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Blog Series: Why We should STOP teaching reading in schools

9 Part Blog Series: Top “helpful” reading strategies to AVOID!! (and what to do instead)

Inflammatory, right? Before you get up in arms, read on! 

This blog series explores the development of Written Language:  reading, spelling, and writing as a natural extension from oral language to visual language.

This blog series describes what reading IS – the integration of visual language (letters) into already-existing oral language processing systems (sounds, words, and vocabulary). 

Reading is not an “academic skill” like math or science; it is language processing.  If we started approaching reading instruction as langauge processing, it would eliminate many un-helpful and visual memory-based teaching approaches such as flashcards, sight word lists, and spelling tests. 

We would also see that we cannot lean exclusively on meaning-based strategies, comprehension strategies, and whole-word acquisition instruction; but neither can we focus exclusively on discrete units such as sounds and letters, as some phonics-based programs do.  There must be continual INTEGRATION across multiple levels and units of language. 

Further, reading and spelling are NOT separate!  If you can read better than you can spell, it simply represents an incomplete transfer of knowledge between language units – language sounds and language symbols (sounds and letters).  Readers can perform in SURFACE RECOGNITION tasks (reading) but not DEEPER RETRIEVAL tasks (spelling).  

Recognizing the underlying language processes of reading and writing would change how we provide instruction on LANGUAGE, including awareness of spoken-word sound structure, vocabulary, reading, and spelling; and we would realize that they should be instructed TOGETHER, as outlined in this blog series.


Watch for part 1 of this blog series as we share reading strategies that work.

Got questions, concerns, yeah buts?  Visit to engage in some delightful conversation on how you can improve your reading instruction or your child’s learning.