Thursday, May 19, 2022

Dr. Sam Bommarito on Dolch Words

Dr. Sam:

I’ll start by stating my position about using research. We absolutely should use research to inform our decisions about teaching. LINK


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Memorising Dolch words also known as HFW


A former teacher from the UK, Pat Stone, posted the above image on Twitter. I then tweeted the following:

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

One of the widely held beliefs is that HFW (Dolch words) cannot be memorised by kids, dyslexic or otherwise. Kids in Chinese schools have to memorise 600 words per year for 6 years while learning to read in Malay and English and Han Yu Pinyin. What's your view?

Monday, May 16, 2022

My 6th day with Jack and initial input

Yesterday, 16.5.2022 was my 6th lesson with Jack.

I taught him the word families ‘un’ and ‘ut’.

The Dolch (HFW) words I taught him are:

                           who, your, play, today, say, may, did, went

When I asked him to spell the words taught to lesson 5, he had a problem with spelling the word ‘want’. Earlier he had a problem with the word ‘all’. This is something new I have encountered.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

My 5th day with Jack and emails from his parents

My firth day, dated 11.5.22, with Jack was teaching Jack word family ‘ig’ and ‘ug’.

Once he heard me pronounce the word family ‘ug’ he read the words bug, dug, hug, jug, mug, rug, tug with no prompting by me.

He could read the words above because he now knew the correct pronunciation of the consonants and his confusion has been cleared.

Jack is not the first student who can read all the words from chapter 8. Almost all my former students were able to do it. 

What is important is for you to ask how these students who could hardly read any word, when they came to me, are able to read them after a few lessons.

Do read my Twitter discussion with the mother, Alanna Maurin, who had used my lesson to teach her son to read. Link.

Explanation of my lessons


The lessons I have posted on my blog are very simple. Many of the lessons consist of only a few lines.

The lessons are designed to get the dyslexic/disengaged students back on track. They had disengaged from learning due to confusion as a result of the reasons explained in my post at LINK.

These lessons ensure that any disengaged student will soon learn the correct pronunciation of the consonants and also learn that letters represent more than one sound. This is the basic idea of my lessons.

The idea is to get the disengaged kids to unlearn what they have been taught wrongly.

Monday, May 9, 2022

4th Lesson with Jack and the naysayers


Yesterday, 8.5.2022 was my 4th lesson with Jack.

He still guesses instead of reading what he already knows. This is a habit which will take a little time to unlearn.

Today, I gave him the following Dolch words to memorise by rote memory:

her, all, good, some, my, this, here, soon, 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Facts don't change minds


The clip above says:

It is simply not true that there are hundreds of ways to learn to read... when it comes to reading we all have roughly the same brain that imposes the same constraints and the same learning sequence. (Dehaene)

I saw the clip above on Twitter by anna rz-karwowska   Her profile says she is a translator//ESL_teacher/CELTA/TESOL/MEd/literacy for all researcher.

This is another case of so-called educators who mislead other readers. They copy-paste what they see without thinking. 

Is there only one way to learn to read? NO! Of course not.

I then Twitted as follows:

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel May 4

Does anyone know how children learn to read?

anna rz-karwowska @annarzepeckaka1 Replying to @luqmanmichel and @Tiff_Seaman

Yes. There is a plethora of cognitive science, you can see it at MRI. What I cannot understand is why America and Canada re so invested in balanced literacy. You don’t learn how to play tennis by watching Wimbledon.

Luqman Michel

Wow! Do you have MRI that shows you how children learn to read? I would appreciate it if you show me one.

AND are there no students who can read under Balanced Literacy?

Are 100% of kids using phonics able to read after a year of learning phonics?

anna rz-karwowska

Sigh, around 35 % of students will learn to read regardless of the instruction. Look up Dehaene’s Books or any of his research papers

My comment now:

Anna’s response is evasive and does not answer my question.

Have we determined how 35% learn to read regardless of the instruction?

If 35% learn to read under BL and phonics, then why condemn BL?

If 35% learn to read regardless of the instruction then it means that there is more than one way to learn to read.

Teach kids in any way as long as they learn to read.

Luqman Michel

Anna, I don't know about the % but I do know that many kids learn to read regardless of the instruction. Thank goodness for that. A majority of kids are confused and learn to read in later grades by using patterns and analogies.

You have not answered any one of the 3 questions asked. Are there MRI scans showing how kids read? NO.

Read my post at on 'How the brain reads' by Dehaene and please comment on my post for the benefit of other readers.

anna rz-karwowska

I told you to read Dehaene’s book.

Luqman Michel

I have listened to many of his videos and articles.

You made a statement and I am asking you for a response. It is very irresponsible to Tweet anything you yourself cannot substantiate.

anna rz-karwowska

I did. I Will not spoon-free it to you.

        Do your research, do not expect the knowledge to be handed on a silver plate.

Luqman Michel

This is another example of 'Facts do not change minds'.

Read my post on the backfire effect here.

I also believe in 'First do no harm'. Link.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

My third lesson with Jack and a comparison with my previous students


Yesterday, 4.5.2022 was my 3rd lesson with Jack.

There are many traits of Jack that are similar to that of Emmanual whom I taught in 2019 and my first student, Ian Ho, whom I started teaching in 2004.

Jack, keeps guessing words instead of reading what is in front of him. As mentioned, this will take at least a month to unlearn but unlearn it he will.

He still pronounces the sounds represented by letters wrongly and that too will take a while to unlearn.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

My second one hour lesson with Jack


Today, Jack came with his father. His father is a consultant from Scotland who has taught teachers in Malaysia. He travels between Scotland and Malaysia.

Jack has memorised the words I had given him on his first day. Today, I gave him the following words to memorise:

his, near, so, the, too, of, like, see, is, big.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

My way or the highway - SSP proponents


There are many Science of Reading (SoR) and Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) proponents who claim it is their way or the high-way. They keep Twitting not to teach kids to memorise the High Frequency words (Dolch Words).

They keep lying that words can be memorised only by shape.  

They say that teaching letter names before letter sounds will confuse kids.

No wonder the illiteracy rate in the UK is still high as it was decades ago.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Kathy Rastle's Logical Fallacy


@Kathy_Rastle’s Twitter profile says:

Professor of Psychology, Language & Reading Research, Editor J. Memory & Language, President, Experimental Psychology Society

And she has 4,615 Followers

Kathy Rastle and londonjohn tweeted the following:

Londonjohn @londonjohn9 Apr 23 @Kathy_Rastle

 From my experience of teaching hundreds of struggling pupils to read, I've seen they can deal with whole words in sentences as, or even before they receive phonics. Why do you say phonics is the starter motor for reading?

Thursday, April 28, 2022

My first one hour with my first student for 2022


This is a continuation of my post found here


Today was the first 1 hour session with Jack.

I asked him to read out the sounds represented by the consonants and recorded it as shown below.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Learning to read is a natural process – Thinking aloud


This is controversial, but as I said in the heading above I am thinking aloud.

I would define a natural process as a skill that is relatively easy to learn.

Educators on Twitter keep saying that learning to read is NOT a natural process. Pamela Snow copy pastes what others have said – ‘Reading is a human contrivance that has existed for only approximately 6,000 years (Snow, 2016)’.

The statement above ridicules the intelligence of humans. I called it an idiotic statement and a Twitter friend said, “I don't think it is productive to categorise opposing opinions as 'idiotic', especially when those positions are the generally accepted.”

Monday, April 25, 2022

My first student for the year 2022


On 21.4.22 a friend sent me a WhatsApp message saying that his friend, a tuition centre principal, was looking for someone to diagnose a kid whom she thought was dyslexic.

Here is her message on FaceBook:

Hey everyone! Anyone knows where we can get a child tested for dyslexia in Kota Kinabalu?

I said I cannot officially diagnose but that I am willing to check out to see if the kid is a shutdown kid.