Monday, December 21, 2020

Response by Pat Stone to my post yesterday


My post yesterday and this post should confirm that most teachers are unaware of the different sounds represented by letters. I am not basing this only on the 4 teachers involved in the Twitter discussion but on many other teachers I had discussed this with over the last 10 years via emails, on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Face Book. 

Teachers not informing kids that letters represent more than one sound is the 2nd matter I have recorded as the cause of kids shutting down from learning to read.

The letter I represents 3 sounds as per my video at

I as in idea, iron, island

I as in improve, ill, ignore

I as in irk

The following is the twitter discussion, between Pat and me, for posterity.

Pat Stone #GTTO

This is incorrect.

“If a teacher like Pat Stone, from England, who claims to be an expert can suggest that the letter ‘i’ represents 4 sounds, then something is really wrong.” (Luqman Michel)

I suggested no such thing. I said the same sound is spelled 4 different ways.

In those 4 words, the i as in light was spelled 4 different ways.

I said this was unfair to kids doing the PSC test. Nothing else is relevant to the argument I made.

Luqman Michel

I have asked you specific Q's that need specific answers.

Does the letter 'i' in the word river represent the same sound as the letter 'i' in the word light?

Pat Stone #GTTO

It does not

Luqman Michel

Good, and this is what I have said is the 2nd problem in kids being unable to read. They shut down when teachers do not tell them that letters represent more than one sound. Again, we are only talking about kids who disengage from learning to read.

Pat Stone #GTTO

You said I claimed i had 4 different sounds.

I did not say this.

It does not.

Luqman Michel

How many sounds does the letter 'i' represent?

Could you give an example of each?

Take your time.

Pat Stone #GTTO


Plus the one you didn’t want to tell us about.

My comment now: If Pat and Narelle had listened to my YouTube videos this discussion would be unnecessary. I had highlighted my blog post and my video to Narelle more than a month ago.

Luqman Michel

This is an invitation to those who refuse to listen to a 3-minute clip I had spent much time producing. If you had listened to it, we won't be having this discussion. Why do people shoot from the hip?

Pat Stone #GTTO

If you spent hours and hours producing a video and others spent hours and hours teaching kids to read, you have no right to demand they listen to you. Any teacher who gives you the time of day (as many have on here) is worthy of utmost respect.

Luqman Michel

Hello, I do not demand anyone to listen to my videos. However, if you want to discuss matters and refuse to listen or read links I honestly do not understand how we can have a discussion. I do not link to external links. I only link to matters I have written.

Pat Stone #GTTO

Pls address the issue that you make erroneous claims about me.

So when you make erroneous claims about what I have said, and then move on to some other issue when I challenge you, what am I supposed to do /  say ?

My comment now: I had avoided her question but this was the 3rd time she had asked me to respond and I did as follows:

Luqman Michel

What do you mean by 4 ways to make the ‘i’ sound?

What are the 4 ways?


Pat Stone #GTTO

 Those used in





I apologise. River has i used differently from i used as the first vowel in diving, the second vowel in beehive and the second vowel in midnight.

I was questioning the fairness of testing kids on these i representations.

My comment now: Why is it unfair to test kids on the above ‘i’ representation? If we have taught kids the proper pronunciation of sound of letters and that letters represent more than one sound any kid will be able to read all those words assuming it is in their oral vocabulary.

There are only two sounds represented by the letter ‘i’ in those 4 words.

Pat Stone said: 'I said the same sound is spelled 4 different ways.'

I am still wondering what she means by the above statement. The same sound represented by a letter can appear in hundreds of ways. A as in apple, axe, ample, accent and on and on.

But the letter 'a' also represents other sounds as in the words able, a different sound in agree, and another sound in arm and yet a different sound in all.

This is exactly the same problem with Narelle Lynch who has been writing about the word ‘was’ for weeks. Refer to my post yesterday for details.

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