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Punctuation Mastery 1,2,3

Bill Allen
Bill Allen
Apr 20, 2022

Step 1:  Go the The Spot

Step 2:  Solve Word Mis-Reading

Step 3:  The Punctuation Pause; & Punctuation Mastery 1,2,3 

When we use the word “comprehend,” we mean to picture (conceptualize) or grasp (understand or feel), through whatever senses are prompted, the meaning of a word or group of words.  Comprehension of words comes from more than an understanding of what the word means.  Comprehension also comes from the context in which the words are used.  The context is produced by punctuation. We are not concerned here with emphasis or voice tones while reading. This will develop and become more natural as confidence in the decoding process improves.   

When a dyslexic is given too much time to sound out a word phonetically or to guess its meaning, they tend to lose their understanding of what they are doing. As a result of this loss, they lose their ability to read and comprehend.  The phonetic sounding out of a word must take less than 3 counts. After this time, the dyslexic must move to: 

Step 1: Go to The Spot - The dyslexic realigns their Mind’s Eye on The Spot.;

Step 2: Solve Word Mis- Reading - Spell each letter of the word; listen to its pronunciation; pronounce it; and then continue reading the text.  

As the dyslexic gets more proficient with their reading, words will start to “pop out” as they are spelling them – they will recognize the whole word and not have to continue to spell them. This is good. Let them continue reading without spelling the whole word.

Step 3:The Punctuation Pause; & Punctuation Mastery 1,2,3 -   The dyslexic must learn to pause at all punctuation marks listed in the chart below. In the pause for a punctuation mark, the readers experience with all their senses what they have just read. The pause at the punctuation mark gives them time to picture or feel what has just been read. To know what count to give to each punctuation mark, look at the chart below. The pause at each punctuation mark causes the reader to consciously slow down the amount of information they are taking in, and to take time to conceptualize the information they have gathered thus far. 

Pause and Count

For example, Read the following lines and picture what you read.

John Morley was not a thief.  Like his father, he never stole anything.  But money he loved.  His daughter, living in a seaside cottage, was his chief joy. Morley said he never stole.  But twice he said it was Langley who pinched the crown jewels.

Now read this new version of the same text with the punctuation positioned in different places.  Do you get the same picture reading this version?

John, Morley was not a thief like his father.  He never stole anything but money.  He loved his daughter.  Living in a seaside cottage was his chief joy.  Morley said he never stole but twice.  He said it was Langley who pinched the crown jewels.

In the John Morley example, changing the punctuation signs in the second paragraph changed the attributes, ownership and action of the words being read.  The meaning of a line of text is determined by the rhythm that punctuation marks give to the text.  If you want to know what an author intended to say, you must learn to read with the rhythm of punctuation marks.

The 3 Steps above of the punctuation technique are to be done, step-by-step, with intent and purpose. When this technique is mastered at a conscious level, the dyslexic realizes vast improvement in their overall reading comprehension. Then, they can progressively gravitate toward automatically reading with comprehension.


The rhythm of a punctuation mark indicates that it is time to pause for a count of 1, count of 2 or a count of 3, or no pause. These pause points direct us to capture meaningful phrases, and ultimately, to master comprehension of the sentence.

Stopping for Punctuation Marks Gives Meaning to the Text Punctuation Mastery 1,2,3

If we ignore the punctuation pause points, the words begin to bang into one another, usually resulting in a reading wreck. For the dyslexic, a reading wreck has occurred when there is inaccurate comprehension while reading. Running together meaningless words is a reading wreck, and usually triggers loss of brain integration (and therefore a loss of optimal brain function) in the dyslexic.  As the confused dyslexic attempts to find an acceptable perception of the grouped letters, their eye-tracking movement from left to right goes away. The dyslexic’s Mind’s Eye begins to move around to various perceptions as stress builds, and this magnifies the loss of brain integration. 

As comprehension is lost, the dyslexic’s attention turns to something that they can comprehend, or to a behavior that relieves their distress or provides them with an escape from their task.  The dyslexic’s behavior or altered interpretation may seem to have no connection to what is being read. The listener, and more importantly the dyslexic, does not comprehend what they are reading!

Whenever the dyslexic’s reading is “derailed” by meeting a word that they are unable to recognize within 3 counts of viewing it, the dyslexic must return to Step 1: Go to The Spot.Thenthey use Step 2: Solve Word Mis-Reading to identify the new word. And now to Step 3: Pause at the Punctuation Mark, and Punctuation Mastery 1,2,3. The child continues reading the text, pauses for each punctuation mark for the appropriate count, and describes what they read at the end of the section. Then continue reading.

Quickly, the child adapts and automatically rhythmically pauses at all punctuation without consciously counting.

The following table provides a schedule for developing the rhythm of pausing at punctuation marks to read with comprehension.

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