The TeachThought Podcast Ep. 288
Drew Perkins talks with Emily Hanford, Natalie Wexler, Micki Ray, and Kate Winn in this first ever TeachThought Podcast Live! panel discussion on the ‘Reading Wars’.
- Emily Hanford: Senior Correspondent, American Public Media, host and lead producer of the Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong podcast
- Natalie Wexler: Author, The Knowledge Gap, co-author, The Writing Revolution. Natalie has also been a TeachThought Podcast guest twice, Feb 27, 2020 and Jan 22, 2019.
- Micki Ray: Kentucky Department of Education Chief Academic Officer, Policy Advisor, Literacy Consultant, Former HS English teacher
- Kate Winn: Kindergarten Teacher, Writer, Literacy advocate
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Thank you! I enjoyed listening, and so appreciate everyone’s time and expertise. One comment: I found the idea of teaching “pure decoding” (i.e. redefining reading as decoding only) with no meaning instruction at all troubling. Some students will already have the words they are learning to decode in their semantic lexicon, and that advantages them. Others will need the teacher to take a few seconds to show a picture or explain the word in a sentence (as well as lots of other great strategies to teach meaning as needed). The lessons should not be meaning-based, but responsive to the oral language knowledge of the students. And of course, I 100% agree that you must teach the additional read-aloud based language comprehension/knowledge focus, with explicit vocabulary instruction, etc.., but saying that comprehension ought to be cut off from teaching decoding entirely promises to keep the (language) rich, very rich and the language gap, wide. We got into this mess because folks misunderstood the intricacies of how children learn to read, and we can only get out of it by getting that right.