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Our Perspectives on Key Issues

These are articles, book excerpts, and other things we have written through the years. Download a PDF file by clicking on its title. 

Decoding and Reading Independence

How can we best help children learn to read well independently? One way is to make sure they have good strategies for figuring out unfamiliar words.

Reading Legislation: An Alarming Development

State legislatures are banning instruction in the three-cueing systems. This reading explains why the legislation is a serious mistake.

The Girls and Boys in the Boats

How is learning to read like learning to sail? Here's how.

When Sounding It Out Isn't Enough

Phonics is a very useful skill but young readers need more to figure out unfamiliar words and understand what they're reading.

If Children Guess at Words When Learning to Read, What Should We Do About It?

Young readers often make tentative responses to words they have not seen before in print. Such "guessing" is very common and can be considered a strength when used effectively.

A Balanced Early Literacy Curriculum

"Balanced literacy" has unaccountably become a controversial word. This book excerpt clarifies the basic principles underlying balanced literacy in the early grades.

Is Learning to Read Unnatural?

Some claim that it is, but the answer to that question goes beyond a simple distinction between "natural" and "unnatural."

Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and What Else? A Teacher Survival Kit for the Phonics-First Era

The Science Of Reading emphasis on decoding leaves many to wonder what else should be part of the daily literacy curriculum in the early grades. Here we recommend five effective strategies in answer to the what else question. 

Beginning Reading:  Policy Decisions and Instructional Consequences

The National Reading Panel's 2000 report resulted in decoding becoming the priority for beginning readers. Research on other aspects of reading was ignored or dismissed. Here we point out the limitations of that influential report and consider what has been missing from the discussion.

Reading is a Two-Way Communication System: That's What Brain Research Tells Us

What the reader expects to see on the page is as important to the reading process as what appears on the page. 

Brain Imaging and Reading Instruction: Time for Caution

Neuroimaging has received a lot of attention as a way to explain the reading process and guide instruction, but the technology is not far enough advanced to be useful.

Reading Comprehension:  Asking the Right Questions

What's the best way to develop comprehension of narrative text? Ask the right questions!

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