The TNT Reading System is research based and its technology was developed from many years of research and hundreds of studies. At this time TNT Reading is so new that no one has done any specific research with it yet. Studies though are planned.
That said, there are numerous research studies that show the effectiveness of the seven components of the TNT Reading System. These research studies show that the training of letter recognition, phonemic awareness, phonic skills, mental processing speed, auditory discrimination, working memory and attention are all effective in helping beginning readers and poor readers become great readers.
The TNT cognitive training model is very simple and direct. Test and determine if the student can show mastery of a specific skill needed for being a good reader. Only train this skill if a deficit is found, and then train until the student can pass the TNT skill area test. If the skill is then mastered or the student initially passes the test, then continue testing and, if needed, training the next essential skill needed to be a good reader.
This model is supported by the following theoretical cognitive based approach:
Research supporting the seven key cognitive skills that comprise the TNT Reading System follows:
1. Letter Recognition
“One of the strongest research findings in the field of reading is the high correlation between knowledge of letter names and success in learning to read (Adams, 1990; Adams & Pikulski, 1996; Durrell, 1980; Ehri 1983; Venezky, 1975).”
2. Phonemic Awareness
“A child’s level of phonemic awareness on entering school is widely held to be the strongest single determinant of the success that she or he will experience in learning to read — or, conversely, the likelihood that she or he will fail (Adams, 1990; Stanovich, 1986).”
3. Phonics Training
Phonics training which is an integral component of the TNT Reading system has been recognized as extremely effective in helping beginning readers to learn to become good readers. Chall concluded that comprehensive, systematic, phonics-first instruction was overwhelmingly supported by the vast majority of the research.
Her final conclusion was:
“The research … indicates that a code-emphasis method – i.e., one that views beginning reading as essentially different from mature reading and emphasizes learning of the printed code for the spoken language – produces better results … The results are better, not only in terms of the mechanical aspects of literacy alone, as was once supposed, but also in terms of the ultimate goals of reading instruction – comprehension and possibly even speed of reading. The long-existing fear that an initial code emphasis produces readers who do not read for meaning or with enjoyment is unfounded. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that better results in terms of reading for meaning are achieved with the programs that emphasize code at the start than with the programs that stress meaning at the beginning.”
The latest “brain research shows why intensive phonics is also the best way for everyone to learn to read.”
“Dyslexics (or poor readers) are very frustrated by the fact that they can understand what they hear but not what they read. Dyslexics have average or above average intelligence. Once they can properly decode words they can understand the concept. Decoding skills are the key to learning from written material. Years of educational research has shown that the use of intensive phonics is the only way to teach dyslexics and learning disabled individuals how to read.”
4. Mental Processing Speed
The TNT Reading system incorporates speed training exercises which have been supported as effective in helping poor readers become good readers.
“Results showed that the automatization or “speed” group progressed more than the context group in word and text reading efficiency, and the effect transferred to more complex word types than the CVC word type that was presented in the exercises. Both groups progressed to the same extent in accuracy, but the speed group made more progress in speed.”
5. Auditory Discrimination
Training Auditory Discrimination is critical to improving the reading skills of poor readers based on the research of Wepman who created the Auditory Discrimination Test. He found that his data… “indicated a positive correlation between three factors: low reading achievement, functional articulatory deficits and poor auditory discrimination.”
6. Working Memory (WM)
Working memory training which is incorporated as a major part of TNT Reading has been shown to be more effective than stimulant medication in improving cognitive functioning:
“Results from this study indicate that WM training yields greater benefits in WM for children with ADHD than are provided by stimulant medication treatment. Furthermore, memory gains following training persist for a significant period. Because adequate WM functioning is critically important for children’s academic success, these are encouraging findings as they suggest that intensive training can ameliorate deficits in this important executive function.”
7. Attention Training
The value of TNT has also been established in a new research study which shows that cognitive training using the Captain’s Log cognitive training system improves the attentional functioning of six year olds and normalizes 6 out of 10 these children who have identified significant attentional problems. These children were rated independently by teachers a year after treatment and were found to have almost no attention problems in the school setting at all (0 to 1) when before training they had six or more attention deficits.
An example of specific benefits of attention only training to improve reading skills follows:
“As this individual’s proficiency to sustain attention, cope with distractions, and concentrate increased, her ability to read longer, more complex materials also improved. These results are consistent with previous studies that have noted improvements in nonlinguistic cognitive abilities of individuals with aphasia following direct intervention.”
In conclusion, the TNT Reading System combines all seven of the above research based techniques to develop and improve reading skills. The overall application of this cognitive based approach to the development of reading skills relies on integration of these proven approaches to improving reading incorporated within a “Test and Train” easy-to-use, automated, game-like and entertaining computerized system.