Friday, January 21, 2022

Balanced Literacy or SOR - my comments on Dr. Sam Bommarito's blog post


On 16.1.2022, I read a post on Dr. Sam Bommarito’s blog. Here are a few extracts and my comments.

Dr. Sam:


On the one hand, everyone agrees that the current state of reading instruction is not acceptable. SOR advocates claim Balanced Literacy is the root cause of the problems in reading. They view Balanced Literacy as lacking instruction in phonics and the use of orthographic information.


My comment:


That the current state of reading instruction is not acceptable has been echoed for decades and is nothing new. I have repeatedly said that the common thing during all the different methods of teaching is the teaching of sounds represented by letters. As such if there is a reading problem during all methods of teaching we should look at the root cause of the problem. The root cause is what is present during all the methods of teaching.




So what we have is a situation where some districts are using Balanced Literacy or SOR with some success. HOWEVER, there are many other districts whose programs are not successful. It could be these districts are not doing the programs with fidelity. It could be that they really don’t have coherent programs. The bottom line is that those districts are doing things that just aren’t working. That is the main source of the current literacy problem.


My comment:


This is similar to what I have been saying with regards to phonics. Phonics is not taught with fidelity. The foundation of phonics is teaching the phonemes exactly the way it should be taught and not with extraneous sounds which kids find impossible to blend. How in the world is a child to blend kuhohtuh to sound out the word coat? Read more in my blog post here


I repeat my mantra: Teach all children the correct pronunciation of phonemes and no child will be left behind. Stop this nonsense of programs not being successful. Many schools with W/L had been successful just like many schools teaching Balanced Literacy. HOWEVER, (as pointed out by Dr.Sam above) there are many districts that have been unsuccessful regardless of the programme implemented.




Remember that I’m advocating for a centrist position that says we need to look at ALL sides and draw from all sides…. We need to work to find common ground. We need to use common sense to do so.


My comment:


Common sense? Where has it gone? Common sense says teach phonemes with fidelity/ exactly the way it should be taught as in the video in this post. LINK.

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