Yesterday one Jammy Jacobson whose profile says she is a Certified Academic Language Therapist at The READ Center commented on one of my comments in a group on FaceBook I belong called ‘Science of Reading: The Community’.
This was her comment:
Your posts seem to be the opposite of the science of reading. You tend to attack scientific research and claim your own anecdotes are superior to the work of actual scientists.
My comment: I believe what I have been claiming since 2010 is backed up by research. The person who has collated all the material, David Boulton, has not been able to join the dots.
Yes, the way I've always looked at it is that “any child could learn anything if we could meet them on the edge of what it is they need to stay engaged in the learning”.Which, to some degree speaks to a major part of the problem with reading in general. This is what we're teaching children, or at least many parents are when they first expose their kids to letters. We act as if letters have this definitive, one-to-one kind of correspondence with sounds. Sesame Street does that and books and crib mobiles and everything else, as if letters have definitive sounds.
And the mistakes that the kids made guided us to see that we had something missing. For instance, at first, we had them sound out words traditionally. We never permitted "ch-aa-tah” for chat. Unvoiced sounds were unvoiced -- "ch-a-t." Well, they showed us through their responses that that stop sound beginning was really hard for them.So now we had precise corrections that related to what they had learned earlier. We had a procedure for sounding it out that would reach virtually 100 percent of the kids. So, we could teach even really low performers now to take the first step on the ladder. Then they can follow the entire sequence and they can learn at a rate far faster than would have been anticipated.
My comment now: That has been my Mantra since 2010. Teach kids the proper sounds of letters. Timothy Shanahan was in this team of ‘experts’ in Children of the Code and yet he asked me for scientific evidence on this exact matter.
Someone should write to the scientists from Israel to study this so that we can once and for all end the Reading Wars. Israel has claimed to have discovered a countless number of things and yet they cannot find out why smart kids shut down from learning to read?
Well, today, my understanding from the National Center of Learning Disabilities, and Reid Lyon et all, is that less than five to six percent of the children in this country have anything innately neurobiological that underlies their processing problems. For the rest of the kids the problem is instructional confusion.
I would say that it is closer to like maybe one-fourth or a fifth of one percent. No kidding. I mean, I've worked with a couple of kids...
Well, is this based on your experience or based on some research you've had access to?
Well, I've worked with hundreds of kids.
You mean hundreds of kids that were labeled as having some learning disability or dyslexia, that once you met them the right way, given the way that they had adapted to the teaching that they had had, you were able to pull them through it?
My comment: With all this information received more than 15 years ago do Timothy Shanahan and David Boulton still want scientific evidence?
Why did David Boulton disconnect me when I asked this same question on LinkedIn? Why did Timothy Shanahan not respond to my comments in his blog on this same matter?
Shouldn’t scientists from Israel who boast about being the first to discover this and that do a scientific study on why many smart children are unable to read?
Let me end with what Tim Conway Ph.D. said in a comment on this:
“What was not stated in my TEDx talk is that our 5-year, >$1Million US study on early intervention of reading disabilities showed that if the “NOW! Foundations for Speech, Language, Reading and Spelling” program was implemented in classrooms across the USA, then 97.6% of students would read on grade level by grade 2.”
Most of these guys are only keen on marketing their ‘wares’ but the message is clear. Teach kids the correct phonemes of consonants and end the reading wars.
Are David Boulton and Timothy Shanahan that naïve or are they part of a team trying to suppress material evidence that can end the reading wars?