Friday, September 8, 2023

Educational Intervention Part 2


Here are a few extracts of the discussions with researchers I dealt with since 2010.

I quote part of one of the encouraging emails I received from Dr. Joe Torgesen in 2010:


I'm not sure why your observations are so different than others--perhaps you need to collect some objective evidence on your students, including good assessments of their phonemic awareness, grapho-phonological knowledge, phonemic decoding ability, sight word knowledge, and reading fluency before, during and after your interventions.  If you did that over a period of a year, you might be able to build up a solid database from which to make your arguments, particularly if you had parallel data for those learning to read in English and other languages.


In another email, Dr. Joe Torgesen said:


“We may be seeing different parts of the elephant, and so have different views about its basic nature.  However, I would encourage you to continue to collect data and examples if you want to convince others of your beliefs.”

From Dr. Richard Selznick 2010:

It's hard for me to comment on why children will seem to learn one language system and struggle in the other and I do think that your explanations make sense. I would imagine that the language systems that you are discussing have one-to-one correspondence between the symbol and the sound, which is simply not the case in English. Hebrew, for example, is phonetically consistent and each letter representation corresponds with its spoken sound.  It sounds like Malay is similar and probably easier to learn, as is Hebrew.

Dr. Richard Selznick confirmed that a vast number of the few thousand kids he had tested add vowel sounds to consonants. These are the kids whom he recommends to a training that directly teaches the sounds of alphabet.


Here is something from Dr. David Kilpatrick’s book on letter sounds:

‘This is how we often present letter sounds to kids: /c/ /a/ /t/ as cuh – ah – tuh. However, c does not say cuh. The letter t does not say tuh. So we must not tell kids that these are the sounds of those letters! Do not add a vowel sound (usually a short /u/ sound) to consonants when you model the letter sounds in isolation. Adding vowel sounds to consonants in isolation disrupts the process of oral blending when students sound out words.’


Note: You will see my name on the acknowledgment pages of both Dr. David Kilpatrick’s books.

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