David Boulton: We said earlier that the process of how well children learn to read is all but fating their development in life. About three-to-five percent of children have some neurological disadvantage taking off in the process. The rest of the children that are struggling are struggling for a variety of different reasons, but effectively it has to do with how we as adults are building ‘on-ramps’ into reading that will actually work for them.
Dr. Timothy Shanahan: No matter what the reason why they’re having trouble, it’s so important in their lives that we as adults find ways of overcoming whatever those problems are. Whether that is some form of a special kind of education or extra education for kids who have learning problems, but also our willingness to adjust what we’re doing for all the kids as we see aren’t succeeding; and being really vigilant about that. Not letting kids slip through the cracks. Not failing to notice when Johnny is falling behind. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a youngster who maybe doesn’t have a major problem, but nobody has done anything to help sufficiently.
My comment: I have been suggesting ways to help these kids. A majority of kids who leave school as illiterates will at least be literate if they are taught properly in their early years.
We can reduce illiteracy drastically simply by teaching kids:
i. That many of the alphabets in English have more than one phoneme/sound.
ii. The correct sounds of alphabets by not adding vowel sound to consonants.
Dr. Timothy Shanahan: Certainly there’s a notion that, somehow, if we just teach the code, if we just teach kids the letters and what the sounds are, and teach them those entry level skills then everything will be fine.
My comment: Yes, we do not have to waste time and money on intervention. Are we teaching the kids the sounds of the letter correctly? No! And this is the problem with kids disengaging themselves from learning to read.