Teaching Reading: Are You Resisting An Improvement?

Generally speaking, people resist change — often resisting even a change which would be an obvious improvement. People often prefer to keep courses of action with known disadvantages rather than gamble that the unknown disadvantages of a new course of action will outweigh the known, obvious advantages. That being the case, people often overestimate the difficulty of making a change as a way of resisting the change.

Does that describe you when considering solving our very serious educational problems in English-speaking countries? As any teacher will probably tell you, reading ability is the foundation of all learning because there are few, if any, subjects in school which do not require reading for class-work, home-work, and testing. When considering the education that their children are receiving, most parents are — or certainly want to be — optimistic about their children’s schooling. They may read about educational problems, but they believe that their children’s school is doing a good job.

If, however, the statistics prove that 48.7% of U.S. adults read and write so poorly that they cannot hold an above-poverty-level-wage job — as the most comprehensive and statistically accurate study of U.S. adult literacy ever conducted proves in a report titled Adult Literacy in America — what are the chances that your optimistic assessment of your child’s school is a little too optimistic? More importantly, if there is a proven way of improving the teaching of reading in English-speaking schools, are you overestimating the difficulty of implementing that teaching system?

The website of Literacy Research Associates, Inc. and NuEnglish, Inc., two non-profit educational corporations, will convince even the most skeptical observers that the problem of functional illiteracy in English is both more serious than most people realize and can be solved more easily than most people would dare to dream. The reason this is true is that if people do not know how to solve a problem they have a natural tendency to downplay the problem’s seriousness, and if people learn that the simple, easily-implemented solution is spelling reform, they may immediately think of objections to spelling reform and wrongly judge that changing the spelling would be much more difficult than it really is.

Functional illiteracy in English not only causes serious physical, mental, emotional, medical, and financial problems for an estimated 600 hundred million of English-speaking illiterates around the world (including more than 93 million in the U.S. alone) but also costs every U.S. adult — reader and non-reader alike — more than $5,000 every year. Due to the seriousness of the problem of ending functional illiteracy in English, you are challenged to carefully examine the problem and get an overview of the solution. The details of the solution are in the breakthrough book about ending 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, http://LearnToReadNow.org, 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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