Friday, December 31, 2021

“The Truth About Reading” Is Missing Nancy Bailey (Part 3)


‘I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.’ –Socrates


Unfortunately, for most people thinking is one of the most difficult things to do.


Here is a comment in Nancy Baily’s blog post, by someone who is helping the director and producer.

Nora Chahbazi says         November 6, 2021 at 7:36 am

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Rayyan, a 6 year-old, reading from my book


Sometime early this year, my friend N. POOLOHGASINGAM aka Huang Poh Lo, complained to me that his grandson Rayyan was unable to read in English despite all the coaching he had given Rayyan.

I then asked Poh Lo how he taught the sounds of a few consonants to Rayyan viz. b, c, f, m, t and s. He sounded all the letters with extraneous sounds – buh, kuh, fuh, muh, tuh and sir/sur. 

The truth about Reading - Nancy Bailey (Part 2)

Here are further comments on Nancy Bailey’s post and my response.

Every child needs to be carefully evaluated as to why they aren’t doing well in reading.

My response:

Yes! This can be done as early as in the middle of grade 1. If a kid is unable to read like a majority of the other kids, then we need to find out why. If the kid has no acuity problems, then chances are he has shut down from learning to read due to confusion.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

“The Truth About Reading” Is Missing Truths and Backstory by Nancy Bailey (Part 1)


Here is a post in Nancy Bailey’s blog. It is a comment on a trailer of an upcoming movie  “The Truth About Reading”.

Nancy says among other matters: 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Mark Seidenberg on becoming phonemic


Here is part 2 of the YouTube video by Mark Seidenberg, Molly Farry – thorn, Maryellen Macdonald (expert on speech production).


At minute 6.05 Mark Says:

‘Reader must fill in how to go from three discrete phone /b/a/t/ (he pronounces it as /buh/ ah/ tuh/) to one integrated syllable /bat/.

Maryellen: It is easier for certain phonemes than others. I believe phonemes including vowels and some consonants that can be stretched out a little are better for teaching kids blending so buh is hard to blend but M is mmmahhttt is an easier path to mat than bat. Different consonants have different properties that will make it more or less easy to be blended.

Mark: The properties of phonemes are such that they can’t be pronounced literally in isolation. I mean they are not parts of speech.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Can Dyslexia Be Artificially Induced in School?


I saw the following link on a Tweet by Faith Borkowsky.

Here are a few extracts any my comments.

Ever since The New Illiterates was published back in 1973, we have known that the chief, and perhaps only cause of dyslexia among school children has been and still is the look-say, whole-word, or sight method of teaching reading. In that book I revealed the fact that the sight method was invented back in the 1830s by the Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, the director of the American Asylum at Hartford for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. He had been using a sight, or whole-word method in teaching the deaf to read, by juxtaposing a word, such as cat, with the picture of a cat. And because the deaf were able to identify many simple words in this way, Gallaudet thought that the method could be adapted for use by normal children.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Neurological processing - December edition of Nomanis


This article, written by Rosalie Martin, appeared in the Dec 2021 edition of Nomanis.

Here are extracts and my comments.

Following the evidence


But high-quality evidence from studies across the world point at reading and writing as tasks overwhelmingly mediated by the phonemic (speech sound) processing areas of our brains. It has been shown that this continues to be so, even in accomplished readers and writers. The brain integrates print-based information with spoken language through neurological processing that is phonemically based.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Learning gaps in Australia remain shockingly large - Jordana hunter


Here is a tweet I read this morning by Jordana Hunter who does not know what she is writing about. And she is the education program director at the Grattan Institute.

Jordana Hunter @hunter_jordana

Learning gaps in Australia remain shockingly large. NAPLAN shows a 5-year gap in reading and a 4-year gap in numeracy by Year 9, depending on whether students' parents have university degrees or didn't finish high school.

@GrattanInst @EmslieOwain

Friday, December 17, 2021

Phonemic awareness and how children learn to read


Here are extract from an article found here and my comments. This is a continuation of my post yesterday.


A lack of phonemic proficiency is viewed as a reason for word-reading difficulties (e.g., Kilpatrick, 2019a, b, 2020). Hence, it is assumed that stronger and weaker word readers can be better differentiated by assessments that involve more advanced phonemic manipulation tasks (phoneme deletion or replacement), compared to measures that are viewed as more “basic” such as phoneme segmenting or blending.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Tweets by David Kearns on phonemic awareness


Yesterday, 15.12.2021 I read the following tweet by Devin Kearns @devin kearns

#phonemic awareness has been a hot topic b/c of debates about whether students need "advanced" PA and whether PA teaching should use letters. @DrNathanClemens led a group of us @emilyjsolari

 @burnsmk1 @FumikoHoeft @NancyNelsonFien @KimStMartin  to address these important topics.

as with all things, there are not totally clear answers, but ... data and theory do not appear to support the idea that advanced PA is necessary for the development of strong word-recognition skills nor that PA instruction should be entirely done without reference to print.

Authors on the paper are Hank Fien, @NCILiteracy director, and @UConnNeag doctoral fellow Melissa Stalega.

I then tweeted as follows:

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Professor James Chapman &Tunmer vs Professor Stuart Mc.Naughton


Yesterday, I read the following report by Professor James Chapman of Massey University complaining about Professor Stuart McNaughton of Auckland University.


This report which reminded me of the saying ‘Pot calling the kettle black’ written on 2.9.2020 is more recent than the report I posted yesterday


Here are some extracts and my comments:


James Chapman and William Tunmer (JC&WT)


The Education Science Advisor (ESA) to the Ministry of Education, Professor Stuart McNaughton, authored The Literacy Landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand. McNaughton framed his report with a key question: "What are the most reasonable explanations for our problems in excellence and equity in literacy? Specifically, what are the plausible hypotheses for: (a) the overall drop in literacy achievement in successive cycles of international assessments; and (b) the limited impact on changing the distributions of achievement for Māori and Pasifika students and those from low socioeconomic status (SES) communities?"

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

A research report by Prof. James Chapman and William Tunmer.


The following are extracts of a research report by Prof. James Chapman and Prof. William Tunmer in 2019 and my comments. I was sent this as an attachment in an email from James Chapman a week ago, on 6.12.2021.

Chapman and Tunmer are researchers attached to Massey University 


The wealth of scientific evidence does not support the view that dyslexia is present at birth, that it can involve numeracy and musical notation, and that the skills may not “match up to an individual’s other cognitive abilities” (Elliott & Grigorenko, 2014).

The U.S.-based International Dyslexia Association (IDA) has retained the term dyslexia:

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. (IDA; retrieved from )

Monday, December 13, 2021

Reading Reform Foundation and Dr. Marlynne Grant (Part 2)


Here are extracts of the response by Dr. Marlynne to British Dyslexia Association and my comments.


There are longitudinal studies of 11 years, with about 700 children, which demonstrate that dyslexia does not develop when children begin with a good SSP programme and when children who fall behind are identified early and given extra practice and teaching with SSP in order to keep up. Not a single child in these studies developed severe literacy difficulties. (See Grant, M (2014)

My comment:

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Orthographic Mapping by Stephen Parker (Part 3 of 3)




Stephen Parker:

The limiting factor on reading comprehension for most children in the initial two years of instruction is not language comprehension, it’s their inability to quickly recognize the words on the page. This can only be remedied by explicit and skilled instruction involving the distal factors that directly impact word recognition, that is, letter-sound correspondences, decoding, and the phonemic awareness skill of blending. As children begin to master these distal factors, the orthographic mapping that enables automatic sight word creation gets underway.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Dr. Marlynne Grant and Reading Reform Foundation of UK.


Yesterday, 9.12.21, I read a tweet by Reading Reform Foundation of UK as follows:


The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) is challenging the Department for Education's promotion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) - the technical code knowledge and skills for word recognition of the Simple View of Reading. Dr Marlynne Grant responds:


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Orthographic Mapping by Stephen Parker (Part 2)


The extracts below are from the post by Stephen Parker found here.

“We take no position on whether there are one or more ultimate causes of dyslexia. But we suggest that there is a common denominator in every case of dyslexia… an inability to decode. This is not to say that we claim to have identified the ultimate cause of dyslexia; for this, one would have to push the question one step back and ask why they cannot decode.”  [12] (Gough, P. B., & Tunmer, W. E. (1986).)

Monday, December 6, 2021

Orthographic Mapping by Stephen Parker (Part 1)


Here are extracts of an article by Stephen Parker and my comments. You may read the article here.

I have decided to break this up into bite sized posts.

Stephen Parker:

Orthographic mapping is the connection-making process that automatically creates sight words – words that are simply recognized at a glance, with decoding no longer necessary.

The connections that need to be made, according to Ehri, are between the letters seen in a word’s spelling and the sounds (phonemes) heard in that word’s pronunciation. This is precisely what decoding (sounding out) a word accomplishes. For most students, decoding a word successfully 2-5 times creates a new sight word.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Why insist on research reports for everything?


I read a well written blog post by Lindsay Kemeny. Here are extracts and my comments on the article. (LINK)


I have always tried to be careful with how I bring this up, because people get so upset and defensive when confronted with the fact that there is no research to support these reading strategies and, even worse, they are doing harm to students. But my patience is wearing thin on this topic. Just when I think that the tide is turning and that the majority of educators now realize the problems surrounding 3 cueing, I hear an edu-celebrity tell teachers on Facebook to simply “tweak” the strategies instead of get rid of them or a reader emails me asking me to take down this post stating that it’s only my opinion and that 3 cueing works. This particular reader told me not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but 3 cueing is exactly what needs to be thrown out. I stand by what I said. There is no research to support these strategies and you don’t need to take my word for it. You can read about it here, here, and here.


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Lyn Stone and orthographic mapping


Lyn Stone had blocked me for commenting on her tweet. Only recently have I seen her tweets again. Here is one such tweet I read yesterday and believe she does not know what she is talking about other than quoting what someone had said about 20 years ago.

Here is the URL to Lyn’s video clip and my comments.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Jo Anne Gross and other blockers

Too many so-called educators on social media block me. They block me to prevent truth being known by others. They misrepresent to promote their products.

Jo Anne Gross was one of the first to block me. She blocked me on LinkedIn when I wrote that phonological awareness deficit is not the cause of dyslexia. In 2010, I also started promoting my Free of charge lessons on my blog for parents of kids unable to read. If teachers and parents know why kids are disengaging from learning to read, then Jo Anne Gross as an intervention business owner, may lose business.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Labels like ADHD and Dyslexia can interfere - Dr. Richard Selznick


Following my post on the response to a question on Twitter I received the following email from Dr. Richard Selznick.


I looked back on some of your other blog posts about Phonemic Awareness and related topics.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Building knowledge from the ground up


I read the post found here by a psychology teacher, Paul Cline, who writes on ‘thoughts on teaching and learning, and teaching psychology.


What is in the article is what I have been harping on for a decade. I have said that I learned from the experts - my 'dyslexic' students -that they had disengaged from learning to read due to confusion. They could not scaffold new learning to what they had already learned earlier. They could not blend because sounds of consonants were taught with extraneous sounds.


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Q&A Dr. Richard Selznick


Here is a Tweet for which I had no answer and had to refer to my mentor. I am posting this here as it may be useful to other readers.


Dr. K. Metropoulos @DrKMetropoulos

Question-what if a child sees N, but the printed letter is M? Phonemic awareness won’t mean anything because they aren’t seeing the letter others see. What can I do to help?


Sunday, November 21, 2021

No one wants to be sold but everyone wants to buy


I spoke to my son about what I tweeted to Tisha Rarendra (see below) and told him that I think she will not write as requested by me. He then told me that no one wants to be sold but everyone wants to buy and I have used that statement for the title above.

Tisha Rajendra @TishaRajendra Nov 20 Replying to @JoAnneGross1

Friday, November 19, 2021

Why and why not

Here is a tweet I read this morning responding to one of my tweets.

A Williams aka Ms. Worf @Ms_Worf Replying to @luqmanmichel and @MartinOdimaJr

Where I worked as an elementary teacher, they did very little to find out the why. Where I am now as a high school teacher, we focus on finding the why. Personally, finding and addressing the why is of extreme importance because no one tried to help me with my why.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Chalkbeat Colorado

 Chalkbeat Colorado is a nonprofit news organization reporting on education in Denver and the surrounding area. (From the internet.)

Early this month a zoom meeting by was announced on Twitter on the following topic.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Timothy Shanahan on phonemic awareness

Here are extracts from a post by Timothy Shanahan dated 13 November, 2021.



Not long ago, I dared question the evidence supporting the teaching of “advanced phonemic awareness.”


My comment:

This reminds me of my tweet and the response I received from KYEducator2018.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Evidence requested by Jeffrey Bowers - anecdotal and Research reports

Here are extracts from a post by Jeffery Bowers and my comments.


Jeffrey Bowers:

I expect some advocates of phonics will say that the term “phonics” refers to knowledge of letter-sound correspondences, and children need to learn these correspondences to read aloud.  The problem with this is that almost all forms of reading instruction teach letter-sound correspondences, including whole language, balanced literacy, and SWI.  The issue at hand is whether phonics instruction (as defined in all the meta-analyses and government reports) is the best way to teach these mappings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Common sense and teaching



I read an article a week ago. Here are a few extracts and my comments.

One sentence from the article that caught my eyes is: Once habits become ingrained they can be very hard to shift, even when we are presented with evidence that challenges them.

That statement reminds me of what Charlie Munger had said about how the human mind resembles the human egg. LINK.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Fountas and Pinnell

The following are extracts from the Fountas Blog post. You may read the article here.

The goal for the reader is accuracy using all sources of information simultaneously. And that includes processing each letter in words from left to right. If a reader says “pony” for “horse” because of information from the pictures, that tells the teacher that the reader is using meaning information from the pictures, as well as the structure of the language, but is neglecting to use the visual information of the print. His response is partially correct, but the teacher needs to guide him to stop and work for accuracy.

"Try that again, and be sure what you read looks right and makes sense", or "Check the letters to be sure you are right."

The goal is for the child to stop or monitor, look more closely at the word and think about what would make sense and fit with the sequence of letters.

The bottom line is that a young reader must use everything he knows to move through a written text, to read it accurately and understand it. Multiple sources of information are combined in a complex and orchestrated way. The development of the child's ability to use all sources of information will take time and skillful teaching. It is impossible to boil down this process to something as simplistic as “don't think, just sound it out.”

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Opaque language vs transparent language


I have written 2 articles on this topic but I am prompted to write again on this as within a span of less than a week two dyslexia experts have said that kids are unable to read in English because it is an opaque language.

English is considered an opaque language because letters represent more than one sound.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Three main reasons why kids disengage from learning to read


Here are the 3 main reasons why kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read. I learned this directly from the experts, my students.

This is what my blog has repeatedly said for the past decade.

i.                     Teach the correct pronunciation of sounds represented by consonants


Doing the same things over and over expecting different results.


Educators have been doing the same things for decades expecting different results. Most of what they write is general and does not add value.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Dyslexia or Instructional Casualties


This morning I had a tweet from in response to my tweet. They linked the following resource. LINK

Here are excerpts and my response.

Dyslexia is a common condition that makes it hard to read. Some experts believe that between 5 and 10 percent of people have it. Others say as many as 17 percent of people show signs of reading challenges.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Main cause of teacher stress and how to avoid it

Yesterday, I read a post by Dr Mary Bousted @MaryBoustedNEU which prompted me to write this post.

Dr Mary Bousted is joint general secretary, with Kevin Courtney, of the National Education Union @NEUnion.

This was her tweet:

The govt. is, apparently, going to focus on getting ‘better’ teachers. Here’s the thing - they have the best teachers ever at the moment. The problem is that far too many leave because the same govt. has made teaching an almost impossible job.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sounds represented by letters

This post is in response to a Tweet by Lucky Girl.

LuckyGirlLinguist @GinaCookeLEX Oct 18 Replying to @luqmanmichel @jeffrey_bowers and 4 others.

“You're betraying your ignorance. There is no such thing as the correct pronunciation of phonemes. Phonemes are abstract psychological categories, not pronounced phonetic units. Phone memes are pronounced differently in different words and different dialects, and that's normal.” (Lucky Girl Linguist)

Friday, October 15, 2021

My challenge to Jeffrey Bowers


Jeffrey, why don’t you do the research yourself with my guidance? Get a few teachers around the US or around the world to teach kids in grades 1 to 3 who are unable to read. Ensure they do not have acuity problems. That is, they do not have sharpness or keenness of thought, vision, or hearing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Role of Orthographic Mapping in Learning to Read (Part 2)


The first part on Orthographic on Joan Sedita's blog post may be found here

How does orthographic mapping develop?

The following are extracts from the blog post found here and my comments.

Three intersecting skills must be in place to enable orthographic mapping (Ehri,  2014; Kilpatrick, 2015):

    Highly proficient phonological and phonemic awareness

    Automatic letter-sound correspondence knowledge

    The ability to accurately and quickly decode a word by identifying its sounds letter by letter, and blending those sounds to read the word.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Empirical evidence for Jeffrey Bowers


Here is a tweet by Jeffrey Bowers and my response.

I have responded a number of times, and would be interested in any empirical evidence for your claims. (Jeffrey Bowers). 9.10.2021.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel Replying to @jeffrey_bowers and @KevinWheldall

Do you want empirical evidence to support that consonants should not be taught with extraneous sounds?

You responded once and when I retorted you did not answer.

I suggest you hold a Zoom meeting so that I may educate you on why phonics is not working as it should.

Let us put to rest once and for all this debate between you and Jennifer/Kevin.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Jeffrey Bowers and Sam Bommarito on Phonics


On September 22nd, Jeffrey Bowers twitted the following:

@jeffrey_bowers Replying to @annephillipswa @dmounty14 and 19 others

What do you make if the fact that reading outcomes in England have not improved in over a decade of legally mandated phonics?  No one seems to address the Elephant in the room.

Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7 Sep 22

Yes this! By the way if England 10+ years of mandated phonics it hasn’t had an impact why on earth are we in the process of trying to mandate it United States. Time to look at all the data before making decisions.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Dr. Rachael Gabriel - whose pronunciation is correct?

                                                                By Dr.Rachael Gabriel

Her profile says: Education researcher, writer, host of Literacy Fellows Podcast, Assoc. prof. of literacy education.

Here is a link posted on Twitter by Dr. Rachael Gabriel.

I had commented on her post as follows:

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Decode using patterns learned


This is a continuation of my zoom meeting with my learned friend from the US. You may read the first part here.

He said that if we teach whole words (referring to me teaching my students the Dolch words) by rote memory then the kids will have to memorise thousands of words. I was shocked that this learned man would say such an idiotic thing. I am beginning to wonder if he too is paid by the people with a vested interest to say such a stupid thing. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Decoding vs reading


On 2.10.21 I had a zoom meeting with a twitter/ email friend from the US.


He was agreeable with most of the things I said but said that my definition of decoding/reading was wrong. He said that decoding included comprehension.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Are there any studies on extraneous sounds of consonants?


I met Alanna Maurin on 23.12.2020 on Twitter and started sharing with her what I had learned from my students who were unable to read when they came to me for tuition.

She was distraught and at her wit’s end as her son was unable to read and was willing to try anything. 

Please read the previous 2 blog posts for a complete understanding of this post. 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Postmortem of my Twitter discussion with Alanna Maurin

December 23rd 2020.

Luqman Michel:

Your son has no acuity problems - right?

Let us start this with a simple exercise - just for me to see what his problem may be.

Write the letters on a book and ask him for the letter sounds from A to Z.

Record it and then send it to me and we can go on from there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tips to an Australian teacher


Here is our chat which is self-explanatory. It started on December 23rd 2020 and ended on January 30th 2021.

Her profile on Twitter says:

Australian Teacher. Highly Accomplished. Passion for literacy. Master Reading and Literacy. Mother of 4 boys. Out-of-field secondary science. Joined (Twitter) December 2020

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Role of Orthographic Mapping in Learning to Read (Part 1)


The following are extracts from a blog post found here.

Every word has three forms – its sounds (phonemes), its orthography (spelling), and its meaning. Orthographic mapping is the process that all successful readers use to become fluent readers. Through orthographic mapping, students use the oral language processing part of their brain to map (connect) the sounds of words they already know (the phonemes) to the letters in a word (the spellings). They then permanently store the connected sounds and letters of words (along with their meaning) as instantly recognizable words, described as “sight vocabulary” or “sight words”. (Internet)

With orthographic mapping of a word, the letters we see with our eyes and the sounds we hear in that word get processed together as a sight word and are stored together in the brain. This is not the same as memorizing just the way a word looks. It is also important to remember that orthographic mapping is a mental process used to store and remember words. It is not a skill, teaching technique, or activity you can do with students (Kilpatrick, 2019). What can be taught are phonemic awareness and phonics skills which enable orthographic mapping.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Phonological Awareness – A discussion with Dr. Michael Paff

Is Phonological Awareness Deficit the cause of kids being unable to read?

Phonological awareness is the foundation for learning to read. Read more here.

It’s the ability to recognize and work with sounds in spoken language.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Phonics and Whole Language - Tweets by Londonjohn vs. Dr. Michael Paff


The following tweets were exchanged on Twitter. I followed it without commenting as it sounded like kids fighting with one another. It reminded me of the Indian prince who caught a three legged rabbit and insisted that all rabbits are 3 legged.

Here are the tweets and my comments.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Discussion and comments deleted by Dyslexia Advocate Bethany Lee


What a bad habit many people from the Anglo sphere seem to possess?

Many on Social Media delete discussions and comments when they are unable to respond to questions.

All the discussion with Bethany Lee (Beth Any) on her Facebook were deleted all of a sudden.