3 Misconceptions of Struggling Readers

Lacking an MRI scanner, I have to depend on intuition (ie mind reading) when trying to figure out what’s going on inside the brain of a struggling reader. Following are a few of the more common misconceptions that struggling readers live with but never vocalise unless asked. When my son was four, someone asked him is he was going to go ice-skating. He replied, “First I’m going to get my balance, then I’m going to start skating.” He didn’t understand … Read More

TRT First Session Report (the stuff that keeps me going….)

posted in: Youth Work & Literacy

This was Jan’s first ever That Reading Thing session. She was meeting these lads for the first time in a small secondary school for young people with social, behavioural and educational difficulties – the exact environment which inspired the creation of That Reading Thing. I am so grateful for people like Jan (and Russell, who started yesterday) who are willing to take a risk and jump right in with young people who come in complex packages. It’s obvious from the … Read More

Bomb, Comb, Tomb – why strugglers need to know how English works

posted in: Dyslexia, Spelling

Yesterday I followed a link from Twitter to an interesting article talking about British Dyslexia Association training from the perspective of a phonics expert, Elizabeth Nonweiler. In the Spelling Course section (page 8 in the linked document) under the heading, “Why Is English So Difficult?”, is the following point: If we say they can get by with pure phonics, we are telling them a lie, because of words such as “tomb”, “comb” and “bomb”. The important truth of this sentence … Read More

Llywio Darllen – TRT in Wales

posted in: Secondary literacy

We’ve finally finished adapting and trialling Llywio Darllen, the Welsh adaptation of ThatReadingThing. It doesn’t translate directly into English but roughly means “being steered into reading”. The Year 6 pupils in Cardiff had eight hours of LLywio Darllen over two weeks and made substantial progress in both reading and spelling. Many thanks to Eirian Lloyd Jones and the Welsh Dyslexia Project/ Prosiect Dyslecsia Cymru for all their hard work and support. If you’re interested in Llywio Darllen please get in … Read More

Evidence 4 ~ One Story

One particular line of numbers caught my attention. F 13 05:11 06:05 00:06 5 hrs continuing White British truancy It’s the “Data Story” of a thirteen year old white British girl with truancy issues who struggles with reading and agreed to start meeting with a ThatReadingThing tutor.  I’m going to call her Amber. At their first session, her reading age was 5 years and 11 months which is what we would expect of a child at some point in Year … Read More

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