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.