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Welcome and Introduce Yourself!

Greetings!

Welcome to the Reading and Writing group in the LINCS Community! 

So glad to see you have found your way to this space where we can meet to discuss, learn, and share with each other. Please post an introduction about yourself in response to this thread and let everyone know what you would like to gain from your experience in our group.  Also, feel free to post any questions or discussion topics you'd like to engage in exploring with your colleagues.  Remember to check out the redesigned LINCS website resources at http://lincs.ed.gov

Looking forward to the discussions...

Michelle Carson

.

 

Comments

edith deytz's picture
First

Ms. Carson, thank you for welcome me. This year I would like to be more assertive in teaching Reading and Writing to my ESL Low Intermediate students. I hope you would like to give me some tips for this school year. We start classes this coming Monday. edith

 

DMellard's picture
One hundred

Edith,

My hunch is that the Adult English Language Learner group will have more content and discussions that would be helpful to your class instruction. If you haven't joined that group yet, you might want to take a look. 

On the other hand, I imagine that some of the topics will have broad appeal such as motivation issues for our learners.

Best,

Daryl 

S Jones's picture
One hundred

Howdy all.   I'm an "academic development specialist" at Parkland College, which means that I work with students in pre-college level courses.  I provide mostly academic support; my background is in Learning Disabilities and Gifted Ed (tho' my bachelors' was in Wildlife Biology).  Right now we're so shorthanded I don't have time to say any more ...

Charles MacArthur - U Delaware's picture
First

Hi,

I'm looking forward to participating in this new discussion group. I am a professor at the University of Delaware, where I teach courses on literacy problems and on writing instruction and development. A few years ago, I completed a research project on decoding instruction for adult basic education learners. I'm excited that the complete version of the curriculum is finally available (free) on the LINCS site. ( http://lincs.ed.gov/publications/making_sense ).

I currently have an R&D project developing curriculum for basic writing classes in colleges and community colleges. Parts of the curriculum have also been used in adult education programs. It applies what we have learned about self-regulated strategy instruction with adolescents to older groups of students.

Charles "Skip" MacArthur

 

DMellard's picture
One hundred

Skip,

Let's work on some strategies for acquainting the group about your curriculum. 

In addition to providing an overview of the materials, we might emphasize the professional development that's needed and then the implementation supports to ensure that it is implemented as intended.

Best,

Daryl

Heidi's picture
Fifty

Great news for a Friday! The National Academies of Science has completed a webpage that compiles all the materials related to the 2012 research synthesis report, Improving Adult Literacy instruction. All are available as free pdf downloads. Read them on your ereader! http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/Adult_Literacy/index.htm

*New* are two booklets based on the report that are practitioner-friendly and bring several big ideas together in a clear and usable way.

  1. Developing Reading and Writing – This booklet includes the findings and instructional recommendations from the research, such as effective practices in reading, writing, instruction for adult English language learners, and best practices for those who struggle with literacy.
  1. Supporting Learning and Motivation – This booklet includes the research and principles of instructional design and adult motivation. Some of this research is newly applied to the field of adult literacy development.

Programs and individuals can also request copies of these booklets to be delivered in paperback/magazine style copy, for a nominal fee (following link on the main site).

I look forward to discussions, guest facilitated and otherwise, about these important new resources for our field.

Best, Heidi Silver-Pacuilla

DMellard's picture
One hundred

Heidi,

Thank you for bringing these materials to the group's attention.

I believe that they can be very helpful in providing the research-base for our practitioners concerned with literacy participants' learning and motivation.

These resouces will be helpful to our discussions.

Appreciatively,

Daryl

tluffman's picture
First

HI everyone,

I am a developmental Reading and Writing instructor at Yavapai College in central Arizona. Previously I was a GED Coordinator and a Learning Center Coordinator here at the college. My background in college was in rhetoric, composition, and professional writing, but my experience and passion, as you can see, has been largely with developmental students.

Hoping to have great conversations with you all!

Tina Luffman, Faculty

KatPBennett's picture
First

Hello! My name is Kat Bradley-Bennett. I teach two levels of ESL to adult immigrants for St. Vrain Valley Adult Education in Longmont, Colorado. Before this job, I taught for two years at a university in South Korea and for a short time at a foreign languages university in Xi'an, China before that.

I'm currently in a Masters program at Colorado State University, pursuing a Masters in Adult Education and Training. I also manage the ESL section of  St. Vrain Valley Adult Education, serve as the school's Learning Needs Coordinator, and participate in the training of volunteers. 

One reason I have for joining this discussion thread is that we recently had to change our assessment from CASAS Life and Work Listening to CASAS Life and Work Reading.  The switch has drastically changed the dynamics of our classrooms, and it has profound implications on our instruction. Whereas, before we were incorporating more listening and speaking skills, and supplementing literacy on an as-needed basis with one-on-one tutoring, our focus now has to be on literacy first, accommodating listening and speaking deficits in other ways.

I'm interested in reading how others are delivering literacy instruction, especially reading, as well as what research is out there.

My time to participate in discussions is very limited, but I look forward to sharing when I can.

 

Kat Bradley-Bennett

DMellard's picture
One hundred

Kat,

I'm wondering if you have a sense of students' response to the switch in assessments. 

My sense is that the switch would be viewed as a positive change but then perhaps the students' goals were/are more aligned with one measure or the other. I also assume that students only took one of the assessments so they might have limitied sense of what the other version offered.

Best,

Daryl

carolrac's picture
First

Hello,

My name is Carol Rachfalski and I am a teacher at an adult high school in New Jersey. At the present time I am teaching Basic Skills Math and Consumer Education, although I've taught Basic Skills Reading too. I've joined this group hoping to share and discuss information with other adult education professionals and maybe gain some knowledge of the lastest techniques being used in the field.

Listevens's picture
First

Hi,

    My name is Linda Stevens. I am IS/IAS for Worcester County Adult Education. I have been with the Adult Education Program for eleven years. 

I am looking forward to an informative exchange of ideas with others sharing like concerns. Currently, I am busy "closing out" previous students by

helping them get their GED before 2014 and keeping abreast of the new 2014 test information.

virginia garrett's picture
First

Hi, I’m Ginny Garrett. I’ve taught for over 35 at Plymouth High School, NC, reading and English, and Sinclair Community College, Dayton OH, developmental reading and English and ESOL. While at Sinclair, I also directed and taught an ABE program which served ESOL students. Now that I am retired, I volunteer as an ESOL tutor with the Craven Literacy Council in NC. I have been an avid reader of the many posts over the years and have continued to learn so much.

Kathy_Tracey's picture
One hundred

Hi everyone, 

My name is Kathy Tracey and I coordinate the i-Pathways project. (http:www.i-pathways.org). I have worked in adult literacy education for close to 16 years and my focus right now is how to best utilize technology in learning. I recently found this insightful video on youtube and I wonder if anyone else has seen it or has any thoughts about it. The Reading Crisis and I wonder as we work toward selecting appropriate curriculum to prepare students for the new changes in testing, what should we be looking for? 

Sincerely, 

Kathy 

 

 

Alison's picture
First

Hello:

I am a career changer in the field of adult ESL.  I teach both our academic programs and our life skills programs at our community college in New York.  Specifically, I try to prepare students for the listening and speaking portions of the iBT, and work with students on writing and grammar.  I find my weakness is in teaching advanced pronunciation to students (such as rhythm and intonation) and moving students from grammar exercises into meaningful writing assignments.

Unfortunately, we do not have the availability of frequent professional development in my department, so I truly look for any material to keep my teaching fresh.

 

Thank you.

Alison Puntino

Queensborough Community College - New York

Bonnie Lash Freeman's picture
First

Good Day to all in this community!

I am Bonnie Lash Freeman.  I am interested in this community because family engagement, working with families that are described as being a part of the 47%, and focusing on the children of these families has been my life's work.  I find myself drawn to organizations and groups that work to create environments where these families can thrive and empower themselves.  I look forward to the discussions on equity and diversity.

cfischer's picture
First

Hi all.  I am the Coordinator/Instructional Specialist for the ABE, GED and ESL program at Harford Community College.  I also train the one-on-one reading tutors.  I am looking forward to what I can learn from all of you.  Take care.

showerter's picture
First

I have been a GED instructor for many years now --- first with the Job Corps and now with a Native American tribe cash-assistance program.  I am interested in learning how to prepare my students for the changes to the GED beginning in 2014.  Plus, I would like any professional development I can get....Since I am not a part of a public schools district, I feel quite "on my own" as far as finding training.

Thanks for having me. I look forward to some good ideas and discussions.

cnelson's picture
First

My name is Sandi Myrick-Nelson and I am the Instructional Specialist at South Baltimore Learning Center.  I joined this group hoping to gain insight into how others are handling teaching the writing process.  I look forward to many lively discussions.

mary mcfadden's picture
First

My name is Mary McFadden, and I am a volunteer ABE tutor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I have never posted to the list, but have gotten so much valuable information from the posts.  I teach reading to students  (one-to-one)  using the Wilson Reading System.   Most of our students begin the program with reading levels well below grade 4 (many around grade 2).    Due to the great demand, we can only offer our students two 1-1/2 hour sessions per week.  It can be a long, slow process, and our greatest challenge is to get students (especially the younger ones) to stay committed to the program.  When students commit to it, it can be quite successful!

Wanona Dobbs's picture
First

Good morning!!

I'm a teacher in an ABE program in Holyoke, MA.  This year the program's teachers are teaching leveled subject based classes.  At present I am the Writing and Social Studies teacher for all levels 0-12.  I'm looking for some interesting activities in Writing (specifically the 0-3 levels) -- sometimes the mechanics can be "deadly".  I'm looking forward to "meeting" you all.

 

John Corcoran's picture
Ten

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

My name is John Corcoran and I am honored to join you on this forum. I believe that in America today, it is as important to teach an adult to read as it is to teach a child to read.

I learned to read at the age of 48 after going to a local library Adult Learning Center, taking a battery of diagnostic assessments and then receiving the research-based instructional methodology needed to teach me how to read. For the past 25 years, I have been advocating for literacy across the nation with the mission of preventing and eliminating illiteracy by teaching both children and adults to read. It is never too late to learn to read.

I look forward to continuing the conversation with all of you.

At your service,

John Corcoran

Oceanside, CA

www.johncorcoranfoundation.org

Shellie's picture
Ten

Dear John,

How wonderful that you learned to read! Your viewpoints as an adult learner will be invaluable on this discussion list.

Shellie

Betsy Rubin - Chicago's picture
First

I have heard your inspiring talks at conferences and seen your books. Thanks for sharing info about the John Corcoran Foundation.

Betsy Rubin

 

Betsy Rubin - Chicago's picture
First

 Whoops - my reply somehow posted twice and now I'm trying to figure out how to delete this second reply. All I can do is edit it - hence this apology.

:-}

 

ngreene's picture
First

My name is Neil Greene. I'm a Senior Analyst at the Center for Social Innovation, and an adjunct faculty member at Lasell College, where I teach health communication courses. I'm particularly interested in health literacy as a social justice issue. I've been drawn to it's growing scope, reading, numeracy, cultural, and civic. I see health literacy principles as plain old good communication and love how the national action plan calls for the integration of these principles into all sectors and fields. At C4, I've spent some time developing a curriculum for homeless service providers to integrate health literacy principles into their work by looking at this from both an organizational and individual standpoint.

R. Neil Greene
Senior Analyst, Center for Social Innovation
ngreene@center4si.com
200 Reservoir Street, Suite 202
Needham, MA 02494
(617) 467-6014

Shellie's picture
Ten

Hi all,

I'm Shellie Zeitlin, a retired elementary school teacher with a strong background in Learning Disabilities. I've tutored students (K-12) with Learning Disabilities for many years.

I entered the world of adult education when I became a tutor for Literacy Volunteers of Westchester-Rockland. I later became a BasicLiteracy trainer for them. Through LVWR, i became involved with Learn to Achieve and am a certified trainer for them.

I joined this group because of my interest in reading and writing and also to learn more about the world of adult education.

Camilia's picture
Ten

Hello All,

About Camilia: My name is Camilia Sadik. I used to teach ABE and I am now a spelling consultant. I spent 15 years dissecting English and developing a curriculum to learn to spell 20 to 50 words an hour.

 

Camilia's Articles: My views are very different from traditional teaching. For instance, I believe dyslexia is acquired and it can be easily prevented or ended. Some of the articles I have written are:

1- Why can't we spell?

2- Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia

3- Uncovering the Mystery of Dyslexia

4- Dyslexia Solutions

 

I wish to engage in conversations about phonics, spelling and dyslexia. I'm looking forward to meeting you all.

danielson44's picture
First

Hello Camilia,

I have been involved with this "discussion" for at least three years and there has been some lively discourse on each of the four topics you have written articles about.  Most of the contributors to this discussion are involved with adult education.  When the subject of phonics was first initiated some of the teachers actually couldn't believe that many adults don't know how to read because they are NBT - "never been taught". They simply do not know how the English language works: phonetically and grammatically.  As an elementary teacher who was college educated in the 60s I know that we were sent into the classroom quite ignorant of "intensive phonics" and actually prejudiced against the subject. How did you first become educated in the subject?  For me, it was finally reading WHY JOHNNY CAN'T READ in 1980.

Sharon Hillestad

The Right to Read Fnd  Fl Rep  

Camilia's picture
Ten

Hi Sharon,

Rudolf Flesch, the author of Why Johnny Can't Read, saw in English what the reading establishment couldn't see because he was born and raised in Austria where each letter stood for only one sound. He figured out that not reading but the look-and-say and word guessing was taught in American schools. His focus was on reading solutions and mine is on spelling solutions.

 

I acquired dyslexia only in English, but not in my first two languages. I was old enough to remember how I acquired dyslexia in English. Phonics' inconsistency caused me to be a poor speller and poor spelling caused me to acquire dyslexia. I was forced into speed-reading before learning to spell words and forced speed-reading caused me to see and then to spell letters in a reversed manner. I explain this entire process and much more in details in my article entitled "Uncovering the Mystery of Dyslexia by Camilia Sadik."

 

By the way, people are not born dyslexics; they are born analyzers who need logic before they can memorize the spelling of English words, and only analyzers can become poor spellers and then acquire dyslexia.

Masha Bell's picture
Ten

I would like to take part in discussions about phonics, spelling and dyslexia.

My speciality are

the inconsistencies of English spelling,

the learning difficulties they create

and the costs they entail,

and also the history of English spelling.

I have written many articles and several books on those topics

but have increasingly also tried to put the most important information in them

on my website and two blogs.

Masha Bell
Ex English teacher, now independent literacy researcher
www.EnglishSpellingProblems.co.uk
http://EnglishSpellingProblems.blogspot.com
http://ImprovingEnglishSpelling.blogspot.com
and Youtube video 'Why improve English spelling?'
Wareham, Dorset, UK

Camilia's picture
Ten

Marsha,

 

How would you define dyslexia and what is its relationship to spelling?

 

What is your stand on dyslexia? Do you agree that dyslexia is acquired and caused by poor spelling or do think it is innate and it causes poor spelling?

 

When my dyslexic students read my article about how dyslexia is acquired, they too remember the steps they acquired dyslexia.

Kelli Sandman Hurley's picture
First

Hello all! My name is Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley and I am the co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute and the co-producer of Dyslexia for a Day:A Simulation Kit. We provide online courses about dyslexia and the Orton-Gillingham approach. Locally, in San Diego, we are advocates, reading therapists and provide diagnostic assessments at two learning centers.

I love to talk and teach about dyslexia, reading, spelling and everything that is involved in those areas so I look forward to being a member of this list.

 

 

Camilia's picture
Ten

Dr. Sandman-Hurley,

How would you define dyslexia?

 

What is your stand on dyslexia? Do you agree that dyslexia is acquired or do think it is innate?

 

Looking forward to a direct discussion about dyslexia with you!

 

I am also in San Diego, California.

LetyA18's picture
First

Hello everyone, my name is Lety short for Leticia. This is my second year working with adults ESL and also currently teaching in an elementary public school working with children that have reading difficulties. Yes, I am the Dyslexia Teacher.  I have been working in the Dyslexia Lab for the past four years and I am still learning.  I can agree with some of you that dyslexia causes spelling problems and on the other hand, spelling causes dyslexia due to the fact that many children have all or most of the characteristics below or discussed in this panel. It seems that every case is different depending on their background. Every year is a challenge, trying to assist these children with strategies that can help them cope with their disability.

I have read the book, "The Gift of Dyslexia" and cannot wait to see You Tube's "Why improve English Spelling?" as well as read some of the other books listed in this discussion.

According to the International Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.  Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

The Texas Education Code (TEC) 38.003 defines dyslexia in the following way: (1) Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.  (2) Related disorders includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.

 

Shellie's picture
Ten

Lety,

 I, too taught dyslectic children in pubic achool I found that the system waited too long to give these children services. They had to be at least 2 yers behind. Had the lag been less, the children would have been able to progress at a better rate. Hopefully, Rti will geet services to children faster.

I find it interesting that in doing functional MRI's they have found the brains of dyslexic people differ from the brains of non-dyslexics. The US government's National Institutes of Health has said that dyslexia is brain-based. They cam out with a consensus definition because each constituency in LD had a dfferent viewpoint.

Dyslexic children aren't the only ones who can't spell. There are non-dyslexic people who can't spell. As an example,my sister, an avid reader, who does the NYTimes Crossword puzzles in ink, can't spell. I know a highly respected lawyer who can't spell. Poor spelling isn't limited to dyslexic people.

Children begin to learn to read before theybegin to learn to spell. If you have ever watched a beginning reader do writing, you will discover that they write without vowels and usually don't leave spaces between their words. Yet they can read what they write, and if you lok at their writing as they are reading it to you, yo will see that it makes sense.

I agree that there was a time when there wasn't a systematic teachng of phonics. Children need to make connections just as adults do. Without the connections, it doesn't go into long-term memory.

Anyone witth reading problems, dyslexic or not, needs systemtic instruction in reading using a multisensory approach. Some adults resist because they think it's too juvenile but it up to us as adult educators to adapt materials to adult needs.

Shellie

Camilia's picture
Ten

Hello All

To all those who are still interested in Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia

Briefly:

-Why can’t we spell? English spelling is inconsistent and the spelling of every sound in every single word is based strictly on memorization without any logical spelling rules to explain when and why to spell a sound one way and not the other. We must memorize isolated phonics like “ph=f” and also memorize which phonic to choose when spelling every single sound in every English word like choosing “sophisticated” or “sofisticated.”

 

-Poor Spelling has to do with not knowing which phonics to choose when spelling English sounds in words. The reason the vast majority of native-English speakers can read but cannot always spell the words that they read is that one English sound can be spelled in many different ways. Most can READ the numerous spelling patterns of a sound, but cannot always remember which pattern to choose when spelling that sound in words. For instance, they may read “ocean” but spell it oceon or ocian or ocion or osion or otion or oseon or oshin or oshon or osheon or ochin, etc. The “ocean” example is only one out of thousands.

 

-There are those who are born memorizers and those who are born analyzers. Memorizers can memorize the spelling of words without any logical explanation. Analyzers, on the other hand, are those who question anything that doesn't make sense. They need logical explanations that make sense or spelling rules before they can memorize the spelling of words.

 

-English spelling was written for memorizers, not for analyzers. The inconsistency in the way we spell phonics in words causes poor spelling among analyzers but not among memorizers.

 

-Extremely logical kids (analyzers) fall behind with reading and spelling because their brains reject learning all that does not make sense. They reject the way English words are written and reject learning to read or spell such nonsense. For instance, they see a sentence like "My cat is cute." and question why it isn't written "Mi kat iz qut."

 

-Dyslexia in written English is a condition in which persons are obsessed with speed-writing and in their haste they write letters in a reversed manner. Example, writing "fro" instead of "for."

 

-Yes dyslexics are born with a different type of a brain but it is NOT a learning disabled brain; it is simply an extremely logical brain that requires logical explanations before it can memorize anything.

 

-Analyzers become poor spellers before the 3rd grade. Poor spellers fall behind and feel forced to speed-read to keep up with the rest of their classmates. Speed-reading before learning to read and spell is like forcing a baby to run before s/he can crawl or walk. While speed-reading, poor spellers quickly move their vision from left to right and vice versa. In their haste, they see letters in reverse and then write them in reverse and this is how dyslexia is acquired. Dyslexia is an advanced stage of poor spelling. Thus, every dyslexic is a poor speller but not every poor speller is dyslexic.

I' trying to be brief but I have much more to share. Please ask me for more details if you are still interested in my approach.

Camilia Sadik

Masha Bell's picture
Ten

I agree with your views on dyslexia, Camilia,

but I hope that before long we can go further than merely continue searching for better ways of helping those who find learning to read and write English very difficult. I would like us to begin considering a reduction of the spelling irregularities which make English literacy acquisition difficult not just for bright dyslexics, which are even more harmful to pupils in the bottom third of the ability range.

In fact, English spelling inconsistencies disadvantage all children. Even the brightest need much more time for learning to read and write than with more learner-friendly orthographies like the Finnish one. The further down the ability range pupils are, the longer they need for coping with phonic inconsistencies like those of 'o' in ‘on - only, once, other, woman, women, womb' and unpredictable spelling like those for the 'oo' sound in 'blue shoe flew through to you too'.

Because reading and writing are essential for learning other school subjects, pupils who need longer for learning to read and write have delayed and more limited access to the rest of the curriculum. If we improved English spelling, we would greatly improve the educational prospects of nearly half of all pupils.

I may have already mentioned that I have written another book about English spelling, but my EnglishSpellingProblems blogs already explained some of its worst costs, as well as its teaching and learning problems.

Among the worst retardants of English literacy progress are:

surplus -e endings (give, imagine, promise - cf. drive, define, compromise),

other redundant letters (friend, build, Wednesday),

including needlessly doubled consonants (arise – arrive);

omitted consonant doubling (shoddy - body)

and the many unpredictable spellings for the /ee/ sound (seek – speak, seize, siege, scene).

Those inconsistencies could easily be amended, given more concern for the educational progress of all children, rather than just the top half of the ability range who can cope with them with relative ease.

The consistency of English spelling was diluted predominantly in the 16th century, partly accidentally and partly deliberately, as I have summarised in http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-english-spelling-became-so.html and explained in more detail in my little ebook which Kindle owners can currently borrow from amazon for free for a month.

Schoolmasters began to standardise the chaos, by selecting the most used spelling for a word, but without any regard for logical consistency or ease of learning. They perversely embraced the use of identical letters for different sounds (ease, ear – early, learning) and different spellings for identical sounds (wear, hair, care, there, their). Their spelling choices later became enshrined authoritatively in Johnson’s dictionary of 1755, along with further complications of his own.  

I think it is high time to begin questioning our slavish obedience to dictionaries and to start reviewing the ‘correctness’ of the many mindboggling spellings which became standardised between 1600 and 1755. Do we want to keep tolerating the many costs which the inconsistencies of English spelling entail, or can we find the courage to start reducing them?

Masha Bell

Camilia's picture
Ten

What is a phonic? A phonic is a single sound that can be produced by two or more letters, like the “ph” in “geography” or by one letter that does not sound like its letter name, like the “o” in “choir” that sounds like a “w.” In English, we have 26 letters plus over 180 symbols of sounds we call phonics.

 

Dear Masha,

Thank you for your comments. I am afraid you and I have two very different approaches. My solutions for the problems associated with phonics, spelling & dyslexia are in my three books in nine volumes, but notice that I do not advertise my Web site or books here and limit this venue to discussions only.

I suggest keeping businesses out of this venue. What do you think?

Kind regards,

Camilia Sadik

 

Masha Bell's picture
Ten

Firstly, I am happy to keep business out of these discussions, because I am not in business or have business interests. I have written some books, but purely to inform, not to make money.

I began to take a closer look at English spelling and its problems and to write about them in 1995, after health problems forced me to retire from teaching English and modern languages at the age of 50. This coincided with poor literacy standard suddenly attracting great media attention in the UK and being invariably blamed on poor teaching.

Because I had first started to learn English at the age of 14, after Lithuanian and Russian, next learned German, and later went on to study French and also some Spanish and Italian, I was already aware that the English spelling system differs greatly from other alphabetic ones. The media hysteria about poor spelling standards and their vilification of teachers made me want to establish exactly how regular and irregular English spelling is and how it differs from other orthographies. My newly found spare time gave me the opportunity to devote myself to a proper analysis of the English spelling system, to examine what types of spelling errors students and adults commit, which spellings cause the greatest learning difficulties and also how English spelling became so inconsistent.

I also started writing articles and letters to the press about it and a book, but only because I wanted to tell people what I had learned, not to make money. Before the advent of the internet that was the usual way of spreading information.

The internet has enabled me to educate people about English spelling for free. Firstly, the few pounds I earned from writing enabled me to pay for a web designer and for web hosting and to put the most important facts from my book on a free website - www.EnglishSpellingProblems.co.uk. I am starting a web design course in a couple of weeks so that I can amend it myself, without having to pay someone for it.

The advent of blogs has enabled me to continue explaining the English spelling system in a different way. I have put much of the information from http://EnglishSpellingProblems.blogspot.com  and http://ImprovingEnglishSpelling.blogspot.com in a cheap little ebook as well, because I want the information I have compiled to be available in different formats, to as many people as possible, and hopefully also long after I am 6 ft under.

So please do not misunderstand me. I am passionate about my writing, but I write to inform, educate and make people think - not to make money.

 I hope that by taking part in discussions on here I can continue to improve understanding of the English spelling system and its effects.

Masha Bell

 

Masha Bell's picture
Ten

Camilia

We will have to agree on terminology.

In the UK we call the 44 sounds of English 'phonemes'

and the letters and letter strings, such 'y' or 'ihg' (fly high), which we use for writing them 'graphemes'.

 

Phonics is used for the teaching method which teaches students the sounds for the graphemes and their use in writing.

There are several types of them (synthetic, analytic, linguistic). One of the earliest was Jollyphonics first published in 1996.

It has been much expanded since then and is still going, despite many new ones appearing on the market since the Rose Review of 2006 which endorsed 'systematic' phonics as the best strategy for the teaching of early reading, 'for learning to read', for roughly the 1st year of learning, then to be increasinly replaced, by 'reading for learning'. The government incorporated the recommendations of the Rose Review in its Letters and Sounds (2007) guidance to teachers, written by advocates of phonics, but many other phonics experts thought it inadequate. (Instead of the old reading wars we now have the new phonics wars.)

Phonics evangelists interpreted the Rose Review as endorsing their particular approach. They invariably blame literacy failure on insufficient use of phonics. And although Rose recommended 'phonics' mainly just for the first year of learning to read and write, they recommend its use for much longer, using the term phonics for almost all teaching of reading and writing, although they are quite vague about what exactly phonics means in literacy teaching after the initial phase.  

 

 

 

tzurinskas's picture
First

I'm not familiar with the term "a phonic" as a noun (or "a phonetic" as well).  It's given in the dictionary as an adjective, such as "a phonic analysis".  The term "phonics" (plural)  is a noun which is the study of the patterns of regular spelling and the various ways letters or letter strings spell the sounds (phonemes) of a language.  

To this end here is a listing of phonic spellings for each of the 40 sounds of US Englsh.  It is unique in that it analyzes the top 5k words of English via a count of how often they appear in regular text (totaling 15.4 million instances).  This makes up about 90% of words on a typical page.  

See  http://justpaste.it/phonemefreq  which shows the top 6 spellings per each phoneme (represented in truespel phonetics)

 

Kathy's picture
First

Hi, My name is Kathy. I am looking forward to the discussion with this group.

Debra Running's picture
First

My name is Debbie Running and I am the Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha (Wisconsin).  We provide one-on-one tutoring to individuals who need to improve their basic skills including reading, writing, spelling, math, English as a second language, citizenship and GED prep.  We use a lot of curriculum materials from New Readers Press, but I am always interested in a learning more about available of curriculum materials.

KatPBennett's picture
First

I have to agree with Masha. The individual sounds are called phonemesPhonics is a method of teaching based on the phonetic interpretation of the spelling.

In teaching literacy at low ESL levels, phonemes are of utmost importance in bottom-up strategies.  In teaching pronunciation, phonemes are considered the segmentals of spoken language. They are of equal importance to the suprasegmentals, which are rhythm and intonation.

 

Kat Bradley-Bennett

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

Yes, this is accurate.  In English the inividual sounds are "phonemes," while "phonics" is the method..

A question:  44 individual sounds.  Where did this understanding come from, does anybody know?

Where can I find the letters and letter combinations associated with these sounds?

 

Andrea

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

I do research on adult literacy.  Though I have contributed many times o nthe other lists, I have been away from he field--until now--for some time.

I am most interested in the basics, meaning of terms, what succeeds and what doesn't, what research backs up successful teaching.

 

Andrea

Masha Bell's picture
Ten

Andrea

The phonemes differ slightly between accents.

In standard UK English they are as follows:

43 clear sounds, as listed and shown in words below:

/a/ (ant), /ai/ (rain),   /ar/ (arm),   /air/ (air),   /au/ (autumn), 

/b/ (bed),   /ch/ (chip),   /d/ (dog),   

/e/ (egg),   /ee/ (eel),   /er/ (herb),  

/f/ (fish),   /g/ (garden),   /h/ (house),  

/i/ (ink),   /igh (high),   /j/ (jug),   /k/ (kite),  

/l/ (lips),   /m/ (man), /n/ (nose),   /ng/ (ring),  

/o/ (on),  /oe/ (toe),  /oi/ (coin), 

long /oo/ (food),  short /oo/ (wood), /or/ (order),   /ou/ (out),  

/p/ (pin),   /r/ (rug),   /s/ (sun),   /sh/ (shop),  

/t/ (tap),   /th/ (this),   /th/ (thing),  

/u/ (cup),  /ue/ (cue),   /v/ (van),  /w/ (window),   /y/ (yak),  /z/ (zip),  /si/ (television)

     It also has an unstressed half-vowel which linguists call ‘schwa

which occurs mainly in endings and is often spelt <e>, as in ‘flatten, flatter, artery, decide’.

 

Another way of listing them is

24 consonants:

b,  d,   f,   g,   h,   j,   k,   l,   m,   n,   p,   r,   s,   t,   v,  w,  y,  z,  ch,  ng, sh,  th, th (this thing),  zh (vision).

and 19 ½ vowels:

long and short  a,  e,  i,  o,  u  and   oo; au, oi, ou, ar, are, er, or

 (bat, bate, set, scene, bit, bite, not, note, cut, cute, boot, foot; autumn, oil, out, car, care, her, nor).

and

an indistinct, unstressed half-vowel, as in - abandon, certain, critical, evidence, acceptance.

 

If those 44 sounds had just one spelling, learning to read and write English would be as easy as Finnish or Estonian.

English literacy acquisition is difficult and time-consuming because those 44 sounds are written with at least 205 graphemes (single letters or letter strings like 'ie', 'igh' or 'ough') http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2009/12/rules-and-exceptions-of-english.html

and least 69 of them have more than one pronunciation

http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2009/12/reading-problems.html

 

 

 

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

Masha,

Thanks very much for taking the tme to write this out.

The list is very helpful.

 

Andrea

Kaye Beall's picture
One hundred

As a project director for the U.S. Division of World Education, I coordinate the online professional development initiative, managing the development and delivery of courses for adult educators.  We offer courses on the topics of college and career readiness, adult student persistence, differentiated instruction, and reading through ProfessionalStudiesAE.  

I also co-direct the LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, promoting and disseminating evidence-based resources and training materials, and partnering with states to provide research-based professional development.  

I have worked in adult literacy since 1980, serving as an instructor and local program director, state consultant, program development director, training coordinator, and state outreach coordinator.

My interest in joining the list is to keep current with research and resources related to providing reading and writing instruction.

Camilia's picture
Ten

When I started a discussion about Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia, and then asked "What is a phonics?" I wanted to eventually describe the relationship between Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia. My intention was to show that the inconsistency in the way we spell the English sounds we call phonics causes poor spelling and that poor spelling causes dyslexia.

 

I had no idea that the discussion was going to deviate from the original subject of Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia and get caught up in defining, useless to the learners, linguistic terms like "phonemes." A "phoneme" is the smallest segment of a sound and it add no value to what I am trying to describe.

 

I urge all to define what they think a word means and not to define it using a dictionary or google. In fact, I've alienated many terms, including phonics, from their traditional meaning and granted them my own new meaning.

 

This was my original message here:

Hello All,

About Camilia: My name is Camilia Sadik. I used to teach ABE and I am now a spelling consultant. I spent 15 years dissecting English and developing a curriculum to learn to spell 20 to 50 words an hour.

 

Camilia's Articles: My views are very different from traditional teaching. For instance, I believe dyslexics and poor spellers do NOT have learning disabilities but others who don't understand them do. Some of the articles I have written are:

1- Why can't we spell?

2- Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia

3- Uncovering the Mystery of Dyslexia by Camilia Sadik

4- Dyslexia Solutions

 

I wish to engage in focused discussions about phonics, spelling and dyslexia solutions. I'm looking forward to meeting you all.

Shellie's picture
Ten

Camilla,

In order to have an intelligent conversation, there needs to be a common understanding of terms. If I define the large green-skinned fruit that is red and juicy inside as an orange, and you know it as a watermelon, we can't have a converstion about watermelon.To me,a watermelonis a small orange fruit with a large pit inside, known to others as an apricot..

The same is true when talking about spelling, phonics and dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disability, one of many different kinds. It has a specific meaning. Much research has been done on dyslexia, albeit in the K-12 realm but research is moving into the adult world. In all the reading I have done in the field of  learning disabilities and dyslexia, I have not found a researcher who maintains that poor spelling is a cause of dyslexia. There are many people, without dyslexia, who are less than perfect spellers. I would appreciate knowing what researchers you have found that maintain that poor spelling causes dyslexia.

Since you define words as you please, what is your definition of phonics, and dyslexia? What, in you point of view, is the difference between dyslexia and a reading problem? Not all people with a reading problem are dyslexic. I would appreciate it if you would clarify your definitions.

 

Thanks,

Shellie

Camilia's picture
Ten

Shellie,

About agreeing on terms, that has to come after focused discussions and I can convince you that we need do away with obsolete traditional terms that kept and have been keeping millions illiterate. Part of the problem is that traditional teaching does not know what these terms mean.

 

Just about everything I do or say is dissimilar and I alone have true solutions to reading phonics, spelling words, and preventing or ending dyslexia. Example: A term I've alienate from its traditional meaning is "semivowels" and I granted it a new meaning. Here is a bit about my semivowels theory:  

 

Semivowels: The semivowels l, m, n, r, and s are consonants yet each one of them has some sound. Standing without vowels, other consonants have no sounds of their own. The semivowels, however, do have some sounds of their own, even when not said with vowels. For example, saying the sound of “s” without a vowel still makes the sound of “s.”

 

The semivowels have various effects on the vowels that precede them. For examples, they can sometimes make the preceding vowels long: The “l” in “cold” makes the “o” long, the “m” in “comb” makes the “o” long, the “n” in “mind” makes the “i” long, the “r” in “port” makes the “o” long, and the “s” in “taste” makes the “a” long. My semivowels theory is in five pages. I am willing to share it with you if you ask me to do so.

 

After dissecting English for 15 years and never failing to teach the spelling of 20 to 50 words an hour and never failing to easily prevent dyslexia before the 3rd grade and never  failing to end dyslexia among those who have it, I consider myself an authority on Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia. An authority can alienate terms from their traditional meaning and grant them new meaning.

 

In addition, I have discovered over 100 spelling rules that no one had seen or heard of before. I've written nine phonics and spelling books and countless articles about phonics, spelling & dyslexia solutions. I try not to post anything about my books here to keep marketing away from these discussions. Let's keep this site for discussions not for marketing.

 

Shellie,

If you wish for me to prove to you that poor spelling causes dyslexia, the answer is in my eight-page article entitled "Uncovering the Mystery of Dyslexia by Camilia Sadik." Please let me know if you want me to send it to you.

 

Kind regards,

Camilia Sadik

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

Camilia,

 

As commonly understood, dyslexia is an inherent brain malfunction which shows up in reading and other areas, also.

It is probably caused by ectopias in the developing brain of the fetus.

Spelling cannot cause it.  Teaching can remediate it. 

 

Alienating meaning, by which as I understand  you derive new meanings for the words you use, will cause you difficulties here as we probably don't

understand what you are saying.  Possibly some creative teachers can use methods that enable a person to read more easily.  This does not

mean, however, that dyslexia does not exist, only that some methods are more successful than others.

 

Andrea

 

Camilia's picture
Ten

Andrea,

Dyslexia comes in degrees; we see it in spelling as in the reversed spelling of "hte" for "the" and also we hear it in speech as in saying "aks" for "ask." Please ask me for more details if you wish. Of course, if a person cannot read at all, s/he will at a later stage acquire dyslexia in spelling and may or may not acquire it in speech. Dyslexia is about reversing letters and reversing letters is a result of being forced into speed-reading and speed-spelling before learning to read or spell. It is like forcing a baby to run before she can crawl or walk.

 

English is my third language and I acquired dyslexia only in English but not in my other two languages. Languages like Italian, Austrian, Arabic, and German that use the same letter each time that sound is written do NOT have dyslexia.

 

Analyzers & Memorizers: People any people are not born dyslexics but they are born either memorizers or analyzers. Memorizers can memorize the spelling of English words by simply looking at them; analyzers cannot do that. Analyzers may or may not read "character" and if they can read it, they may not remember how to spell it-they may write "karakter" instead. An analyzer cannot memorize anything without logic first; s/he is so logical that he expects to see "My cat is cute." to be written "Mi kat iz qut."

 

Most other languages do not have remedial reading courses; all learn to read and spell before or by the end of the 3rd grade. The reason we have so many who cannot read or spell in English is that one English sound is spelled in many different ways: action, ocean, expression, cushion, etc. In English, every single word must be memorized independently; this is unheard of in languages that use one symbol to write a sound each time that sound is written.

 

I am trying to start a revolution against what is commonly understood: So far, what is commonly understood is obsolete, got us nowhere, and kept most of us illiterate. It was commonly understood that our earth was flat but then Galileo went against all to prove it was round. Like Galileo, I too have countless proofs too long to list here to support all of my discoveries against what is "commonly understood." There is not one person who read what I have written or listened to me in conferences like the COABE conference that did not agree with me; I mean it not one person. My wish is to be discovered by the rest of the world so illiteracy in English can be rooted out.

 

Thank you,

Camilia Sadik

Masha Bell's picture
Ten

When I read your claim,

I alone have true solutions to reading phonics, spelling words, and preventing or ending dyslexia

followed by,

After dissecting English for 15 years and never failing to teach the spelling of 20 to 50 words an hour and never failing to easily prevent dyslexia before the 3rd grade and never failing to end dyslexia among those who have it, I consider myself an authority on Phonics, Spelling & Dyslexia.

In addition, I have discovered over 100 spelling rules that no one had seen or heard of before,

my first though was that u are not worth reading or replying to. There are hundreds of literacy experts who make the same claims. There have been for at least a century. They are all equally certain of their originality and their worth. 

Many of your claims about English spelling are also not accurate. Not all but only half of English words need to be individually memorised for spelling. English does have 91 main spelling patterns or rules. Most of them have only handfuls of exceptions (e.g. at least 300 words are spelt on the pattern of 'fat, cat, sat, .. rang, sprang'  – with merely 3 exceptions: plait, plaid, meringue).

Literacy progress is most impeded by the numerous exceptions to just 14 patterns, and among those,  the inconsistent use of just 7 spelling ruless or patterns is chiefly responsible for making learning to read and write English exceptionally difficult and slow.

Like u, I learned English as my third language (after Lithuanian and Russian). I have also been analysing English spelling for nearly two decades, and I agree with most of what u say about English spelling and dyslexia:

Most other languages do not have remedial reading courses; all learn to read and spell before or by the end of the 3rd grade. The reason we have so many who cannot read or spell in English is that one English sound is spelled in many different ways: action, ocean, expression, cushion, etc. In English, every single word must be memorized independently; this is unheard of in languages that use one symbol to write a sound each time that sound is written.

Like u, I am also

trying to start a revolution against what is commonly understood.

I see making some amendments to the irregular spellings as the best and most certain way of reducing English literacy problems.

What is your solution?

 

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

Hi Masha,

 

I would be very interested in reading more deeply about the structure of English, meaning the history of English words and how they are spelled.

What works can you recommend?

Andrea

 

Masha Bell's picture
Ten

Dear Andrea

Firstly I must confess to being biased.

I have written quite a bit about the development of English spelling myself, especially in my last book, the ebook 'SPELLING IT OUT: the problems and costs of English spelling' (July 2012), with earlier shorter versions on my website (2006) http://www.englishspellingproblems.co.uk/html/history.html and on my blog http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-english-spelling-became-so.html (2010).

Donald Scragg's 'The History of English Spelling' (1974) was the first book on the subject which I perused but found unsatisfactory, just like the latest by David Crystal 'Spell it out: the singular story of English spelling' (Sept 2012). Everything written by others that I have read has dwelt mainly on Old English (pre Chaucer) for which we have very little documentary evidence - because of time, wars, fires and plagues, and after the arrival of printing in 1476, people using old manuscripts for lighting fires or turning them into beer bottle stops (acc. to John Aubrey 1626-07).

Several comments in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language had suggested to me that printers had a far bigger effect on the development of English spelling than anything else, especially the ones who printed Tyndale's New Testament of 1526.

So I started researching the subject myself, mainly by reading old texts in their original spellings, starting with the complete works of Chaucer (ca 1340-1400), More's Utopia (1516), Tyndale's New Testament (1526), the 1611 Bible and many others which I could buy or borrow, and constantly collecting old spellings. This has left me very doubtful about the much claimed effects of the vowel the shifts and mostly just amazed by how haphazard, idiosycratic and indifferent to the needs of learners the development of English spelling has been.

Sorry about the long explanation, but I am becoming more and more convinced that general lack of awareness, or downright misinformation, about the development of English spelling is one of the main reasons for wide-spread reluctance to consider improving it.

For a balanced view, u should probably read Crystal's book and mine, although I (of course) think that mine is much better, despite being much shorter.

Masha

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

Masha,

I have read some other work by Crystal, and I look forward to reading your book, also, I know it will be useful.

I know that the history of English is rather a hash, I wanted to know if there were any patterns in the hash.

I, too, think that the printing press has had greater effect than is generally acknowledged.

Thank you SO MUCH for your explanation.

Andrea

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

Masha,

Re the printing press:  I think that the application that corrects misspelled words on our computers has now extended the influence of the

printing press.  I don't write "u" for "you," so I don't know if my computer will correct this.

Andrea

Andrea Wilder's picture
Ten

Masha,

Re the printing press:  I think that the application that corrects misspelled words on our computers has now extended the influence of the

printing press.  I don't write "u" for "you," so I don't know if my computer will correct this.

Andrea

valerie yule's picture
Ten

Few people understand spelling. Masha and Camilla give a perspective all teachers should know.

See also The Book of Spells and Misspells, a funny treasure-house of knowledge.  Buy or get the pdf from http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/spelling.htm

 

valerie yule's picture
Ten

Far more people speaking English consider themselves as dyslexic than in other alphabetic languages.

The reason is the task - spelling.  Cut unnecessarily difficult spellings and 'dyslexics' will be fewer.

Most people called dyslexic have not had a neurological examination.

Shellie's picture
Ten

Thank You Camilla. I would be most interested in reading your articles.

I must disagree with some of what you posted about semivowels. In the word cold, the l doesn't make the o a long sound. In old English the word was spelled colde, thus the final e made the o long. The same is true of the word mind. The e at the end of taste makes the a long. In the word port, the o  is not a long sound, at least not in the part of the United States where I am. The r does change the sound of the o, however.

Based on your theory of semivowels, how would you pronounce the words for, doctor, born? In my part of the world, none of these words are pronounced with a long o sound.

Thank you so much for your kind offer to send your article to me. I find your theories quite fascinating.

 

Shellie

Camilia's picture
Ten

Shellie,

This is the link to one of my articles entitled "Uncovering the Mystery of Dyslexia by Camilia Sadik": http://spellingrules.com/free-spelling-rules/uncovering-the-mystery-of-dyslexia/

The final e in taste is too far from the "a" because the final e rule only works when there is one consonant between the two vowels, not two "st" and in one syllable of course.

The "o" in "for" can be considered a long "o" but partially distorted by the controlling "r." The second "o" in doctor is a schwa, the "o" in born is also distorted by the "r."

Best,

Camilia Sadik

Shellie's picture
Ten

Camilla,

Thank you so much for posting the link to your article. I have not yet had a chance to do more than skim it but promise I will thoroughly read it through.

 

Shellie 

Shellie's picture
Ten

Welcome Kaye!Nice to have someone from the LINCs community aboaard.

Shellie

Betsy Rubin - Chicago's picture
First

Hello, I'm Betsy Rubin, the Adult & Family Literacy Specialist at Literacy Works, a non-profit organization in Chicago that provides training and knowledge-sharing opportunities to literacy programs, parent & family programs, and workforce development programs in Chicago. Each year we train hundreds of volunteer tutors and literacy professionals; we also provide writing workshops and parent workshops to small groups of adult learners.

I look forward to the info and resources to be shared by this group via this new medium - just now venturing in after being a longtime subscriber to the old group.

Betsy

PS Literacy Works' website offers extensive lists of web resources. I invite you to check out our Teaching Adults list, among others. (Over the years, we've gotten lots of ideas from fellow listservers!)

Shellie's picture
Ten

Welcome Betsy.

Your knowledge will be very welcomed on ths list.

Thank you for posting the link to your Teaching Adults list. I just skimmed it and found some additional resources to delve into, both for the trainings I do and for teaching teaching my ESL student.

 

Shellie

Arlene Crestuk's picture
First

Hi,

My name is Arlene Crestuk.  I have been an administrator in adult education for 12 years.  My responsibilities include teacher observations and supporting their professional development.  I hope to hear about strategies I can share with my teachers as they strive to increase their adult students' reading, writing and math skills.  We have ABE/GED classes as well as ESOL classes, and we find students in both having undiagnosed learning disabilities.  I look forward to learning more as I participate in your conversations!

Lorna's picture
First

Hello I'm Lorna, I'm from Guatemala, I am a native Spanish speaker, I learned English when I was 16 in NY, then came back to Guatemala and became a ESL teacher.  My experience is tutoring teens.  I also volunteer to adult ESL teaching in my community.  I find difficult to motivate people to read in English.  The process of learning ESL in Guatemala is usually very long so people sometimes just quit.  I hope I can learn a lot from LINCS community, so I can improve my teaching skills.

Lorna Lopez

susannaomi's picture
First

Greetings everyone! I am Susan Naomi Bernstein, a writer and educator in New York City.  My blog for Bedford/St. Martin's, "Beyond the Basics," can be found here: http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/devenglish/ and my new blog on living and learning with adult ADHD, "Seriously ADHD" can be found here: http://seriouslyadhd.blogspot.com/2012/10/seriously-adhd.html.  Currently I teach GED language arts prep and first-year college writing.

Laurie Jerome's picture
First

Hi- My name is Laurie Jerome and I am the director of a small, but dynamic Literacy Volunteers Program in Upstate New York. I also write curriculum and other educational materials. My background is in public school teaching, social work, and program development. I am passionate about the respectful reform and development of adult education in our country. As pioneers in this field, we are in a position of power- and need to collaborate to allow our best to surface. I am really interested in what other adult educators think, feel, know and do. 

 

rtaylor13's picture
Ten

Thanks for joining me for my "I did it" moment of the day.  With the change in the website, it has taken me several weeks to figure out how to open, read, and then comment on a post.

I am a supervisor for adult education and literacy for the state of Missouri. Just nine months ago, I packed up my twenty-five years of experience as classroom teacher, elementary administrator, and reading specialist to move to Jefferson City to work in adult education.  The LINCS community has been invaluable to me as I am a self-described "PD junkie," as I attempt to find the common ground between my work with children and my new position of leadership in adult education.

I am most often just a creeper in the community, and I try to read posts daily (now that I have figured out how to).  I would guess that for every frequent poster, there are probably dozens of readers.  As you can see from these comments, besides being interested in the content of Reading and Writing, I am also investigating tools of technology, and specifically discussion lists in terms of professional development for our AEL teachers.

I'd like to give a shout out to Kaye Beall who led me through the LINCS door and into this great community of learning.

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Middlebrook's picture
Ten

Hello to all!  I am glad to be catching up with the rest of you -- making the jump to the new format.  By way of introduction, my professional interests include: reading comprehension instruction; learning differences; the history of reading and readers; the future of reading and readers.  My work has, for well over two decades, been focused on the use of scrolls -- the ancient rolled book -- to reach struggling readers and to teach comprehension skills and course content to all readers.

The unrolled scroll is the only book format that is explicit -- which is to say that it is literally "unrolled" (ex + plicare), and hence fully revealed and wide open to understanding.  No other format does this -- which is why I think that scrolls are such a good fit for teaching and learning.  You'll find more about my work in the following places:

 
Dave Middlebrook's picture
Ten

Hello to all!  I am glad to be catching up with the rest of you -- making the jump to the new format.  By way of introduction, my professional interests include: reading comprehension instruction; learning differences; the history of reading and readers; the future of reading and readers.  My work has, for well over two decades, been focused on the use of scrolls -- the ancient rolled book -- to reach struggling readers and to teach comprehension skills and course content to all readers.

The unrolled scroll is the only book format that is explicit -- which is to say that it is literally "unrolled" (ex + plicare), and hence fully revealed and wide open to understanding.  No other format does this -- which is why I think that scrolls are such a good fit for teaching and learning.  You'll find more about my work in the following places:

 
brendazspace's picture
First

Hello everyone! 

I hope you all weathered the hurricane?

Well, my name is Brenda and I am currently a student at Marywood College- non traditonal (aka "older"). I have worked in the human service field for over 15 years, as well as with pre school children who are ESL and who come from a low SES. I have a son that suffers from dyslexia, and volunteer with an adult literacy program. Readin and writing skills are of the utmost import, and I feel that it is a community responsibility to ensure that everyone has the oppurtunity to learn...(how can you vote if you can't read the ballad or directions on the ballad?, how can you fill out an application, or know which shots your child is required to have, or even how to read your own perscription bottles....?)

I have joined this site in the hopes that I will be able to learn something from the other members, and will hopefully make some connections....

I look forward to meeting everyone, and to "picking each others brains".

Thank you for the welcome!

Sincerely,

Brenda

valerie yule's picture
Ten

 

I have been a teacher at all levels, from preschool to adult and migrant literacy, and so saw how disadvantaged students had to work harder than ordinary students, at any stage. Schools psychologist chiefly but not only in disadvantaged schools. Academic positions at Melbourne, Monash and Aberdeen Universities in departments of Psychology and Education; clinical child psychologist at the Royal Children’s Hospitals, Melbourne and Aberdeen. I carried out experiments which showed how much the unnecessarily difficult spellings handicapped the disadvantaged, dyslexic and foreign-born, and how simply removing this difficulty made it possible for most of them to learn more easily.   Unfortunately this was the period of Whole Language, and the establishment was hostile to phonic solutions and experiments in spelling. However I experimented even with the great and good at conferences - http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/spelling.htm#word  (Can you spell?  The best of us may not be perfect.) 

Now my experiments may be replicated by anyone, and my literacy innovations in all areas of literacy may be copied by anyone. 

 

http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/literacy.htm

 

 

 

JenDeCoste's picture
First

Thank you for welcoming me to the group!  My name is Jennifer DeCoste and I am a teacher and administrator at a local adult education center in Keene, NH.  I work with ABE, ESOL, GED and ADP students and have found that my background as a Reading Specialist really helps.  As a member of this group, I hope to learn more about teaching reading and writing to adult learners; I look forward to future discussions!

lorywee67's picture
First

Ms. Carson: 

My full name is LORIE C WEEDEN,  but go for lorywee67, from Knoxville, TN.

I work with the Knoxville Senior Aides Program, teaching Reading & Writing (spelling included) for the last seven months.

I hope and look forward that Reading and Writing activities be more comfortable for these adults.

Thanks Ms Carson.

lorywee67

(I'll be out of the country for a couple of months and be back by January/2013, God willing.) 

creid's picture
First

My name is Carey Reid.  I work with the System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES), which provides staff development activities for practitioners in state-funded literacy programs in Massachusetts.  Our office is located at World Education, where we help coordinate the activities of five regional training centers around the state.  I get to hobnob with fellow COP members such as Kaye Beall, a great WE colleague, and Wanona Dobbs, a fine teacher who labors in the fields of Western Massachusetts. 

I'm very grateful to Charles MacArthur, Judy Alamprese, and Deborah Knight for producing the full course of reading instruction for adult new readers posted for free at...well, I've just learned that it's hard to cut and paste into these Comment boxes, so you'll have to scroll back to Charles MacArthur's message to find the link. 

Your ever tech-challenged colleague,

 

Carey Reid

Staff Developer for Licensure, Assessment, and Curriculum

SABES @ World Education, Inc.

 

 

Lynn Saffer's picture
First

The Reading Crisis is a thought-provoking video.  However, as an adult edcuation coordinator at a community college, I find it difficult to share great information like this when, within the first 30 seconds,  a blatant error in word usage jumps out at me:  "Half of all high school freshman..."  ?? 

There really is a literacy crisis in this country. 

 

 

Dr. Serge's picture
First

Hola,

I came across the LINCS site through a colleague here at work.The LINCS site has a plethora of information that will be conducive to my job.  I work at Texas A & M International University (TAMIU) in Laredo, Texas. As a member of the bilingual faculty, one of my assignments is to teach a reading class. Actually, in my class, teacher candidates learn how students transfer the knowledge skills they possess in their native language (L1) to the English language (L2). It's a pleasure to be a member of the LINCS Community, and I look forward to learning from all stakeholders that are a member of this particular interest group.

Barbara Danoff Friedlander's picture
First

Hello, I am a school improvement specialist working with elementary schools on increasing student achievement through data driven instruction. I also have extensive experience with strategy based instruction with an emphasis in writing. I look forward to reading the blog and learning from each other. 

 

 

JenJee's picture
First

Hi everyone, my name is Jenelle and I'm in a Masters of Adult Education program through Oregon State University.  I am currently doing my internship at the library, and was approached by a librarian who wants to start an adult literacy program.  To make a long story short, I am starting the first adult literacy program in our area, which the library has already approved.  I'm startnig on the legwork, hoping to be up and running by September.

What I would really like, is to be able to talk to someone either through email or on the phone, who works for or with an adult literacy program.  I have some questions that I need clarification on, such as whether or not using literacy levels is helpful, and if so, which ones?  I've done so much Googling and found many different "level" systems, but am not sure which one to use, if any.  There's the NAAL system of 4 levels, and others with 3 stages, or 5 stages.  

This topic is entirely new to me and I am in over my head, but determined to keep researching, talking to people, and making a go of it.  If anyone would be willing to take the time to answer a few questions via email or phone, please let me know! 

In the meantime, I'm finding a wealth of information on this site and have been downloading documents to read.  What a great resource!

randomness