is reading out loud for fun, it's best to just offer a gentle, quick correction and move on. But if your child is reading aloud as part of a more structured learning time, you should offer more guidance, such as encouraging your child to slow down and sound out unfamiliar words, and to check for understanding (e.g., does that sentence make sense?).

Meet our experts

Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, Ed.D., CCC/SLP, CDT, CALT, QI

Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan is a bilingual speech and language pathologist, certified dyslexia therapist, certified academic language therapist and qualified instructor. She is the President of the Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, Texas and works with the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics at the University of Houston. Elsa has spent 20 years working with teams of researchers designing assessments and interventions for English learners who struggle with reading. Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan has written many scholarly articles, curricular programs, and book chapters related to the oracy and literacy development among English learners. She recently released a book entitled: Literacy Foundations for English Learners: A Comprehensive Guide to Evidence-Based Instruction. It is her hope that teachers will have the opportunity to learn evidence-based practices for teaching literacy to a diverse population of students.

Videos with Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan

Linda Farrell

Linda Farrell is a founding partner at Readsters, an Alexandria, VA-based firm that helps schools implement research-based reading instruction. She is committed to effective early reading instruction to help struggling readers become strong readers, and to ensure that strong readers achieve their full potential. Linda works in schools throughout the U.S., training and coaching teachers and modeling effective reading instruction. Linda is a former English teacher and she was a National LETRS trainer for seven years. She has co-authored assessments and curricula for teaching reading, as well as several other published works. Watch Linda in action in our video series, Looking at Reading Interventions.

Videos with Linda Farrell

Kegi Wells

Kegi Wells is the Coordinator of Professional Development for the Jackson area and the southern part of Mississippi at the Barksdale Reading Institute. Kegi has most recently served as Director of Curriculum and Instructional Management in the Quitman County School District. She began her career as a teacher at Crystal Springs Elementary School and later became the assistant principal at Crystal Springs Middle School. She then served as an instructional coach and later the principal at Madison S. Palmer High School in Marks, MS. Kegi received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. She received her Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Mississippi College in Clinton, MS.

Videos with Kegi Wells

Sandra Lloyd Wilborn

Sandra Wilborn is the coordinator for school readiness at the Barksdale Reading Institute, where she leads their Parent Academy and works on several early literacy initiatives. She is a retired Assistant Principal and has 31 years of educational experience in grades K-6. Sandra has been a National Board-Certified Teacher for 15 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Delta State University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Mississippi, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Columbia University.

Videos with Sandra Wilborn

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