Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Irresponsible tweets Part 1


Geraldine Carter is the Founder and Director of Piper Books. 

26.6.2023, Geraldine Carter @ged10  Tweeted the following:

Autonomy in training medics?  Teacher’s judgement, observation, adjustment to situation is important but there's only 1 alphabetic code just as one heart, liver etc. Look at high levels of illiteracy in US, Canada, N.Z. Aus inc. prison & YO. Teacher’s using 'balanced' lit. result in this tragedy.


The following is my reply to her tweet:

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Learning to Read - Richard Gentry - Part 2


Here is the article referred to in Karen Vaite’s tweet.

The following are extracts from the article.


It takes time—grapheme by grapheme from left to right; Dehaene says, “Beginners need to be told how it works.” Here's an example. Effortful analysis of a word such as rat, along with active engagement and feedback from the teacher, might require the first grader’s teacher to employ modeling and prompts in word study lessons,

Teacher: “Today, we will be learning and listening to our new words for this week. Listen to all the sounds, and then you say the word after me. Ready? The first word is rat. Rrraaat. Rat.”


Yes, this is how I teach my students. Listen to how my son pronounces the sounds of the letters in the first lesson found here.

My question to all the educators is why many kids in classes teaching sounds of letters without extraneous sounds as illustrated by Dehaene, Sue Lloyd and Stephen Parker still end up with kids being unable to read like the majority? 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Learning to Read Changes the Brain - Richard Gentry


This morning I read a Tweet by Karen Vaites which had a link to the article here.

Here are some excerpts from the article and my thoughts. 


“How Learning to Read Changes the Brain”.


Yes, brain imaging will show a difference in the brain before and after a child learns to read. But it does not show how the brain learns to read. No one has discovered how the brain learns to read. 

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Right to read - Movie Review – Part 3

Minute 34.50: If they don’t know the sounds of the letters they are not going to know how to read.


This is nonsense propagated by the puppets of the powers that be.

The brain is powerful enough to figure out how to read despite not knowing the sounds of the letters. 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Right to read - Movie Review – Part 2


At minute 10.24: Let’s see what happens when we take away the pictures.

There has been a lot of opinion about how children learn to read.

The above part of the movie shows a girl reading with pictures and the same words being read (wrongly) by the same girl when the pictures were removed.

What does it prove? It only proves that the teacher did not know how to teach that kid and nothing more. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Right to read - Movie Review – Part 1


I watched the movie Right to Read and think it is propaganda to brainwash the Americans to get rid of Lucy Calkins's books and discount Balanced Literature.

Here are some excerpts from the movie and my questions and comments.

At minute 14.20: Kareem - The question is what becomes of those kids who don’t have a foundation in reading? The Lord works in mysterious ways. Kids overcome all kinds of challenges.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Different perspectives – Part 5 – Research


Evidence-based practices have been gaining ground since the formal introduction of evidence-based medicine in 1992 and have spread to the allied health professions, education, and other fields.

Many educators continue asking for research reports for everything. Daniel Kahneman in his book –Thinking fast and slow - said, ‘We are far too willing to believe research findings based on inadequate evidence and prone to collect too few observations in our own research.' LINK.

Once a researcher says something everyone jumps on the bandwagon and repeats what he says without the slightest bit of thought. This is exactly what happened about 45 years ago when one researcher said that it was Phonological Awareness Deficit (PAD) that was the cause of dyslexia. More than a hundred so-called educators repeated what he had said.

I disagreed with the above theory and explained why it cannot be PAD which is the cause of dyslexia. Timothy Shanahan said that there were no research reports to support what I said.

Common sense will tell that if a kid can read in Malay and Hanyu Pinyin but not in English then the cause of that kid being unable to read in English cannot be because of phonological awareness deficit. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Different perspectives – Part 4 – Blocking


Here are two tweets I have a different perspective on.

Dr. Mary Howard @DrMaryHoward  Jun 13, 2023

I'd add.... ignore blatant attacks because there is no good that will come from responding.

Pick your battles & find inroads but ignore dead-end streets that lead only to a childish Twitter battleground. I learned this lesson the hard way. Share legitimate info & avoid the fray

Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7 Jun 14

I just gave that same advice in the comments to my blog. If it's apparent the person wants to attack rather than discuss, simply block them. Picking your battles is critical, some of them purposely say outrageous things to get you to go down an off-topic rabbit hole.

I don’t ignore blatant attacks when they are silly and evil.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Different perspectives – Part 3 – Memorising Dolch (High frequency) words.


I teach all my students to memorise the 220 Dolch words. I don’t use flash cards. Who introduced flash cards and why would one foolishly use it is beyond me. English is not pictorial or ideograph like the Chinese script. Even the Chinese script is not memorised by looking at it but by students writing a character a minimum of a hundred times.

I ask my students to list down the Dolch words, introduced in each lesson, in an exercise book and spell out each word five times before going down the list to the next word. Within a short period of time they are able to spell the words. If a kid who is going to vernacular school can learn to memorise 600 Chinese characters in a year what is the problem in memorising 220 HFW? 

Friday, June 16, 2023

Different perspectives – Part 2 - PHONICS

I have said for many years that one of the reasons why many kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read is due to teaching the sounds represented by letters wrongly. A majority of these kids are wrongly classified as dyslexic.

Many educators have disagreed with me.

Let us examine the reason for the different perspectives.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Different perspectives – Part 1


In the image above, some people can only see the young lady and some can see only the old woman. Very few can see both the young and old.

If you see a situation from one angle only, you see very little of it. Besides, while you may see a situation from one angle, others will see it from another.

Here are tweets between me and one guy called Kareem J. Weaver.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

One of my former students who is now a science graduate

Yoshini Thiagarajan was one of my first students whom I wrote about in the first month I started blogging in February 2010. She had gone to kindergarten for 2 ½ years and was in the first few months in grade one when her desperate father brought her to me for tuition. He said he could not understand why his daughter had a reading problem.

When I taught her, she refused to say many words as they did not make sense to her. For instance, she repeated the word ‘ox’ after me but refused to sound out the word fox.

I later found out the reason as explained in my blog post here.