FAQs

I understand how Trainertext visual phonics helps reading, but how does it improve spelling?

We focus on building up letter-to-sound correlations in the subconscious brain through practice with our Trainertext visual phonics. After 3 months or so, we start to wean the learner off the characters, like training wheels on a bike. And just like learning to ride a bike, the brain retains the skill once the crutch has been removed. Those letter-to-sound matches apply to both reading (decoding) skill and spelling (encoding) skill. Additionally, our focus on spelling increases after first 3 months of the program, with more targeted activities.

It seems pretty expensive for an online program. Is it worth it?

We know that DM Easyread isn’t as cheap as buying a phonics workbook, or a games-based reading app. But with DM, you get 3 main things that set us apart from the pack:

  1. Unparalleled personal coaching/interaction, including occasional Skype lessons one-on-one with your child if needed. It is one of the primary secrets to our success – individualized attention, rather than our one-size-fits-all competitors.
  2. Prizes to keep motivation high (in DM Easyread 6-11)
  3. And our unconditional refund guarantee. If there are no improvements by Lesson 90, we refund you the last 3 months’ of subscription.

We have tried running things on a cheap and simple basis in the past, but we found that our success rates were not rigorous enough for us to be satisfied (now, 99.4% of parents are happy with the outcome, based on our refund rate of .06% annually). We want every child to succeed.

I am concerned the British narration will be confusing for my child.

Great question! The narrator, David, is indeed British, but the spellings and encodings (pronunciations) are customizable by region. And some of the games have the option of an American narrator if you prefer. Most of our families are based outside of the UK. In fact, many non-British children love to imitate David’s “funny” English accent!

Is 15 minutes a day enough? It seems too short for progress.

Children’s brains work at peak intensity for only about 15 minutes before losing focus, so a short burst session is actually most effective. Plus, scientific study has shown that a series of short-but-frequent repetitions is what creates neural change, especially with a period of sleep between sessions. And then, of course, there’s the practical element – finding 15 minutes everyday is much easier than a large chunk of time with busy family schedules.

Is the free trial really free?

Absolutely. It is in fact so free, that no credit card details are required to sign up… we would have no way of charging you even if that was our motive! All elements of the course are available during the trial: support consultation calls (including the initial intake phone interview), prizes for your child on the 6-11 course, our popular video training series on helping improve reading difficulties, and the lessons themselves.

How does it work after you remove the Trainertext images? Does all the progress disappear?

The short answer is: no. Trainertext functions much like training wheels on a bike. The visual phonics images are there to help the child learn the letter-to-sound patterns in the English language through repeated exposure to all our language’s lovely irregularities. And like riding a bike, once you remove the training wheels, the brain retains the skill without needing the crutch. That works for learning to read because reading is actually a skill-based process, not a rules-based process. Contrast reading to mathematics: once you know how to read, you can’t stop yourself from reading the next word in this sentence. It is automatic. But if I give you a math problem like (17+24) x 8 = ?, you will have to work it out based on the rules of arithmetic, using conscious effort and thought. You learn skills through practice. You learn processes like algebra, through rules. Reading is a skill.

Will this conflict with what my child is learning in school? I’m worried he/she will get confused.

We employ a phonics-based approach, which is taught in the mainstream in most English-speaking countries. So you will not see a conflict if that is the case. If it isn’t the case, then our help will be even more critical because phonics is the way to get the best results with reading.

Will he stay engaged for more than a week or two, long enough to see progress?

We generally don’t see a problem with this because the lessons are short, easy, and always contain a good bit of fun. Also, the children can feel themselves progressing, which is intrinsically motivating.

Do we need a full educational evaluation first to check this is right for my child?

No. If you have already had one done, feel free to share the results with us. But we do an initial intake consultation in the first 10 days to discover the main symptoms and causes of difficulty to make sure the fit is a good one. We can help regardless of a diagnosis of dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia, auditory processing delay, non-specific learning disability, or autism. It makes no difference to whether or not we can get you a good result, although it can make the process a bit longer in certain cases.

Why isn’t it iPad compatible?

We are working on it! Currently, we support lessons running on a laptop or desktop only, using the Chrome browser. Around 80% of the current activities do work on an iPad.

Is this method just a gimmick? Or is it legitimately researched and proven?

Absolutely proven and thoroughly researched. A published independent randomized control trial by the Open University found an average reading age gain of 2 years in 6 months of lessons. Those kinds of results are unmatched by other supported reading interventions. 

Additionally, the methodology of visual phonics we have developed rests on years of research into the neurology of literacy, and how a child’s brain learns best. Every activity in the lessons is there for a reason to address one of the neurological causes of difficulty, and has been tested over years of development. After 9 years of running the online program, 99.4% of children show clear improvement (.06% of parents take our unconditional refund after Lesson 90).

Where is your pricing?

The pricing for DM Easyread 6-11 is available here.

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