The Reading Programme for Children and Adults
The Wise Eye Reading Academy is an international company with various centres for the advancement of reading skills worldwide. The Head Office is based in Pretoria, South Africa. We currently have over 60 Principal members nationally and internationally, in countries like Namibia, Zambia and Mauritius. These include among other local Optometrists, Psychologists, Occupational Therapist, Kinderkineticists, Teachers and Mothers. With over 20 years of success, the Wise Eye Reading Programme has phenomenal achievements of creating…
- Poor readers to become exceptional readers, and
- Exceptional readers to become superior readers
What makes Wise Eye so successful?
The Wise Eye product has a very proud brand name, and we know from research that an effective reading programme must address several aspects of reading.
Among others, these aspects include the alphabetic code, fluency, comprehension, and motivation.
Case studies revealed the following benefits:
- Length of eye-span (The number of words or parts thereof observable during a fixation or “eye stop” while reading)
- The ability to move both eyes in a coordinated manner, with ease and comfort
- The ability to track visually with competence
- Effective left-to-right eye-movements (less reversed eye movements)
- Instant word recognition
- Vocabulary (recognition of words in context)
- Spelling (visually and auditory)
- Visual and short-term memory
- Quick and accurate decoding abilities of unknown words
What makes Wise Eye reading technology unique is that the quality of information perceived during reading is transmitted in a much purer form to the short-term memory. Therefore, the short-term memory requires less energy to derive meaning from the information it receives and as a result, will transmit a purer and more accurate message to the long-term memory. Progress and results are measurable, visible and are monitored electronically. A strong foundation is established. Reading becomes easier, faster and better. There is a clear transition from the resistance of reading towards an enjoyment thereof.
Why Wise Eye reading therapy is so effective:
Reading ability is the “total sum” of several sub-skills at any given time. At Wise Eye we believe in the development of all sub-skills to a greater or lesser extent, relative to their importance in the reading process.
The language skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading are often divided into sub-skills, which are specific behaviours that language users do in order to be effective in each of the skills. For example, learners developing the skill of listening need to have the sub-skill of being able to recognise contracted forms in connected speech.
In the classroom, learners spend time developing a wide range of sub-skills as they build each of the four skills. Amongst the sub-skills focussed on are scanning and skimming in reading, organisational and editing skills in writing, recognition of connected speech and understanding gist in listening, and pronunciation and intonation in speaking.
The Wise Eye instant word and number recognition, speed-reading, word-accessing exercises, scanning exercises and the way we emphasise and establish ideas, form the most effective unit to improve reading.
Therapy courses and the wide range of Wise Eye products are graded for children from 6 months old and up, as well as for adults of any age.
At Wise Eye, children sign up for the reading course that comes to an end once the reader has reached his/her full potential. Reading is seen as a skill that needs to be mastered, and not an extramural activity or class that children join year after year.
Wise Eye initially focuses on individual therapy. Therapists work on a one-on-one basis when doing book therapy and do not take more than three readers at once in a computer therapy session.
The Wise Eye Reading Programme establishes a strong foundation for reading by developing all the sub-skills needed to read effectively.
The benefits of the Wise Eye Reading Programme is as follows:
- Effective eye muscle movements
- Effective coordination between both eyes
- Length of eye-span
- Establishing a smooth reading pattern
- Ability to track visually with competence
- Vocabulary and comprehension
The Wise Eye Reading Programme is suitable for readers of all ages. This includes among others: Pre-school, Primary- and High School readers as well as adults.
The reading programme has been developed in a unique way to ensure:
- Individual attention with a diagnosis of reading ability supplemented by reading therapy.
- Progress results are measurable, visible and can be monitored electronically.
- Book Therapy is conducted by a Wise Eye reading therapist and is complemented with computer therapy at a Wise Eye reading centre.
At Wise Eye Reading Academy we:
- Take pride in assisting readers to realise their potential while excelling beyond what they think possible.
- Strive to bring back the “fun” factor into reading and not to be just another reading programme!
- Live our motto to act as a family, to accept our learners as if they are part of our family, to create an atmosphere of acceptance while learning to read effectively.
- Our programme has a beginning and an end, it is not just another extramural activity.
- Wise Eye Principal Members are trained that every child is different, and so their starting point and programme should be too. Our individualised programmes enable students to progress to an advanced level, at their own pace so that they can realise their potential and experience success.
- The most comprehensive range of products available in English and Afrikaans.
Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols (letters) in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension). It is a means of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practise, development, and refinement. The ability to read forms an integral part of a person’s life. It is the single most important skill needed for a happy, productive and successful life. A child who is an excellent reader is a confident child with high self-esteem.
How the Wise Eye programme was developed:
Johan Scholtz qualified as an optometrist in 1983. He has constantly been involved with children who have reading disabilities. Several occupational therapists, remedial educators, parents and other reading-education organisations referred children with suspected eye problems to him. One of the most common symptoms was that the child’s eyes would “jump” or “flicker” during the reading process.
He found that the visual abilities, as well as the eye muscle balance of many of these children, fell within the normal range. With the use of reading glasses, coloured lenses as well as several types of visual therapy and with a large degree of perseverance and dedication, he tried to help these children. The only way to measure his success was to monitor the term-to-term improvement of the children’s academic performance. However, this was an extremely cumbersome process and required considerable time and perseverance from both parent and child. At the end of 1999, he obtained a newly developed infrared tracing and recording apparatus, which measured the effectiveness of an individual’s reading ability. This advanced computerised test technology takes 60 readings of each eye per second during silent reading. This was a huge breakthrough, as he could – for the first time – scientifically and graphically prove and record all reading improvements.
Eye movement simulation on the computer clearly indicated the so-called “jumping” and “flickering” of the eyes (wandering, uneven, jerky and reversed eye-movements). With the availability of this technology, he was able to prove which eye exercises were effective. With the application of these exercises, he obtained phenomenal results. As time went by Wise Eye has expanded in such a way that Johan decided to sell the Wise Eye business to focus more on his optometrist practice.
The current business owner, Izak van der Merwe (qualified psychologist), became involved with Johan’s request. His involvement eventually lead to Izak purchasing Wise Eye from Johan. Izak is supported in his Head Office by Joandri Swart and Anke Lombard.