Don’t Educators and Politicians Know We Have a LITERACY CRISIS?

When asked about English literacy, educational and governmental officials will tell us that progress is being made in solving our literacy crisis, assuming they are knowledgeable enough and honest enough to admit that a crisis exists. In addition to our schools, there are dozens of governmental and private programs and thousands of paid and volunteer workers attempting to teach students to read English with present teaching methods. The truth of the matter, however, is that although a few programs claim to be able to teach students to read in a little over a year, no known agency has claimed that every student of normal intelligence can learn to read (without at least some of the students requiring extensive one-on-one tutoring) or that they can teach students to read fluently in less than three months, as they do in almost all alphabetic languages.

This is because English is not truly an alphabetic language. The distinguishing characteristic of alphabetic languages is that with only minor exceptions each letter represents a certain phoneme, which is the smallest sound in a language or dialect that is used to distinguish between syllables and words. Every English word, however, is represented by certain letters in a certain order, in the same way that certain strokes in a certain position represent words in Chinese writing. Although about 20% of English words are spelled phonemically — if you allow only ONE phoneme/grapheme or sound/letter(s) correspondence for every word in the entire English written vocabulary — every English word must have certain letters in a certain order to be spelled correctly, and you must look up that spelling in a dictionary or consult a better speller than yourself if you do not know or have forgotten what that “correct” spelling is.

What is desperately needed for English is some “out of the box” thinking and a revolutionary change in teaching reading! Almost a century of merely “tweaking” the existing teaching has proven that the existing teaching methods will never match the success of teaching reading in other languages. There has been no overall statistically significant reduction in the English functional illiteracy rate in more than 90 years.

There is now a solution to that desperately needed change in teaching reading. Literacy Research Associates, Inc. and NuEnglish, Inc., two non-profit educational coporations, have discovered and perfected a proven way to permanently end English functional illiteracy. Now, enough people need to demand adoption of this solution so that we can end English functional illiteracy. Our website (accessed by clicking on “end English functional illiteracy” above) gives a very good introduction to our solution. Due to the natural human resistance to change, a more complete and authoritative explanation of the facts may be needed. This is especially true when a revolutionary change is proposed that educators and politicians interested in maintaining the status quo may unthinkingly consider “too radical.” The book Let’s End Our Literacy Crisis will convince any open-minded person who carefully examines all of the factual evidence presented to — at long last — end our very real literacy crisis.

About bcenglis

Bob Cleckler is a retired Chemical Engineer. In 1985 he read Jonathan Kozol's shocking new book, "Illiterate America." He decided to use his research skills as an engineer to see if there was a solution to the problem. He spent more than a year in his research. He read EVERY book he could find on the subject of his research. He read dozens of books from the large Marriott Research Library at the University of Utah. Based upon his findings, he developed a solution to the problem of English illiteracy. It is a PROVEN solution. Dr. Frank Laubach spent his entire adult life teaching adult illiterates around the world how to read in more than 300 alphabetic languages. Dr. Laubach proved that he could teach students, in 98% of the languages in which he taught, to read fluently in less than three months. His books, "Teaching the World to Read" and "Forty Years With the Silent Billion," never mention being unable to teach ANY of his students to read fluently.

Cleckler collaborated with Gary Sprunk, M.S. English Linguistics, to perfect his solution based upon Dr. Laubach's experience and findings. Two non-profit educational corporations were formed. Cleckler is the CEO of Literacy Research Associates, Inc. and Vice Pres. of R & D of NuEnglish, Inc. Gray Sprunk is President of NuEnglish, Inc. Cleckler's award-winning book, "Let's End Our Literacy Crisis," originally published in 2005 is now available on our website,, without cost or obligation for the Second Revision, released in late 2012. This breakthrough book covers:

A. the tremendous need for improving English literacy. Cleckler found research proving (1) that 48.7% of U.S. adults are functionally illiterate, defined as being unable to hold an above-poverty-level-wage job, (2) that 31.2% of these functional illiterates are in poverty, and (3) that they are more than twice as likely to be in poverty because of their illiteracy as for all other causes combined. Furthermore he found at least 34 types of serious physical, mental, emotional, medical, and financial problems that illiterates must endure every day of their lives that we would consider a crisis if we had to endure them. Cleckler also found that illiteracy costs EVERY U.S. adult -- readers and non-readers -- an average of more than $5,000 each year for government programs that illiterates use; for truancy, juvenile delinquency, and crime directly related to illiteracy; and for the higher cost of consumer goods due to illiterates in the labor pool and in the workforce.

B. the causes of illiteracy. Before any problem can be solved, you must find the cause. Otherwise you can spend huge amounts of money fighting the symptoms of the problem without preventing the problem from recurring.

C. the preferred, proven solution to the problem. We have been fighting the symptoms of the difficulty in learning to read English for almost a century. Although numerous changes in American education have been implemented in the last century, none of them solve the foundational cause of the problem. Almost half of U.S. students never become fluent readers, and most of the ones who do become fluent readers require at least two years to learn to read well enough to continue increasing their reading skills after third grade, when most reading instruction in school ends.

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