Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 3


The following are questions I have for Emily Hanford and APM Reports.

Is there even one study that says that teaching letter sounds wrongly/ teaching consonants with extraneous sounds, is not the cause of kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read?

Is there any one study showing schools teach sounds represented by letters wrongly and that this is one of the causes of kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read?

Emily, I told you several times that I have helped mothers of kids who can’t read  by listening to a voice recording of their kids sounding out the letters. Please, read my discussion with an accomplished teacher from Australia and see for yourself that her son was keen on learning to read when the correct sounds of the letters were taught to him by his mother. Stop pussyfooting around and tell me what you really think or find out from anyone who may know.

Emily, the fact that sounds of letters should not be taught with extraneous sounds was already known by David Boulton, Timothy Shanahan. Siegfried Engelmann and many other participants of Children of the Code more than 15 years ago. David Boulton blocked me on LinkedIn when I told him that it was videos likes the ones recommended by him that is one of the reasons why kids shut down from learning to read. Yes, he blocked me and immediately removed the videos from his website. Read more on this at this LINK.


Here are a few more questions for our Literacy Expert, Emily Hanford.

How are children who cannot read brought to grade level and maintained at grade level with a short period of intervention?

What happened during that short period of intervention?

Why don’t we prevent the intervention by teaching correctly right from the start?

Why is the percentage of kids ‘with dyslexia’ only 3.5% in Singapore while it is between 10 and 20% in the US and the UK?


For more than 35 years it was believed that one of the main causes of dyslexia was 'Phonological awareness deficit'. I challenged that and said that it is absurd to say that 'Phonological awareness deficit' is the major cause of dyslexia. That theory was debunked in 2017.

Google search 'Phonological awareness Luqman' and you will see many articles in 2010 as well as comments in blogs that talked about 'phonological awareness deficit'.

Many research articles overturn what has been believed for decades. As such, educators and journalists like you who claim that you do investigative work should not just write off what is being brought up for discussion because there are no research reports to support what is being said.

You should learn the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions instead of simply ignoring questions asked, especially when the illiteracy rate has not reduced for the past more than 30 years.

To one of my comments Timothy Shanahan said the following:

“You are making generalizations based on your experiences. I think the claims might be true about your experience, but generalization to the millions of kids out there makes no sense to me. If that's how things work, then I would point out that I have nearly 50 years experience so my experience trumps yours. However, my experience is no better a ground for that kind of generalization. That's why I rely on large data sets and empirical research. You can claim to know why kids have trouble reading based on the 50 kids you've worked with, I would doubt the accuracy of your claims based on things like the analyses of the results of NAEP data (that test hundreds of thousands of kids) and hundreds of studies supported by NICHD, etc. Good luck with your work, but watch those generalizations.”

So, what happens when there are no large data sets and empirical research? What has happened to our capacity to think?

I quote Claiborne Barksdale, CEO, Barksdale Reading Institute:

“….. changing of the adult behavior is the greatest challenge of all.

Many of these issues are way beyond the kid issues, these are adult issues, fascinating adult issues where human beings are latching onto their beliefs, their assumptions, their egos, their careers rather than looking very clearly at what works and what doesn’t …………”

Emily, if you are serious about reducing illiteracy, get a copy of Teach Your Child to Read and scan the QR Codes at the beginning of each lesson and learn how the sounds of letters should be pronounced. Recommend this book, which is being sold at the cheapest price of $13.99 allowed by the publishers, to parents and teachers and see illiteracy reduce.

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