Thursday, October 22, 2020

RWYK Podcast with Dr. Kathryn Garforth (Part 3)


On 17.10.2020 Dr. Kathryn Garforth tweeted the following:

Twitter only gives you so many characters to express your thoughts

You critic a podcast that I was on because I said some of the things parents can do to help their child with reading. There are 30 minutes in the podcast and only so much that can be covered. I was trying to make my advice applicable to the widest audience & provide the most help


My comment now: Yes, I agree with Dr. Garforth that Twitter has restricted number of characters. In fact, that is why I write my blog posts and refer them on my tweets for those interested to read what I am unable to write in detail on Twitter.

As such, I am writing this post so that Dr. Garforth may respond to tweets that she has yet to respond.


The following is what I had tweeted and needs further elaboration by Dr. Garforth.

Luqman Michel

Hello Dr. What are we talking about? I thought we were talking about reading as in decoding. We are not talking about being a fluent reader.

I have always been talking only about kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read.

My expansion on the above tweet:

Many teachers keep talking about vocabulary, fluency and comprehension when I talk about decoding.

If a kid has shut down or disengaged from learning to read due to confusion because he can’t make sense of why kuh – ah –tuh sounds out cat, why in the world are we talking about vocabulary building, fluency and comprehension.

We should first find out why kids shut down from learning to read. This is what I have done by observing and interviewing kids.

Once that confusion is cleared, these shut down kids progress quickly and end up being top in their classes.

That simply means that they learn vocabulary, fluency and comprehension after their initial hurdle/ mental block is cleared.

As such we should ensure that kids do not shut down / disengage from learning to read. I have already listed the 3 main reasons why kids shut down from learning to read.

1.       Kids being taught the wrong pronunciation of phonemes of consonants. Consonants should not be taught with extraneous sounds. Do listen to my YouTube video at


2.       Kids not being told at the onset that letters represent more than one sound. Do listen to my YouTube video at, and



3.       Kids not being taught letter names and not being told that many words use letter names to sound out words. Please listen to my video at


I hope Dr. Garforth will be gracious enough to comment here.

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