The Rabanus Method


In the systematically structured course (manuales / workbook) which was completely developed by Katrin Rabanus during 40 years of teaching practise, the children acquire the sound-letter-relations with help of the gestures. This course spanning about 150 pages comprises a pre-training unit in which basic prerequisites for learning to read are acquired. This is, above all, the blending together of sounds or letters. In this rather technical difficulty the main problem of children with reading disabilities is located. The first course unit offers only single-syllable words on a 1:1-level of association of sounds and letters. Retrieval of meaning has no importance yet in this basic learning level.

By synthesis, the letters are sequenced and assembled into syllables and later into words. Using the gestures here is helpful. The gestures serve as additional mnemonic. The inner processes of reading (optical, acoustic and articulative-motoric perception) are encapsulated in an external action which facilitates learning and memorizing. At the same time, the process of blending the individual sounds is supported by the motional flow of the gestures, and the sequential order of the printed letters is consolidated. The gestures are derived mainly from the articulative posture of the mouth, but not from the shape of the letters which renders the gesture a mnemonic.

Children who previously persistently fail to learn to read can take advantage from this method since the difficulties –as encountered in primers– are always considered and hence the learning process is supported. It is widely accepted by the educational experts working in this field that rates of illiteracy could be significantly reduced using such a method which sympathises with children with learning difficulties.

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