Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Word callers


“HUGE question- does the child remember or understand what they decode. If not, then the child is likely a word caller.” Dr. Sam Bommarito’s Tweet 8.8.2023.

It would appear the Dr. Sam has frequently used the phrase ‘word caller’ without actually understanding what it means.

Word callers are children who efficiently decode words but do so without comparable comprehension taking place, so that words are called out without an understanding of the meaning of the text. This was stated by Stanovich more than 30 years ago.

This word – Word Caller – is wrongly used by many teachers. 

Many children with autism spectrum disorder are word callers.

Children nominated by their teacher as word callers would be expected to possess fluent reading skills but struggle to comprehend text.

Not a single one of the so-called dyslexic students I taught since 2004 possessed fluent reading skills in their first year of learning to read with me. As such none of them can be called word callers

All my former students struggled with decoding and there was no fluency. This resulted in them not being able to comprehend. It will be wrong to call such students word callers. The standard profile of a word caller is one who is a fluent reader with poor comprehension.

Teachers seem to think there are more word callers than there actually are as they conflate the figures with struggling readers.

True word callers would have word identification ability similar to proficient readers – fast, effortless and accurate word identification. That means they will be fluent readers but unable to comprehend what they are reading. I have not encountered such students as all my students were struggling students who were unable to decode.

No comments: