Logic of English Essentials

The Logic of English® Essentials program is at the printers!

We will be accepting pre-orders next week.

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October 2011 Newsletter

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A Child's View of the Logic of English

This story was sent to me by someone who began teaching her elementary-aged daughters the spelling rules as found in Uncovering the Logic of English.

Wow! How exciting to watch the CLICK CLICK CLICK in each of my kids brains!!

They're off school today and we spent over an hour starting to learn stuff this morning.

Not to bore you - but you're the only one I know who will understand my experience . . .

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September 2011 Newsletter

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Keeping Up with China: It All Begins with Reading

In the past sixty years China has successfully reversed the literacy crisis that ravaged their nation going from less than 20% of the public being able to read prior to 1950 to 93% literate in 2002 (UNESCO). In addition, China is continually raising the standard for calling their citizens literate. In the meantime, the U.S. has continued to ignore the most fundamental skill needed to compete in the new economy - reading.

In the same time frame, reading scores in the U.S. have remained the same. According to the National Adult Literacy Assessment, only 13% of adults are proficient while 43% read at the lowest levels of literacy or are illiterate. The same is true of literacy rates for 17-year-olds (NAEP). Today only 39% of 17-year-olds can read and understand complicated information and only 6% read at the level necessary to learn from specialized documents such as scientific texts.

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SAT Reading Scores Continue to Fall

SAT Reading scores have hit an all-time low, dropping one point this year, four points over the past decade, and twenty-nine points since 1972.

Each year when we hear the bad news, people shake their heads, teachers assign more sight words, and we continue to march in the wrong direction.

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Start Here: A Great Summary

audio-iconThis interview is a great introduction to what The Logic of English is all about.

WGLS-FM - Rowan Radio - 9/19/2011

The Kill and Drill of Sight Words

As the school year commences, students will again bring home lists of sight words to drill. Most schools identify the words based upon the Dolch List, which includes 220 high frequency words. It is widely believed that drilling these words by sight will enable students to recognize the words "instantaneously" and aid their development in becoming fluent readers. Many educators believe that knowing how to sound out these words will hinder students' ability to read fluently. In addition, it is commonly thought that most of the Dolch words cannot be logically explained, though this is not true.

Therefore children drill sight words with flashcards, in readers, through games, writing activities, and repetition. Students are expected to remember how to read each word without additional clues.

Sight words are also sent home to be drilled by parents. It is parents who often observe that their children are guessing randomly, feeling frustrated, and mixing up words. This leaves many parents struggling to make sense of their child's reading difficulties.

With this "kill and drill" approach of sight words, it is no wonder students are frustrated, and that they rely on guessing.

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Tips to Help Struggling Readers and Spellers

  • Cover pictures. Many young students struggle with the left-to-right eye movement of reading. Allow students to look at the pictures, then cover them with a blank sheet of paper while reading. Covering pictures makes it easier to focus on text.
  • Practice blending words together aloud. Many students guess wildly while reading because they've never realized words are made of individual sounds blended together. Put away the books and practice saying words aloud with a space between each sound. (k-a-t) Then ask the child to blend the word back together.
  • Explain that writing is code. Many students guess at words because they haven't realized that letters and groups of letters represent sounds.
  • Teach all the sounds. Many letters say more than one sound. For example, the letter -S? sounds different in the word "sad" than in the word "is." Many students misread simple words because they don't know all the sounds.
  • Make it fun. Learning the basics doesn't need to be boring. Engage young children through play. Practice the phonograms with games, large motor activities and art projects.

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Number of Sounds Per Phonogram

Why does The Logic of English change the number of sounds for some phonograms?

Why does The Logic of English® Series have a different number of sounds for some of the phonograms when compared to other Orton-based programs?

What research methods were used to make these decisions?

The changes in sounds are based upon word frequency analysis using The ABCs and All Their Tricks by Margaret Bishop and internet sites such as Using tools such as these, Denise searched for phonograms and created comprehensive lists of words using each phonogram. These lists were then analyzed and organized by base words.

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