Following is my letter to Ms.Rowe A. Young Kaple who wrote an article on Handwriting and I copied it to Marilym Jager Adams. We'll await their response. Meanwhile:
Dear Ms.Rowe A. Young Kaple,
Recently I read your article entitled: Teaching fluent Handwriting re-mediates many reading-related Learning Disabilities.
I have a few questions for you and your team and would like your response please. I would be posting this e-mail in my blog www.dyslexiafriend.com and would like your response to post in a subsequent post.
1. You said “Recently it has been shown that the inability to write skillfully imposes great limits on a child’s ability to learn to read”.
Ms.Rowe, kindly explain exactly how the inability to write skillfully limits a child’s ability to learn to read. My daughter began to read by the time she was about 5years old. By the time she was about 6 she could read well and she had not learned to write at all.
Bob Rose and Kate Gladstone said the following on Face Book ……
Kate Gladstone: Actually, I've met seriously struggling readers who could churn out page after page of impeccable cursive or ball-and-stick printing ... and who could not read even what they had just copied.……….
Bob Rose Kate: Yes, we know that. We found that about 15% ot kids learn to read before they are good at handwriting. Those are kids who THINK about the visual appearance of written entities; handwriting merely FORCES them to think that. On the other hand, ALL lagging readers are poor writers, but all of that can be fixed with proper teaching and practice.
· Kate Gladstone No, I've seen lagging readers (at least 15%) who are NOT poor handwriters.
· Bob Rose Kate: "Do some fluent writers still remain unable to read?
· Kate Gladstone YES, THEY DO.
I, Luqman Michel, personally know many kids in Malaysia who can write the alphabets very well but are unable to read in the English language.
2. You said: “Educators should know that teaching skills for fluent handwriting can be a powerful intervention for children struggling with literacy and successful instruction in primary classrooms may well prevent development of attention problems and written language disabilities.
Ms.Rowe, I can understand how learning to hand-write can prevent written language disabilities but please explain how it would be a powerful intervention for children struggling with literacy.
3. You said: Dr. Orton postulated that this condition (dyslexia)was due to the formation of double images, one reversed and the other normal, which were encoded in opposite sides of the brain. He personally devised a treatment for this condition; affected children were to repeatedly write with the dominant hand until only the correct image remained, after which the abnormal reversed image would be suppressed. The use of this handwriting remediation for reading problems achieved notable success with struggling students supporting the theory that a physical (movement) component was a major part of the problem. Aarona P.G et al(1973)4
Ms.Rowe, Please let me know as to how many kids you know have this formation of double images. I have been teaching dyslexic kids for the past 11 years and none of my students have complained of such a problem.
4. You said: In 2013, Marilyn Jager Adams, a famous authority on literacy instruction and author of the influential book Beginning to Read1, published what is arguably her most important book on education, ABC Foundations For Young Children2. This book focuses on how to teach children to write the alphabet, and which “sounds”, or phonemes, they represent. Dr. Adams has commented in the introduction that the majority of American children finishing first-grade still can’t write and name all of the letters of the alphabet. Adams further states that the inability to distinguish between different letters is a great impediment to literacy acquisition, with the greatest problem in children living in poverty, where parents are less likely to teach writing in the home
Ms.Rowe, the inability to distinguish between different letters will obviously be a great impediment to literacy acquisition. However, to continue and extend that to say that fluent handwriting will improve literacy is ludicrous. I have written 2 e-mails to Prof. Marilyn Jager Adams and she has yet to respond. Perhaps you could give her a nudge and get her to respond.
5. You said: The evidence consequently is there that proficient handwriting, facilitates reading acquisition in young children.
What evidence is there Ms.Rowe? I have taught dyslexic kids for the past 11 years to learn to read without asking them to write a single sentence. Ms.Kate Gladstone also says that she knows of adults as well as kids who can write fluently and are yet unable to read what they themselves have written.
6. You said: However, research is now “showing that letter perception is facilitated by handwriting experience, and it further suggests that handwriting fluency is important for letter processing in the brain.
I believe no one will argue that handwriting alphabets will help letter processing in the brain. However, how is this going to help learning to read in English?
7. You said: Data from new teachers and students showed the same results. Dr. Rose and the volunteer teachers demonstrated that if children in kindergarten or first-grade practiced writing the alphabet until they achieved a minimal rate of 40 letters per minute, they were reading at or above grade expectations as judged by the teacher.
Honestly Ms.Rowe, what does that prove beyond the fact that all the children who read well could also write fluently. About 80% of kids learn no matter what way they are taught. However, about 20% of kids all over the world are unable to read fluently. It has nothing to do with being able to hand-write fluently.
Overall, your article is very general and is not scientifically based and has led many people astray. Come to Malaysia and I will show you hundreds of kids in school who can write all the 26 alphabets fluently and yet cannot read anywhere near grade level.
Read my blog on why kids cannot read and if you have any comments or questions I will be glad to respond to the best of my knowledge and ability. Please read the articles in my blog from the 1st post onwards.