To learn to read as an adult, find a patient teacher or friend and do an assessment of any knowledge you already possess. Find material that is easy to understand or follow and take time learning sounds as they associate with spelling rules. Break down words into syllables and have your teacher read aloud to you as you follow to associate the sounds and syllables with the way words and phrases look.
During the assessment, find out how much of the alphabet you know and whether there are any words or phrases with which you are familiar. When choosing learning materials, find a system that works for you, whether it is created for children or adults. Some examples include children's story books and adult hobby books or magazines.
Make flashcards with vowel sounds on them and use them when identifying which sounds belong in what letter combinations. Short vowel sounds are typically one vowel letter, while long vowel sounds are typically two vowel letters. Once you are confident with the sounds vowels and vowel pairings make, move on to consonant sounds and syllables. Syllables help break words down into sounds, making sight reading and spelling easier.
Ask a teacher or trusted friend to slowly read articles and books aloud to you and follow each word with your finger. Ask any questions you have about the words. Write certain words on paper or use children's learners to trace letters and words repetitively for retention.