At a training I conducted at Reading Area
Community College last week, an adult education
teacher asked if I had a mnemonic clue for the
reading of the words come and came.
She said that she has one student who
just cant remember which one is which.
The problem with the reading of these two
words is similar to the confusion between horse
for house (mnemonic clue 25).
The teacher stated that the Mnemonic Clue
19 for the reading and the spelling of because,
become and became did not help her student with
the reading of come, came, become
The adult student who confuses come
and came when reading has been
confusing those words for years, since he began
to learn to read in elementary school.
He has both words stored in his memory
and the right/left discrimination problem makes
it difficult for him to remember whether the
word he is reading is come or came.
Teaching this person to hear the sounds
of the vowels does not work because the
right/left confusion makes it difficult for the
person to remember which vowel makes which
student usually understands the vowel sound when
it is pointed out or when someone pronounces the
sound and explains it, but on his own the person
finds himself back to the quandary which letter
makes which sound, which word is come
and which word is came.
The mnemonic clue for come
and came is related to the
structure of language, another subject that is
greatly affected by the right/left confusion.
These two words represent the present and
past tense, a concept that most individuals have
no difficulty understanding but struggle to
identify when reading. The person can speak about events that are happening now and
events that happened in the past.
However, when it comes to matching which
word goes with which tense, the person often
guesses, sometimes getting it right, sometimes
getting it wrong.
associating the word now and the o
in now with the present, the
person can remember the statement, I
said to come here, now.
The o in now
is linked to the o in come.
For most students, weighting the pair
this way will remediate the guessing.
Since learning a clue for both words often
results in confusion, only teach the clue for came
if the student needs help with the concept of
tense. The statement He came in the past, can be
added, linking the a in past
to the a in came.