Friday, July 3, 2020

You can’t teach old dogs new tricks (Part 1).

I read the blog post here by Prof. Pamela Snow on Twitter yesterday and here are a few extracts and my comments.

If by democracy the NCTE (National Council for Teacher Educations) means every child reads as poorly as the next one, they may be right, but that does not address the social justice imperative. The only way for reading instruction to exert force on social justice levers is for it to be fail-safe for the overwhelming majority of students.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A ‘student’ has surpassed his ‘teacher’

A teacher who has more than 50 years’ experience in teaching decided to use my books made available to her.

She started teaching a 6.5-year-old kid and then a 5-year-old kid and has recently started teaching a 4.5-year-old kid.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Beliefs about learning

I read the following that was linked to a tweet yesterday.

Beliefs about learning—once established—tend to be deep-seated, difficult to change, and have a considerable impact on one’s motivation, behavior, and achievement (Bandura, 1997; Pajares, 1992). Thus, it is important that people have adaptive rather than maladaptive views of learning.

I feel so stupid that I believed what I was told instead of questioning authority and evaluating the research for myself.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Discussion or argument on social media

I have been writing on one main idea on my blog since my first dispute, on the theory that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of dyslexia, was resolved. That theory that lasted for about 40 years was debunked in 2015.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Seeds have begun to germinate

One of the good things brought about by Covid19 is the fact that many educators have had the time to read tweets and the links attached.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The "illusion of truth" effect.

The illusion of truth is a mechanism by which one comes to believe something is true when it’s not. In fact, they don’t just believe it; they also defend it as true. Also, they close themselves off to the possibility that it might be false.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Analogical reasoning

The following is a tweet by me to Sue Lloyd Replying @NarelleLynch1 and @RobertSlavin

Here is another video clip in this post where the phonemes represented by letters are read wrongly and yet the university student in Australia is able to read the nonsense words easily.

Is she reading using SSP or by analyses?

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Teaching methods not as important as curriculum (Greg Ashman)

Here are some extracts from Greg Ashman’s post and my comments.

We need an early phonics check, like the one recently trialled in South Australia, to ensure that readers are not lost to literacy early. As many phonics advocates have maintained, let’s place a warning sign and a fence at the top of the cliff instead of parking an ambulance at the bottom of it.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Saturday, June 20, 2020

“dog” is broken down into the phonemes “duh,” “aah” and “guh.” (Sally Shaywitz) A revisit

The Couple Who Helped Decode Dyslexia

This is a revisit of a post earlier.

I read an article entitled ‘The couple who helped decode dyslexia – The Shaywitz’s’.

I am intrigued by why people swallow Hook line and sinker anything and everything written by so-called ‘experts’.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Reading Reform Foundation, Geraldine Carter and Debbie Hepplewhite

Note: The founder of RRF UK, Mona Mcnee, was a friend of mine. We had exchanged emails until the point she was almost blind and had to read my emails by asking someone to read to her. I then decided to stop writing to her.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Foundation for further learning

A good foundation is crucial to any building project. It is such common knowledge that it is used as a metaphor for stability in dozens of different scenarios. For instance, basic knowledge in a given subject acts as a foundation for further learning. Our children’s early years’ education is labelled as foundation years.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Letter sounds by a kid from Lagos

 The above video is of a kid who is in preschool sounding out the sounds represented by letters. I have a few more such videos. 

Monday, June 15, 2020



The following are emails between Amplify and me which are self-explanatory.

Here is an email from Amplify on 28.2.2020.

I believe Amplify is the marketing arm of Science of Reading

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Science of Reading (SoR)

Why is there so much hype about Science of Reading recently? 

Is Amplify the marketing arm of SoR?

Science of Reading has been there for at least 40 years if not a hundred years as can be seen from extracts from the websites below.

Why would some of these so-called top educators promote Science of Reading?

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Right to read project (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my post yesterday.
Here are further extracts from the article and my comments.

"When educators understand how the brain learns to read we are compelled to reexamine our previous beliefs about why students struggle."

Friday, June 12, 2020

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Twitter discussion on 2018 PISA test

Here is a question I tweeted someone and was questioned by another, a teacher from the UK, followed by my responses.

Luqman Michel Jun 7

Do you really need research reports to tell you that consonants should not be taught with extraneous sounds?
I have given you what I have learned directly from my students.
If the Anglo world does not understand should they not do research?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Problem with, "Show Me the Research" Thinking (Part 2)

This is a continuation from my post yesterday.
Accept a Little Professional Humility

Just as I finally accept some great truth in teaching, someone comes along and shows me that the Emperor has no clothes. Take a short trip into the world of today's education research, and you'll find many teaching practices we hold dear now suspect.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Cuhahtuh, tuhuhguh, guhehtuh (Dr.David Kilpatrick)

The above is extracted from ‘How to teach the letter sounds’ from the book ‘Equipped for Reading Success’ by Dr. David Kilpatrick.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

"Dear Luqman I am not your on-call response service". Pamela Snow

Here is something I have written in a hurry as I find it difficult to Tweet where the words are limited.
Here are extracts of a blog post by Pamela Snow in August 2018.

The date is August 2018. The date is important as the title says 'on-call response service'.

“Twitter has a mute function” Pamela Snow, Jennifer Buckingham, P.L.Thomas

This post is in response to the educators, Pamela Snow, Jennifer Buckingham and Paul Thomas, who have suggested to mute my tweets. This is obviously because they have no answer to my question and cannot understand my explanation on why kids leave school as illiterate.

If educators are stubborn and shoot from the hip without reading my posts how are we ever going to end the Reading Wars?

Friday, June 5, 2020

SSP proponents and their tale of the three legged rabbit

On 5.4.2020 I saw a tweet that had my name tagged along with a few others. I copied some extracts from the article linked to the tweet and when I wanted to respond the tweet disappeared together with the linked article.

You may find the thread here.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

“We won’t have so many children not reading” (Dr. Louisa Moats and Dr. Nadine Gaab)

We will get back to Emily Hanford and APM Reports soon. Let us give them a day or two to comment on my post.

On 1.6.2020, Dr. Nadine Gaab with whom I had exchanged emails, in 2018, asked me to listen to a video by Dr. Louisa Moats. This was in response to my post that many kids are unable to read because they are taught the pronunciation of phonemes of consonants wrongly.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

My Emails to and fro Emily Hanford and APM

I wrote to APM reports on their article 'How American schools fail kids with dyslexia’ dated 11.9.2017.

 Their website says,
APM Reports strives to raise awareness, trigger debate and prompt positive change via non-partisan, independent investigative and documentary journalism.

I received a reply from Emily Hanford.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Emily Hanford of APM Connecting the dots

This post will make no sense to those who have not followed my tweets on Rote memory of Dolch words and the irresponsible responses by several SSP proponents. I was talking about rote memorisation and they attacked me and said there is no place for visual memory of words.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Why the obsession with Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP)?

The following was posted by a teacher from OZ on Twitter.

This SSP mania has been hugely harmful to learners. I am yet to find ten year old struggling learners who don’t know their letter sounds! Aa apple, Bb ball, Cc cat – it is this letter sound teaching that they continue to employ that causes many to struggle.

Emails to Prof. Jennifer Buckingham

Note: This is a follow up on my post yesterday. The following email exchanges were on phonological awareness deficit and not on phonics.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Jennifer Buckingham Tweets on 28.5.2020

Here is a tweet by Jennifer Buckingham on 28.5.2020

Jennifer Buckingham@buckingham_j

Anyone wondering why the 'reading wars' have gone on so long, look no further. Academics involved in teacher education publish an article arguing that wanting all children to be able to read is about creating "normative citizens".

I tweeted as follows:


 I have told you that it is not phonics that is the problem but you won't come down your ivory tower to listen to people with experience.
Read my post on the debate between you and @jeffrey_bowers

Phew! Finally, a response after many tagging and tweets by me.

@buckingham_j Replying to @lomas_scot @luqmanmichel and @jeffrey_bowers

Luqman, we had a dialogue via email some time ago. I have listened to your point of view and responded. I don’t see any benefit in going over it again.

(Note: Did she read my post above about the debate between her and Jeffrey? Did she actually read my emails to her and her reply in 2018 before tweeting the above? How do we end the reading wars if we do not seriously discuss matters raised?)

I responded as follows:
@luqmanmichel Replying to @buckingham_j @lomas_scot and @jeffrey_bowers

Thank you very much for your response. Yes, we did email each other in July 2018 with regard to phonological awareness deficit.
This is about the recent debate between you and Jeffrey.
I am all for phonics but I believe that many like Jeffrey 1/x

continue to say "The consistent misrepresentation of science in support of phonics is really quite extraordinary"
when in fact it is not phonics that is the problem but the way that pronunciation of phonemes is taught. 2/x

What are you as a researcher doing about this problem?
Are you going to see to it that you can reduce the number of schools teaching the pronunciation of phonemes wrongly as being done by RRF in the UK 3/x

Tomorrow I shall post the email discussions that Jennifer Buckingham mentioned above and you can see for yourselves if there is any connection to my recent tweets.

Note: I understand from a LinkedIn connection, ElizabethNonweiler, that the RRF is making some progress in getting schools to teach phonics correctly. Here is part of a message from her to me received this April.
‘Now I am on the Council for English Hubs. The English Hubs are based in 34 high-performing schools around England and are responsible for improving the early teaching of reading in poor-performing schools. The government in England is on the right track, but there are still many schools that teach early reading badly.  My job on the Council is to advise the government about the running of the hubs, as one of two "reading experts". It constantly amazes me to know that I have gone from teaching little children in the classroom to advising the government in England.’

Friday, May 29, 2020

Ableism (A tweet by Pamela Snow) Continued

Here is my tweet in response to the tweet by Pamela Snow which you may refer here.

I think it is discrimination against the able bodied and not in favour of able bodied. I am talking about the majority of kids who are wrongly classified as dyslexic. These are the really smart kids. (Luqman Michel)

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Ableism (A tweet by Pamela Snow)

Here is a tweet by Pamela Snow on 26.5.2020 which I happened to read.

Pamela Snow @PamelaSnow2

Let's call out "neoliberal ableism" nonsense on effective reading instruction wherever we see it. It is a cancer in the lives of children who need competent reading instruction. Let's also stop dumbing down the process of reading & robbing teachers of their rightful knowledge. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The endless war Jennifer Buckingham vs Jeffrey Bowers


The following is extracted from Dr. Jennifer Buckingham’s Blog post. There has been a debate going on between Jennifer and Jeffrey.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Learning to read via analyses

The following are two video clips of a Filipino lady who has been in Australia for a number of years.
As mentioned in my post several times, the pronunciation of phonemes is taught wrongly in most countries around the world.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dr. David Boulton vs Luqman Michel Lies do not like to face truth

Here is another comment by David
    Dr. David Boulton:

    I have been bombarded over the years with people 'certain' that if only their way was adopted (spelling reform to instructional method) everyone would be great readers. I don't have the time or interest in being the object such people want to stroke themselves with. I am clear and on the record for decades re what is the reason children struggle to read English. If as you say you have been through my work you'd know that. I appreciate that you help people. I don't want to engage further with you. I am not interested in being a platform for self aggrandizing. I wish you all the best.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Definition of grapheme and phoneme

I believe I now know why I have been getting lukewarm reception of educators in the US, the UK and Australia. I believe most of them do not understand what I mean when I say that the pronunciation of phonemes of consonants is not taught correctly.

  You cannot teach phonics of any kind if the pronunciation of phonemes is taught wrongly. 

Sound symbol skills + Oral blending ability = Basic phonics skills.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Relevant Tweets on phonics

Below are a few tweets I picked up from Twitter.

John Cosgrove @johncosgrove405 Replying to @juliangrenier and  @tes

In almost 40 years of teaching, I never met a teacher who was anti-phonics. But I have known many children who struggled to read despite phonics (and not from bad teaching). Framing the debate as an all or nothing "war" is probably unhelpful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Reading progress of one of my students.

Allison was one of four students I tutored in 2018. She came to me in the middle of primary 2 unable to read even a sentence or spell even one Dolch word.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Hurray! A solution to the Reading Wars by Dr. David Boulton

This is a revisit of Dr.David Boulton’s response in 2017

    Dr. David Boulton’s response:
    Learning-Activist, Non-Profit Executive Director, Theorist, Technologist, Author, Consultant, PD…
    I concern myself with all children (2/3 of U.S. kids) who do not reach grade level proficiency (reading transparent to learning at their grade level).

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Reading is unnatural

Here are extracts from Children of the Code published about 20 years ago.Let us bear in mind that the interviewer is Dr. David Boulton.

Dr.G.Reid Lyon
Number one, we know that reading is complex. And most people give it short shrift as I did when I was a third grade teacher. I just took it for granted. It’s one of the most complex, unnatural cognitive interactions that brain and environment have to coalesce together to produce. (G. Reid Lyon, Past- Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Institutes of Health)

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Naked Emperor: Not Wanting to Know What We Know

The ‘Naked Emperor’ is a deeply insightful story that exposes how we can know something yet refuse to acknowledge that we know it.