Thursday, September 29, 2011

Characteristics of Good Readers

Characteristics of Good Readers:
Things that are Never Taught,
but are Somehow Learned

To list all the many things good readers learn that are not taught in school is almost impossible. There are so many. But I am starting a list here on this website and hope that others will add to it.

  1. Good readers learn to automatically read letter combinations at the ends of words differently than the same letter combinations that form a word. For example, a good reader reads the letters t-r-y as "tree" when it comes at the end of words such as entry, pantry, country, etc. Likewise, a good reader reads the letters t-y at the end of a word as "tee" as in party, county, jaunty, nasty, and empty. At the beginnings of words t-y is usually pronounced tie as in Tyrone, tyre (British spelling), typhoid, and typist. Tries becomes "trees" in entries, pantries, countries, etc. Ties becomes "tees" in parties, counties, and empties.
  2. Good readers learn how to pronounce the -sque letter combination as sk as in Basque, masquerade, mosque, grotesque, and bisque. They learn that que at the end is /k/ as in unique, technique, and pique. View more of the specific phonic patterns that are not taught.
  3. Good readers learn how to scan without being systematically taught how to scan.
  4. Good readers can use a dictionary and without being systematically taught have learned to correctly pronounce any word by using the dictionary diacritics.
  5. Good readers can read dialects in print. For example, the following are definitions from Dictionary for Yankees and other uneducated people by Bil Dwyer. Bad--a place for sleep or rest. Bail--this rings on Sunday mornings. Bait--What people do on "hawse" racing.
  6. Good readers know the conventions cartoonists use to indicate thinking, motion, speed, dreaming, as well as talking.
  7. Good readers catch satire and puns.
  8. Good readers enjoy reading.
  9. Good readers know how to find things in catalogs and can use telephone directories and anything with an index.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Exercises Using Proverbs

Exercises Using Proverbs

Along with reading mystery novels and funny one-liners, using proverbs is an excellent method of assessing comprehension. Though there are some proverbs that are not easily understood (perhaps by anyone), they will nonetheless start the thinking process and can be used as a springboard to other exercises. The reading and analysis of proverbs exposes the child/student to wisdom boiled down into a sound bite that may stick with them for their lifetime. Though perhaps less inspirational, they might just serve as a prompt for an analytical essay. Proverbs also provide a window into the mores and values of various cultures; one can compare the proverbs of one culture to others to see which maxims (or the sentiments they impart) are universal, and which are unique to specific cultures. Finally, since many proverbs have another proverb that contradicts the first, they can serve as a good starting point for thinking about morality and if folk wisdom is really wise in all instances.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An amusing Urban Legend

An amusing Urban Legend:

Truth in advertising cost Claude Pepper an election

Apparently in the 1950’s Sen. Pepper of Florida was defeated for re-election largely due to a leaflet that was circulated throughout the state, and turned the voters against him.

It went as follows:

“Are you aware that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? He is also reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, and he has a sister who once was a thespian in Greenwich Village. He has a brother who is a practicing homo sapiens, and he went to a college where the men and women openly matriculated together. It is an established fact that Mr. Pepper before his marriage practiced celibacy. Worse than that, he has admitted to being a lifelong, autodidact.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Catch – 22:


The Catch – 22: Even though AVKO has demonstrated that 75% of all words poor readers cannot read contain advanced phonic patterns that are not systemically taught in school, schools cannot and will not systemically teach them. Why? Because they don’t have either a listing of these patterns or a listing of the words that contain these patterns.

Where can schools get a listing? Only from AVKO. The listing of the patterns and the listing of all the words by patterns is to be found only in AVKO’s The Patterns of English Spelling.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Complete I Before E Rule - With Explanations

The Complete I Before E Rule - With Explanations

Memorize the following poem and learn how to apply each part of the rule.


Use i before e

Unless you have a reason not to, use ie as in thief, believe, priest, etc.

Except after c

except after c Means: use cei as in receive, deceive, ceiling, etc.

Or when sounded as "EYE" or "AY"
as in Einstein and weigh.

Or when sounded as EYE or AY Means: use ei in "EYE" words such as Einstein, Eileen, Heidi, stein, Steinbrenner, etc. It also means use ei in "AY" words such as weigh, eight, vein, veil.

Neither, weird, foreign, leisure,
Seize, forfeit, and height
Are Exceptions spelled right

And so are: protein and caffeine forfeiture, codeine, heifer, etc. Memorize these!

But don't let the C-I-E-N words get you uptight!

Means: cien as in efficient, ancient, conscience, and sufficient etc.

Use i before e Family with difficulty levels on scale of 1.00 to 21.00

grief (12.25) thief relief (12.00) chief (7.50) mischief (11.00) priest (12.20)

grieve (15.70) thieve relieve (14.00) achieve sieve niece (13.30)

piece (9.55) apiece (11.70) centerpiece siege besiege pier (11.90)

bier tier frieze field (7.05) battlefield yield (13.90)

shield (13.25) shriek friend fiend view review (9.80)

preview patient (12.65) impatient patience (15.80) fielder wield

Except after c Family (See p. 441 for -ceive receive family)

receipt (17.60) receiver (14.40) deceit deceive (15.70) deceitful ceiling (14.05)

conceivable inconceivable receipts (17.95) conceited conceivably

Or when sounded as "EYE"

ein Einstein fraulein Eileen Holstein eider

eidetic Pheiffer Feiffer feisty heist meister

Eisenhower Eiffel height (12.45) Heidi Heidelburg farenheit

H. J. Heit T. J. Heidt Heifitz sholem aleichem stein heigh-ho

Weisenheimer Heinlein Heinrich Heinz Heiss Heisenberg

Weiss Weissmuller Poseidon Rottweiler apartheid

Or when sounded as "AY"

weigh (9.25) weight (7.50) eight (3.35) freight (11.60) freighter neigh

neighbor (10.30) sheik sheikh heir (15.75) their (7.05) heinous

lei skein vermeil Eire inveigle feint

sleigh (13.35) deign reign (16.75) rein Pompeii feign

veil (16.20) unveiled vein (16.30) Chow mein seine reindeer (13.05)

Or when exceptions

neither (10.90) weird foreign (14.90) leisure (16.90) seize (15.15) forfeit

height (12.45) weirdo foreigner leisurely seizure forfeiture

protein caffeine codeine heifer surfeit counterfeit

C-I-E-N words

science (9.15) conscience (18.60) ancient (14.60) efficient (18.55) sufficient (18.10)

scientist conscientious inefficient efficiency (19.80) proficient omniscient

scientific (14.85) prescience inefficiency coefficient proficiency omniscience

Homophones: ceiling/sealing weigh/way weighed/wade weight/wait neigh/nay sleigh/slay reign/rein/rain vein/vain/vane lei/lay Eire/heir/air tier/tear they’re/there/their seize/sees/seas/c’s pier/peer bier/beer piece/peace feign/fain feint/faint bier/beer pier/peer