Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Amy McGovern on Reading Comprehension


Here is a comment on LinkedIn by Amy McGovern, Associate Director of Continuous School Improvement Services/ Reading Specialist at CESA 9, &The Reading League Wisconsin~ Board Member

“We absolutely MUST do knowledge-building, read-aloud, writing, and language-building. The simple view of reading requires it—Word Recognition X Language comp = Reading Comp.

If we ignore language comprehension, which was NEVER the intention, then of course, the equation is going to break down. We need to pay attention to the language comprehension strand as well."

Here is my reply:

Of course, this is part of the equation. No one will ever say Language Comprehension is unimportant. 

Sunday, October 29, 2023

The simple view of reading


The image above is copied from a post on LinkedIn by , a highly accomplished Reading Specialist. 

Here is a comment I wrote this morning on the post above.

The above is the simple view of reading put forward more than 30 years ago (More than thirty years ago) by Gough and Tunmer in 1986.

An individual's reading comprehension (RC) is the product of his decoding skill (WR) and language comprehension (LC).

The question that begs a response is why has the reading proficiency level remained the same since 1972.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Acquired Learning Disabilities - Part 2


Here is part 2 of my Twitter discussion I posted yesterday. LINK

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

Get a copy of my book Teach Your Child to read and point out if you hear any consonants pronounced with extraneous sounds.

Pat Stone @PATSTONE55

Nice cover. I’ll have a look.

I still defy anyone to say g without it being ug or guh

Friday, October 27, 2023

Acquired Learning Disabilities Part 1


On 25.10.23 I Tweeted the following:

Baby TV Channel and Reading Reform UK are 2 of the main culprits for poor reading performance in the world. I have explained this in my blog post. LINK

More than 100 countries in the world broadcast Baby TV programmes.

I tagged Geraldine Carter the Managing Director of Piper Books who told me in June 2020, that the Reading Reform Foundation receives thousands of requests, messages, and different points of view. It is not possible to address all of them. Perhaps write your own programme and get it published?


I wrote my own programme and published my book this year and it is as good as any programme on teaching children to read and it is the cheapest in the world complete with Tracking which enables a kid to listen to the lessons while following the book. LINK

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Disinformation by Marion Blank.


The following are extracts from a YouTube video by Karen Quinn, Co-Founder - www.TestingMom.com interviewing Marion Blank from Columbia University New York City, United States. LINK


Kindergartens today are asking parents to teach phonics lessons at home with their children to help them label the sounds and so that is generally very destructive and not constructive and it puts a lot of pressure on the children those who can do it don’t need it and those who can’t do it just fail. It is a lose-lose situation as opposed to a win-win. (Marion Blank)

This is the kind of disinformation that misleads many parents and teachers who accept such nonsense from so-called educators.  

Monday, October 23, 2023

Overlearning to automaticity - Marion Blank.


Marion Blank is a psychologist known for her work on language, both spoken and written. The following is an extract from her article. LINK

Children with reading difficulties struggle with automaticity. Yet no attempts are made to teach them the skill because of the misguided notion that it can be developed only after extensive phonics practice. Overlearning to Automaticity (OtA) is the key to less-skilled children mastering reading. It requires multiple exposures to a word: typically, 20 to 30 exposures on each of about 200 carefully selected words from both the content and non-content domains.

About 60 percent of the words on any page are “non-content words”—words like the, so, what etc. that cannot be decoded by sounding out.

Friday, October 20, 2023

English Reading Code is complex says Larissa Philipps.


Here are tweets I read this morning and my comments:

Larissa Phillips


The English reading code is complex to be sure.

But of all the adult reading students I’ve worked with through the years, not a single one started able to decode unfamiliar CVC words.

Almost all have memorized the common irregular words.

But can’t read words like jig, lad, yen.

My comment:

Larissa is a volunteer teacher teaching adults. She probably never reads any of my replies to her or she does not understand my replies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Reading Wars continue...


Below is a post by Dyann Powell whose profile says she is a Dyslexia Specialist and expert in dyslexia.

I tried to comment on the post but only connections were allowed to comment.

I asked a simple question: If either methods, Phonics or Whole Word/Balanced Literature can reduce illiteracy why has the graph showing the non-proficiency of children remained flat since 1972?

Somewhere in those 50-odd years, we must have had Whole Language/ Balanced Language and phonics.

Another question I asked was: What is it with peer-reviewed research?

What do we do when there are no research reports? Dyann Powell, your comment is awaited.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Ignorance and arrogance (Part 2)


This is a continuation of the misleading article dated 26.9.2023 by Marion Blank

Breaking phonics into its components lays bare its shortcomings. First, in the initial instruction, months are spent teaching children how to decode a minute set of simple, three-letter words like man, cat and bus that can be sounded out. Those words bear little resemblance to the content of any book, leaving children unprepared for actual reading.

What an exaggeration that is! Do we need to spend months to decode a minute set of simple three-letter words? It could be true if this woman is talking about teaching 5 minutes a week or so.

About 60 percent of the words on any page are “non-content words”—words like the, so and what that cannot be decoded by sounding out. The result is that children have no solid tools for dealing with the most frequent words they see on every page.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Pre-boxed intervention programmes – Jackie Connell


Below is a Tweet asking an excellent question and a reply that is equally good. It is like many other such tweets where the twitter says he/she is serious but never replies once I have tweeted in response.

Jackie Connell @jackielconnell Aug 30

Why is our education system so deeply committed to pre-boxed intervention programs? Models almost exclusively designed by people who do not represent the learners or communities they are intended to support. Legitimate question. Not rhetorical. Please answer.

Angelina Gerard @awolgerard Aug 30

You have to consider, that most educators are people who enjoyed & did well in school, so most see education through the lens they experienced, making it challenging to consider approaches they never needed or experienced, taking the creativity out of the problem solving process.

This is exactly what I have been harping on for many years.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Ignorance and arrogance (Part 1)


On September 26, 2023, I read the following article by Marion Blank

Two Thirds of American Kids Can’t Read Fluently. LINK

Here are some extracts and my comments:

Phonics may be a popular way to teach reading, but it fails too many children.

This is another disinformation spread by the Balanced Literacy proponents that has its roots in Whole Language (WL) instruction that emerged in the 1970s.

The level of arrogance attached to ignorance is unbearable because it is rooted in smug satisfaction with being isolated from the facts of the case.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Research on why kids can read in transparent languages but not in English


Let us continue with the tweets by Dr. Sam and my replies on 8.10.23.

Dr. Sam:

You are at the starting stage of research. You need carefully designed research around this issue.  You have promising practices. But at the end of the day yes we need peer-reviewed research for ideas to become widely accepted.

I am not sure if I am at the starting stage of research. As far as I am concerned, I have finished my research. We'll leave this for another day. Anyway, here is my reply.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

Beginning stage of research? Perhaps you are right. I gave up employment in 2004 to learn why kids could not read in English but could read in Malay. I taught > 80 'dyslexic' kids and read incessantly any article on dyslexia. There is hardly anything new on dyslexia to read.

When is anyone going to teach kids Malay or Hanyu Pinyin and at the same time teach them English to research why they can read in 2 languages but not the third?

When is anyone going to do research on why kids disengage from learning to read?

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Major cause of 'dyslexia'.


Here is another Tweet that was not replied to by Dr. Sam Bommarito.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

I did not speak a word with Alanna's son. I heard a recording of the sounds of the letters and told Alanna that the reason why her son could not read was due to confusion as a result of extraneous sounds taught by his teacher. She corrected him and he was keen on learning to read.

Let’s discuss this. What exactly do you disagree with, Dr.Sam?

Tell me why Alanna's son was keen on learning to read after his mother taught him the sounds of the letters without the extraneous sounds. You are familiar with this discussion on Twitter in 2020/2021.

Dr. Sam did not reply but here is an answer he Tweeted in January 2021 to Alanna Maurin’s Tweet.

Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7 Jan 4, 2021

What works with one child doesn't always work with another. Glad you found something that is working for your student. Here is a blog in which I try to make it clear one size doesn't fit all.

This appears to be a stock answer. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

What causes kids to disengage from learning to read


Here are Tweets between Dr. Sam and I on 8.10.2023

Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7

I know you (Luqman Michel) do good work. But I spent my career working with a diverse group of children, teaching them in a language that is not always regular in its sound-symbol relations.


Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

I understand Dr. Irregular sound/symbol relations are not what causes a kid to disengage from learning to read. The weird spelling of words is not what causes kids to shut down from learning to read. Teaching sounds of letters with extraneous sounds is what causes kids to shut down.


Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7

Agree to disagree.


Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

Are you saying that kids disengage from learning to decode because of irregular sound-symbol relations?

There is no reply from Dr. Sam. In the absence of a reply, I have to try and guess which of the following he is referring to.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Dyslexia – What % of the world is dyslexic


Here are a few tweets and my response.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

Most of the so-called dyslexic kids are kids who have disengaged from learning to read due to confusion. They shut down from learning to read. Get rid of the root causes and you will not have to blame Phonics or Lucy Calkins or BL.

Teaching EcoSystems Matter @CreditFlex

Not sure I’d say “most”. But really have had difficulty narrowing down the real percentage.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

The dyslexia advocates try to convince the world it is around 15 to 20%. Some researchers have said it is about 2 %. Recently David Boulton said it s/b around 3 to 5 %.

Here is the latest discussion between David Boulton and Andrew Johnson where this is mentioned. LINK

Saturday, October 7, 2023

When does one size fit all


On 6.10.23 in a Twitter thread Dr. Sam Bommarito Twitted the following:

Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7

One of the many reasons I speak out against one-size-fits-all solutions is that different children really do need different things. What works with one does not always work with another. Many adults who were Dyslexic as a child have found ways to succeed. One of my favorite stories along that line is the story of this mother and daughter team, who saw the strengths in themselves and shared with others how to use those strengths. They replace "succeeding despite of Dyslexia" with "succeeding because of Dyslexia". 

Dr. Sam keeps saying the same things over and over because, as I have said several times, the mind of most people is like the human egg. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

Education as a market literally means marketers must create a ‘problem’ – Jane Caro


                                                                            Jane Caro

The following was a Tweet in August 2020.

Aug 4, 2020

Decision-makers must listen to those with qualifications and experience, not those with a vested interest. Myths and deception: ‘synphonpreneurs’ are pushing synthetic phonics in schools —@craigp66 @nswppa @TeachersFed @JaneCaro @Anncaro11

Jane Caro @JaneCaro in August 2020 Tweeted the following:

Yep, education as a market literally means marketers must create a 'problem' (teachers don't know how to teach kids to read properly) and then sell us an expensive solution ('synthetic phonics tm) (I just made the trade- mark bit up, but you get the gist) is the only 'answer'.

There was a tweet that was not agreeable to Jane Caro and it was deleted. This is a Western disease and is one of the reasons they do not progress. They either delete or ignore tweets they cannot reply. LINK

The following is Jane Caro’s tweet after deleting the Tweet (not my tweet) she disagreed with.