Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Handling Reading Wars by Sam Bommarito and my comments


Here are extracts from a post by Dr. Sam Bommarito on Dec 16, 2023.

Dr. Sam

I will also continue interviewing folks from all sides of the literacy issue. All this is my way of working for the day when we can finally follow P.D. Pearson's advice about handling the so-called "Reading Wars." That advice is to take positions, not sides.

My comment:

I don’t take sides as I use the best from all sides. I use all the tools available to teach kids to read. Read my book Teach Your Child to Read and you will understand what I mean.


Dr. Sam:

We need to talk and discuss things. We need to do so without using strawmen. We need to use the best research-based ideas from all sides to carry out our overall mission in literacy. That overall mission is to create lifelong readers, writers, and thinkers.

My comment:

In my experience, very few discuss intending to learn from one another. I have had email dialogues with many educators/researchers. Only three of them had an open mind – Dr. Joe Torgesen, Dr. Richard Selznick and Dr. David Kilpatrick. Most other minds were like the human egg.

What happens when there are no research-based ideas? Most of these so-called educators are not capable of thinking for themselves. This was the case between 2004 and 2017 when I disagreed with the theory that phonological awareness deficit was not the cause of dyslexia. Anyone with an open mind would have been able to understand the basis of my arguments but not the educators/researchers I dealt with. They had too much at stake because of what they had written earlier.


If one is to believe some social media posts, all that has come before in reading has failed. Publishers of the old ways of doing things continue to publish only because of the money made on those products. The products themselves are complete failures.

The answer lies in throwing out all the old and replacing it with their methods and products.

They sometimes use "discount and discredit" tactics designed to "prove" the alternate methods don't work.

My comment:

Yes, many publishers publish to make money and they can’t care too much if what is published is correct or not.

I would not say that the products themselves are a complete failure. They would be useful if used for the purposes intended. I have read many Reading recovery advocates who claim that Reading Recovery works. F&P material was used by millions of kids for decades. Are the Americans that stupid to have used materials that were useless for so many years? 

Books by Tim Rasinski on morphology, for instance, will be good for kids who have learned to decode but definitely they are not to teach kids to decode. Those books may make good readers better but definitely not for kids who cannot decode.

These guys are misleading the public by saying that to decode you need comprehension and morphology.

Yes, many of these so-called educators discount and discredit alternative methods. This is similar to religion where they condemn another religion to promote their own. Why will they not talk about the goodness of the religion they want to talk about without condemning another religion that they know nothing about?

Similarly, Dr. Sam had Tweeted saying there is no reason to memorise Dolch words. Did he ever get a few kids to memorise some of the Dolch words by rote memory? How then would he or the many others who discourage rote memorisation know whether it works or not?

Many of these so-called educators do not even know the difference between visual memorisation and rote memorisation and yet have the audacity to say that children should not be encouraged to memorise the Dolch words. LINK

Educators keep saying that phonics works for some but not all. Did they ask themselves why it does not work for all? Don’t they know some kids are predisposed to shutting down when things taught do not make sense to them?

Who are these clowns to mislead the public by saying that consonants cannot be taught without extraneous sounds? Read how letter sound should and should not be taught. LINK

Who are these idiots who say that teaching consonants with extraneous sounds will not cause kids to be unable to blend letters?

These freaks keep saying that one should not rote memorise the high-frequency words and then with the same foul mouth say phonics does not work because not all the words can be spelled phonetically. How stupid can they get?

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