Friday, November 28, 2008

New Take on an Old Argument

After years of watching and wishing for whole language reading philosophy to rise in triumphant success over the other methodologies of teaching reading - in particular the evil phonics. I found myself astonished by a nonpartisan report out of New York University on how different reading styles effect reading speeds.

Processes Add Up To Determine Reading Speed, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from /releases/2007/08/070801091500.htm

I would be interested in seeing a comparison of the three system of reading with a dyslexic population. I would suspect that whole language would test higher, but the tests would kill the dyslexic test subjects. Far as I can tell both whole language and word recognition systems seem to suffer from a lack of profit motive in pushing there particular philosophies. Phonics seems to have no shortage of companies making money off of it’s success to such an extent that many of the studies proving it’s success seem a little too well funded. I suspect that reading is like many other skills; those who are exposed to it do it and those that are not exposed to it don’t.

In the mean time, I must admit that perhaps phonics has a greater role to play then I as a non-phonic dyslexic reader care to admit. Or perhaps the greater reliance in this New York University study on phonics in the participants is a reflection of focus on this method of reading in American Schools for the better part of half a century.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why public libraries are so good for dyslexic children…

When I was seven years old my mother used to take me to the library. As an adult I can imagine that she went as a supplicant to the temple of the great gods of reading. Please hear my prayers let my child see… words on the page.

Perhaps she believed that by spending time around books that I would become enamered of them. All I know is that my first memories of books is invoked whenever I find myself in an old book store, or older library stacks. That sweet smell of well loved books… a gift of my mothers love. She would have me pick among the picture books those collections that I loved the most. I remember carrying books to the counter to be stacked ten deep there for the librarian to check out. These she would read to me every night.

I think that the advantage that libraries have over schools with dyslexic children is that nobody checks at the library to see if you can read. All they care about is that you bring the books back. My favorite books that I borrowed from the library had the coolest pictures. So if you have a dyslexic child take them to the library and have them check out any comics, picture books or other juvenile fiction that they would enjoy.


Eric Wolf

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Misspelling on the rise... Thank God.

This article on Making an Arguement for Misspelling is a great resource. The author touches on some of the reasons that I believe that dyslexia is caused by- or aggravated by the educational institutions we force are students to participate in.

I totally did not see the misspelling in the articles title - till the spell checker pointed it out to me. Did you see it? Laura Fitzpatrick makes a good argument for why in a living languge we should let creative spellers go there own way. Personally I think some discussion of the cost from nervouse or emotionally inscure dyslexics should be included in the calculations. Spelling nazi's beware your days are numbered! Some how I don';t thing the New York Times will stop proofing there paper anytime soon. sigh...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dyslexia is...

Going through all the jelly jars in the cupboard to find the one cherry jar.

Strawberry, raspberry, raspberry strawberry blueberry awww cherry.

Opening the jar smoothing a nice slice of jelly toast. Taking a big bite of jelly covered bread....
only to discover that the jar you opened was raspberry all along. In fact that jar of Cherry jelly never existed at all.