Sunday, May 29, 2022

No answers from Science of Reading Folks


Here is a tweet by Jeffrey Bowers in response to Back Seat Linguist's Tweet followed by my thoughts on it.

@jeffrey_bowers May 25

Interesting thread.  Again, when proponents of the science of reading are asked to cite specific studies that support specific claims, no answers.  Can anyone provide a reference to support highlighted claim?

Quote Tweet

BackSeat Linguist @BackSeatLing · May 23

Any help with these "missing links" - citations to these MRI studies - @markseidenberg @DTWillingham @ehanford or other SOR fans?


Obviously we'd need something beyond presenting isolated letters or words to readers.…

My comment now:

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Civil Engineer Chan Tze Hou

This is a proud moment for the parents of one of my former students as well.

Chan Tze Hou came for tuition with his sister for a very short time of less than 2 months when he was in primary 2.

His mother was at wit’s end as to why he was not able to read at grade level. He was good in other subjects. Within a short spell I knew what his problem was and guided him and then went over to his house and explained to his mother.

His mother was a housewife and had been teaching her two children.

Once his mother understood his problem she was able to guide him.

Chan Tze Hou’s degree from University Technologi Malaysia is in Civil Engineering. 

For some of these instructional casualties it takes just a little to get them back on the right track. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Has Lucy Calkins hoodwinked anyone?


I tweeted the following and received a tweet in response from Karen Vaites.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel May 23

'She is only now embracing reading research that is >20 years old.'

Some say 50 years.

Where were the teachers and educators during these past 20 to 50 years?

Karen Vaites @karenvaites Replying to @luqmanmichel and @DanaGoldstein

It’s a fair question, but when a woman at @Columbia @TeachersCollege tells you her program is evidence-based, I can understand people getting hoodwinked.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Swarm behaviour by Twitters


This morning, 23.5.2022, I read many tweets referring to a post in New York Times.

There was only one educator, Jerusha Beckerman, who spoke her mind instead of following the crowd.

Here are a few of the many tweets and my comments.

Jodi Snowdon @joleigh_snow

Simple fact- if you don’t know the code, you can’t learn to read. You can guess but it won’t take you far enough to reach your potential.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The important first step


I read the following tweets this morning which prompted me to write this post.

Regie Routman @regieroutman Mar 3

Explicit, systematic teaching of letters & sounds—decoding-- is necessary but insufficient for becoming a reader, one who chooses to read (mostly) books & who comprehends, self-monitors & finds joy in becoming a discerning reader. We have known this for decades.

suzy yates @bubbletroublex7 Replying to @regieroutman

I have been reading your books since I discovered Transitions in the 90s. My district is now following the science of reading. I don’t see kids reading books.
Heartbreaking. Decoding only is, imo, not going to develop lifelong readers. Have you written any articles about this?

A retweet of the above with the following by: Regie Routman @regieroutman on 22.5.2022 (Malaysian time)

SoR is needlessly a fraught topic. Teaching kids to read is not either-or. Becoming a reader requires decoding AND fluency AND attention to comprehension AND lots of reading of self-chosen books.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Recordings of Jack’s reading to 8.5.2022


The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly. (Einstein)


My 1st lesson with Jack was on the 27.4.2022.

I recorded Jack’s pronunciation of the sounds represented by consonants and posted it in my blog.

I said that Jack is unable to read even a single sentence because he was confused as he was taught the sounds represented by consonants wrongly. This is true of all my dyslexic students I taught since 2004.

Friday, May 20, 2022

My 7th day with Jack and an explanation of my lesson plan.


18.5.2022 was my 7th day with Jack.

We covered word family ‘ot’ and ‘oo’.

I explained that this was the short ‘oo’ as in book, look, cook.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Memorising Dolch words also known as HFW


A former teacher from the UK, Pat Stone, posted the above image on Twitter. I then tweeted the following:

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

One of the widely held beliefs is that HFW (Dolch words) cannot be memorised by kids, dyslexic or otherwise. Kids in Chinese schools have to memorise 600 words per year for 6 years while learning to read in Malay and English and Han Yu Pinyin. What's your view?

Monday, May 16, 2022

My 6th day with Jack and initial input

Yesterday, 16.5.2022 was my 6th lesson with Jack.

I taught him the word families ‘un’ and ‘ut’.

The Dolch (HFW) words I taught him are:

                           who, your, play, today, say, may, did, went

When I asked him to spell the words taught to lesson 5, he had a problem with spelling the word ‘want’. Earlier he had a problem with the word ‘all’. This is something new I have encountered.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

My 5th day with Jack and emails from his parents

My firth day, dated 11.5.22, with Jack was teaching Jack word family ‘ig’ and ‘ug’.

Once he heard me pronounce the word family ‘ug’ he read the words bug, dug, hug, jug, mug, rug, tug with no prompting by me.

He could read the words above because he now knew the correct pronunciation of the consonants and his confusion has been cleared.

Jack is not the first student who can read all the words from chapter 8. Almost all my former students were able to do it. 

What is important is for you to ask how these students who could hardly read any word, when they came to me, are able to read them after a few lessons.

Do read my Twitter discussion with the mother, Alanna Maurin, who had used my lesson to teach her son to read. Link.

Explanation of my lessons


The lessons I have posted on my blog are very simple. Many of the lessons consist of only a few lines.

The lessons are designed to get the dyslexic/disengaged students back on track. They had disengaged from learning due to confusion as a result of the reasons explained in my post at LINK.

These lessons ensure that any disengaged student will soon learn the correct pronunciation of the consonants and also learn that letters represent more than one sound. This is the basic idea of my lessons.

The idea is to get the disengaged kids to unlearn what they have been taught wrongly.

Monday, May 9, 2022

4th Lesson with Jack and the naysayers


Yesterday, 8.5.2022 was my 4th lesson with Jack.

He still guesses instead of reading what he already knows. This is a habit which will take a little time to unlearn.

Today, I gave him the following Dolch words to memorise by rote memory:

her, all, good, some, my, this, here, soon, 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Facts don't change minds


The clip above says:

It is simply not true that there are hundreds of ways to learn to read... when it comes to reading we all have roughly the same brain that imposes the same constraints and the same learning sequence. (Dehaene)

I saw the clip above on Twitter by anna rz-karwowska   Her profile says she is a translator//ESL_teacher/CELTA/TESOL/MEd/literacy for all researcher.

This is another case of so-called educators who mislead other readers. They copy-paste what they see without thinking. 

Is there only one way to learn to read? NO! Of course not.

I then Twitted as follows:

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel May 4

Does anyone know how children learn to read?

anna rz-karwowska @annarzepeckaka1 Replying to @luqmanmichel and @Tiff_Seaman

Yes. There is a plethora of cognitive science, you can see it at MRI. What I cannot understand is why America and Canada re so invested in balanced literacy. You don’t learn how to play tennis by watching Wimbledon.

Luqman Michel

Wow! Do you have MRI that shows you how children learn to read? I would appreciate it if you show me one.

AND are there no students who can read under Balanced Literacy?

Are 100% of kids using phonics able to read after a year of learning phonics?

anna rz-karwowska

Sigh, around 35 % of students will learn to read regardless of the instruction. Look up Dehaene’s Books or any of his research papers

My comment now:

Anna’s response is evasive and does not answer my question.

Have we determined how 35% learn to read regardless of the instruction?

If 35% learn to read under BL and phonics, then why condemn BL?

If 35% learn to read regardless of the instruction then it means that there is more than one way to learn to read.

Teach kids in any way as long as they learn to read.

Luqman Michel

Anna, I don't know about the % but I do know that many kids learn to read regardless of the instruction. Thank goodness for that. A majority of kids are confused and learn to read in later grades by using patterns and analogies.

You have not answered any one of the 3 questions asked. Are there MRI scans showing how kids read? NO.

Read my post at on 'How the brain reads' by Dehaene and please comment on my post for the benefit of other readers.

anna rz-karwowska

I told you to read Dehaene’s book.

Luqman Michel

I have listened to many of his videos and articles.

You made a statement and I am asking you for a response. It is very irresponsible to Tweet anything you yourself cannot substantiate.

anna rz-karwowska

I did. I Will not spoon-free it to you.

        Do your research, do not expect the knowledge to be handed on a silver plate.

Luqman Michel

This is another example of 'Facts do not change minds'.

Read my post on the backfire effect here.

I also believe in 'First do no harm'. Link.