Master the Code (MTC), is a revolutionary sound-to-code based reading system that consistently provides big, fast results for students who read below grade level. Master the Code was developed from the latest research available. Research has proven that linguistic reading programs, also known as synthetic phonics (not to be confused with analytic phonics), like Master the Code are the most successful method for teaching reading. (See Blackboard Bungle: Why California Kids Can’t Read -regarding the horribly failed experiment with whole language.)

Combined with the PACE Program (Processing and Cognitive Enhancement) your child will not only have greatly improved reading skills, but his/her comprehension will increase as well.  These programs have been designed to develop:

  • Memory (ability to remember the sound-symbol relationship)
  • Sound Segmenting (ability to separate or unglue sounds) – phonemic awareness / phonological processing
  • Sound Blending (ability to put together sounds to form words) – phonemic awareness / phonological processing
  • Auditory Analysis (ability to manipulate or analyze small changes in groups of sounds) – phonemic awareness / phonological processing
  • Processing Speed (ability to process information quickly)
  • Working Memory (ability to retain incoming information and process it quickly and properly)
  • Attention (ability to stay on the given task in spite of distraction)
  • Visualization (ability to create and use mental images)
  • Reading Fluidity (ability to read smoothly)
  • Logic and Reasoning (ability to nonverbally reason and solve problems)

Mastery Requires Drill


Reading is a skill, similar to the ability to play tennis. It cannot be instructed like history or science, but requires certain underlying skills and lots of drill. Many reading programs are highly instructive, expecting the student to take what they are taught and implement it in their reading. Can you imagine trying to play great tennis by spending the majority of your time watching instructional videos but rarely getting out on the court?

The Master the Code Approach


To handle the complex logic of our alphabet, a student must master each level of complexity in carefully sequenced steps. To facilitate this, Master the Code starts with blending, segmenting, and sound analysis. Practice is provided in segmenting words into isolated phonemes and blending isolated sounds into words. Encoding (spelling), decoding (reading), and writing exercises are used so the reversibility of the code is made clear. Some students struggle to correctly pronounce and differentiate between all sounds of Standard English, and receive more direct instruction at a sensory level about how parts of the mouth interact to form individual sounds.

MTC teaches reading and spelling concurrently through techniques that train students to accurately recognize and understand that letters and letter combinations stand for specific sounds of speech. The program can provide an incredible foundation for those students just learning to read. It also aids individuals of all ages who struggle with reading difficulties, and is especially beneficial for student-readers who might have developed inefficient or inaccurate reading habits (like guessing words by looking at parts of the word or sentence). The versatility of MTC can give a first grader a reliable reading system for life, and it can completely rebuild the faulty system of a lifelong struggling reader.

Master the Code Develops Reading and Spelling Skills


MTC gives the student a system to read and spell better. This system does not teach rules (as is common with many reading programs) that fail a high percentage of the time, does not use confusing terms like silent letters or long and short vowels, does not use symbols that need to be unlearned, and does not need to teach hundreds of sight words because the system enables the decoding of most words.  The MTC system uses a sound-to-code approach, then shows the additional complex code along with probability of the code. By introducing the codes using this direct approach, students are able to sound out almost any English word without needing the right rule, exception to the rule, or thinking about which letters are silent, etc. The student is able to see the codes and recognize that a word like ‘eighteen’ has four sounds, /a-e/ /t/ /ee/ /n/.

Initially the twelve consonant sounds with only one main spelling or one spelling by position in a word are taught (/d/ = ‘d’ as in ‘dog’ or ‘fed’). Then, the remaining twelve consonants and their most likely spelling are taught (/ch/ = ‘ch’ or ‘tch’ as in ‘chip’ or ‘pitch’). The 18 vowel sounds are taught from simple to complex.

After the student learns the most probable spelling for each sound, less probable, alternative spellings are introduced.  The /a-e/ sound uses the codes, ‘a-e’, ‘a’, ‘ai’, ‘ay’, ‘ey’, ‘ei’, and ‘eigh’ as in cake, baby, jay, prey, reindeer, and sleigh.  Through use and drill, letter patterns and the probability of their appearance are stored in long-term memory, enabling an individual to choose the most likely spelling for a word, instead of random guessing.

Additional language complexities such as overlaps of the code (in which a letter or letter combinations represent more than one sound) are also taught.  Various exercises are utilized to quickly teach how letters overlap to produce various sounds as new vowel spellings are introduced. The MTC method of handling alternative spellings and code overlap without memorizing rules, sight words, and exceptions, reduces what most other reading programs require a student to memorize by about 75%.

Master the Code Makes Reading Automatic

Through carefully designed exercises presented in one-on-one training sessions, Master the Code embeds the Standard English reading code to an automatic, subconscious level. This is in contrast to most programs that are designed in such a way that lessons are easily forgotten in a short period of time (since there is lecture and not drill to imbed the skill). This distinction is especially beneficial for older readers who have developed many bad reading habits, and could easily fall back into old ineffective reading patterns. MTC uses the following training techniques:

  • Immediate Feedback (one-on-one training allows for immediate correction of errors and encouragement of proper responses)
  • Concentration (drills require full attention which brings faster results due to less time off task)
  • Stretching (constantly pushing activities to more demanding levels that challenge or stretch the student’s skills to improve)
  • Loading (adding a task upon a task concurrently, forcing automation and mastery of skills to a subconscious level)

Master the Code Helps Readers of All Ages


Master the Code is great for problem readers who are able to read certain words but have poor word attack skills for new words, since it utilizes nonsense words to prevent them from relying on memory. They have to use the new word attack skills they learn. When they come to new words, they no longer have to guess what the word is, which can lead to poor comprehension. Students are able to quickly attack the new word and move on.

Master the Code involves three, one-hour, one-on-one sessions each week with a trainer. Parents or guardians are required to provide an additional three hours of home training and reinforcement. In just 12 weeks, Master the Code students learn over 3,000 of the most common words in the English language.  With Master the Code, struggling students see significant improvements quickly, and past frustrations and failures are naturally overcome.

 We are located in the Langley Mall in Langley, BC. Please contact us for more information.