Teaching, Reading, and Learning: The Reading League Podcast

When we think of those people who have made significant contributions to teaching and learning, and specifically to our understanding of how children learn to read, Dr. Linnea Ehri is at the top of the list. From her work with the National Reading Panel to her contributions toward our understanding of young children’s language development, she continues to provide clarity on some of the most important and relevant issues in reading instruction.

In this podcast episode, Dr. Ehri talks about the movement of our profession from whole language theories to evidence-based practices, fighting the “bark at words” characterization of phonics instruction, and the stories behind the National Reading Panel report. She also sheds light on accessing words “by sight,” and the importance of making the connections between phonemes and graphemes that form the “glue” which stores words in memory. Finally, she shares why she insists on “phases” rather than “stages” in her seminal work.

Dr. Ehri’s best advice for novice researchers is to be both persistent and collaborative; these qualities characterize her decades-long work in this field. All of us engaged in this work will benefit from hearing from Dr. Ehri, whose contributions continue to impact educators worldwide.

Show Notes

Linnea C. Ehri  Ph.D. is an American psychologist, currently Distinguished Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Ehri received her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle and her M.A. in Psychology at San Francisco University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to joining the faculty of The Graduate Center CUNY as a Distinguished Professor in 1991, Linnea was a professor at the University of California, Davis.    

Linnea has served on editorial boards of nine scientific journals. She has published over 100 research papers and edited two books. Her studies have contributed to our understanding of psychological processes and sources of difficulty in learning to read and spell.

She has received awards for distinguished research from the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), American Educational Research Association, International Reading Association, and National Reading Conference. She is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame, and past president of SSSR. She was a member of the National Reading Panel that was established by the U.S. Congress to evaluate evidence indicating effective methods of teaching reading. On this panel she chaired the committee that reviewed research on phonemic awareness instruction and systematic phonics instruction. 

Although Dr. Ehri has recently received Faculty Emeritus status, she continues to advise students and offer her expertise on literacy development and reading instruction.   Recent publications have examined the ways in which children and young adults learning orthographic mapping and spelling.

This podcast is sponsored by Heggerty. The Heggerty curricula has 35 weeks of phonological and phonemic awareness lesson plans aligned to the science of reading. Systematic daily lessons require minimal teacher prep time and take just 10-12 minutes to complete. The Heggerty curricula is available in both English and Spanish, and it's being used by thousands of school districts across the US, Canada, and Australia. Learn more about the curricula, our intervention book, and decodable readers at heggerty.org

Further Learning and Resources from Dr. Ehri
Further Reading and Exploration
  • Bhattacharya, A. & Ehri, L. (2004). Graphosyllabic analysis helps adolescent struggling readers read and spell words. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37, 331-348.
  • Boyer, N., & Ehri, L.C. (2011). Contribution of phonemic segmentation instruction with letters and articulation pictures to word reading and spelling in beginners. Scientific Studies of Reading, 15(5), 440–470.
  • Chambré, S.J., Ehri, L.C., & Ness, M. (2020). Phonological decoding enhances orthographic facilitation of vocabulary learning in first graders. Reading and Writing, 33(5), 1133–1162. 
  • Gaskins, I., Ehri, L., Cress, C., O'Hara, C., & Donnelly, K.  (1996). Procedures for word learning:  Making discoveries about words.  The Reading Teacher, 50, 312-327.
  • Gonzalez-Frey, S.M., & Ehri, L.C. (2021). Connected phonation is more effective than segmented phonation for teaching beginning readers to decode unfamiliar words. Scientific Studies of Reading, 25(3), 272-285.
  • Rosenthal, J. & Ehri, L. (2008). The mnemonic value of orthography for vocabulary learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 175-191.
  • Sargiani, R., Ehri, L., & Maluf, M.R. (in press). Teaching beginners to decode consonant-vowel syllables using grapheme-phoneme subunits facilitates reading and spelling compared to teaching whole syllable decoding. Reading Research Quarterly.
  • Shmidman, A. & Ehri, L. (2010). Embedded picture mnemonics to learn letters. Scientific Studies of Reading, 14, 159-182.
Other works mentioned by Dr. Ehri
Linnea’s Picks

What is Teaching, Reading, and Learning: The Reading League Podcast?

Teaching, Reading & Learning: The Podcast elevates important contributions to the educational community, with the goal of inspiring teachers, informing practice, and celebrating people in the community who have influenced teaching and literacy to the betterment of children. The podcast features guests whose life stories are compelling and rich in ways that are instructive to us all. The podcast focuses on literacy as we know it (reading and writing) but will also connect to other “literacies” that impact children’s learning; for example, emotional, physical, and social literacies as they apply to teachers and children.

[00:00:00.190] - Speaker 1
This podcast is sponsored by Hegerty. The Hegerty Curricula has 35 weeks of phonological and phonemic awareness lesson plans aligned to the science of reading. Systematic daily lessons require minimal teacher prep time and take just ten to twelve minutes to complete. The Hagerty Curricula is available in both English and Spanish, and it's being used by thousands of school districts across the US, Canada, and Australia. Learn more about the Curricula, our intervention book, and decodable readers@hegerty.org that's Hegerty.org Greetings, everyone. I'm Laura Stewart from The Reading League. Welcome to Teaching, Reading, and Learning, the TRL podcast, where we elevate important conversations in the educational community in order to inform, inspire, and celebrate contributions to teaching and learning. When we think of people who have made significant contributions to teaching and learning, and specifically to our understanding of how children learn to read, Dr. Linnea Area is at the top of the list, so I feel really privileged to be speaking to Dr. Erie today, so I'd like to share her biography as a way to introduce Linnaea. Linnea Area is an American psychologist, currently Distinguished Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

[00:01:40.290] - Speaker 2

[00:01:40.740] - Speaker 1
Aria received her BS in Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle and her Ma in Psychology at San Francisco University. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the faculty of the Graduate Center as a Distinguished Professor in 1991, Linnaeya was a professor at the University of California, Davis. Linnaea has served on editorial boards of nine scientific journals. She has published over 100 research papers, and she has edited two books. Her studies have contributed to our understanding of psychological processes and the source of difficult difficulty in learning to read and spell. She has received awards for distinguished research from the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, American Educational Research Association, International Reading Association, and the National Reading Conference. She is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame and past President of the Society for Scientific Study of Reading. She was a member of the National Reading Panel when it was established by the US Congress to evaluate evidence indicating effective methods of teaching reading. On this panel, she chaired the committee that reviewed research on kinemic awareness instruction and systematic phonics instruction, and we'll be talking a lot about that today.

[00:03:07.230] - Speaker 1
Although Dr. Arie has recently received faculty emeritus status, she continues to advise students and offer her expertise on literacy development and reading instruction. Recent publications have examined ways in which children and young adults learn orthographic mapping and spelling. I am delighted today to welcome Dr. Lynna Airy to the podcast. Well, welcome Dr. Arry, and thank you so much for being with us today. I know our listeners are really excited to hear from you, so I would just like to jump right in, if that's okay with you.

[00:03:50.120] - Speaker 2
Well, thank you for inviting me.

[00:03:52.970] - Speaker 1
It's our pleasure and our privilege truly. So I thought we'd start by just kind of talking about your origins because I know our listeners are interested to know, where did you grow up and what inspired you to go into psychology and teaching?

[00:04:09.790] - Speaker 2
Well, I grew up in Seattle, Washington, and attended the University of Washington as an undergraduate. And I became especially interested in psychology because it allows one to study cause effect relations in terms of human behavior, to design experiments that allow you to identify cause effect relations and roll out alternative explanations. At the University of Washington, I was a research assistant for Donald Bayer, who was an Arian, and I worked in a nursery school. It was a research study where I followed a child who was aggressive. He would hit other children and take their toys away. And the purpose of the experiment was to see whether we could reduce the incidence of aggressive behavior in two ways. I would signal the teachers to ignore him when he had just committed one of these aggressive acts. And then I would signal when the coast was clear when he hadn't been aggressive, and they would give him attention. So that introduced me to work as a researcher. Unfortunately, the child broke his arm, so he left the preschool before the study was finished. But the experience got me interested in research also. I became interested in children's thinking through the readings.

[00:06:18.230] - Speaker 2
I remember one incident where he talked about young children attributing feelings and thoughts to inanimate objects. And so he would question children about this. Well, one day I was visiting some friends and there were several children playing in the yard. And so I thought, oh, this is an opportunity to investigate children's thinking there were preschoolers. So I asked them, I said, here's a rock. Do you think it has feelings? Do you think if I hit it, it'll feel something? And then I pick some other objects, the same kind of questioning? And then one kid looked up at me and he says, what's the matter, lady? Don't you know anything?

[00:07:16.530] - Speaker 1
Because you were asking him all these questions.

[00:07:18.600] - Speaker 2
The only question he's like, Lady, yeah. He said, this is obvious. That's what he was meaning, that it was obvious they don't have feelings. That was another incident that showed my interest in doing research. And then we moved from Seattle to San Francisco when I was married. And so I went to San Francisco State University and enrolled in their master's program in psychology. And there I designed a study with rats. It was an experiment, as I recall. It didn't work out so well. But anyway, I tried. And then being in the San Francisco Bay Area, I looked into graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, and I was offered a Fellowship to work with Robert Ganier and some of the other faculty at Lucy Berkeley. So that's where I went to graduate school. There I majored in educational psychology to focus on children's learning. And at the time, I happened to be there when Psycholinguistics was getting off the ground. And Susan Irvin Tripp and Dan Slovan had a very active research program where they brought researchers from all parts of the world to study child language development in different languages. And so they would come to Berkeley and collaborate, and then they would go off to do their field work.

[00:09:18.620] - Speaker 2
Also, Noam Chomsky visited the campus and gave lectures.

[00:09:28.670] - Speaker 1
So at this point, you were heavily into research, right?

[00:09:33.710] - Speaker 2
It was a PhD program. And so I worked with Bill Roar as a research assistant on his studies, and he was interested in applying Psycholinguistics to the study of children's memory. He would give children a memory task where they would remember pairs of words like dog and table. And so in one condition, children would hear the dog and the table. In another condition, they would hear the dog sits on the table. And what he found in several studies was that when you impose syntactic structure, when you impose a sentence structure on those two nouns, that children's memory improves for the nouns. So it's like syntactic structure acts as a glue to secure those word pairs in memory. And so I did some research in a similar vein, I worked on his studies, and then I designed a study that I published. So in addition to focusing on Psycholinguistics and children's memory, I also learned a lot about statistics and how you analyze data in my background to get a PhD. Right.

[00:11:14.600] - Speaker 1
That sounds like a really fruitful time for you in terms of your research.

[00:11:21.810] - Speaker 2
Yeah, it was very inspirational, and it led me to continue doing that for the rest of my years.

[00:11:30.870] - Speaker 1
So then how did you move from the study of the linguistics to reading? What made you kind of move into that realm?

[00:11:42.530] - Speaker 2
Well, in graduate school, the focus on Psycholinguistics was on young children's language development before they entered school, pretty much. And in fact, one psycholinguous joke that people avoided studying reading because people read too quickly to be explained by the current theories about language processing known, Chomsky's theory of transformational grammar said that you had to chunk through all these layers to get to the meaning and how people could read so quickly defied that explanation. So anyway, I didn't get interested in reading until I joined the faculty at the University of California, Davis. And there was some pressure. I shouldn't say pressure, but when you become an assistant professor, you need to start publishing in order to retain your position on the faculty. And so I thought about ways that I could apply my psycho linguistic background in a way that would be more relevant for education. So I got interested in reading, and the first study I did was involved intonation patterns I've recent that text lacks stress and pitch cues when people are speaking, reading sentences, and perhaps building that information into the text would improve children's reading because they would point out the important words and unimportant words and tell them about stress and pitch.

[00:13:47.290] - Speaker 2
So I was able to create text that displayed intonation patterns by making words, varying the size of words so that the stressed words were printed in the biggest size. And there were three different sizes stressed, medium stress, and unstressed words. And so we created these text of stories where we varied the print size. And then in our control conditions, we either varied the word size randomly or we just had them read standard text. And so we did a study where we measured children's accuracy and speed to read these texts. And we found that third graders were able to read the text faster, being tone text faster than the other two forms of text. And this was a significant difference. So I got a grant to pursue these findings, and for a couple of years we tried to replicate the findings, and we were unsuccessful. Now, in the first study, the effect was on children's reading speed. So in the subsequent studies, we realized that speed was being impaired because children were having difficulty reading some of the words in the text. And so they would slow down and try to decode the words, and that would interfere with our speed measure.

[00:15:32.710] - Speaker 2
So we said, well, wait a minute. Intonation doesn't seem to be as important as word reading processes. So maybe we better switch our focus to how children read words. And so then that started me. That shifted the focus of my research. And then around that time, as I said, I didn't take any courses in reading at UC Berkeley. So I was learning on my own. I was reading studies, and I had an opportunity to participate in an Institute at the University of Delaware sponsored by SRCD, the Society for Research and Child Development. And the focus was on language and literacy, language and reading. And I applied, and I was accepted. So I spent a month at the University of Delaware. There were about 29 other student participants. Most of these people were at the end of their PhD work or they were recent assistant professors. They just joined faculty. And over the course of the month, many researchers came and spent two to three days with us talking about their research. Examples are Gene Chall, Joanna Williams, Bob Kelpie, Dick Venezque, Carol Chomskyler, John Guthrie. The one that I was most interested in was Ken Goodman.

[00:17:29.570] - Speaker 2
Because he had proposed a psycholinguistic guessing game. Right. And having this background in psycho linguistics, I thought this should be especially informative at the Institute. He was very continual and explained his research to us and played tapes on children's miscues. At the end of the Institute, all of the participants wrote papers on some aspect of the presentations at the Institute, something they were interested in. So I wrote a paper on Psycholinguistics and word reading. Well, let me just back up and say. Ken Goodman's theory of reading involved children learning to gain meaning from print. And children become good readers by improving their ability to predict words in text by attending to syntactic, semantic, and graphic cues. But they don't improve in their reading by precisely learning to decode words. This only teaches them to bark at print, and it impedes their access of meaning in words. He viewed reading as a process of sampling. All these cues and syntactic semantic cues derived from the context were more important than graphic cues. And he drew his evidence from the analysis of Reader's oral reading errors, which he called miscues. And he observed that the majority of these errors preserve syntactic and semantic information.

[00:19:38.230] - Speaker 2
Fewer errors reflected the use of graphic or phonological cues. And so he interpreted his findings to support his theory and to explain how all words are read in text by sampling cues to guess words. And having my background in psycho linguistics, I was certainly sympathetic to the idea that readers hold syntactic and somatic expectations about upcoming words in the text. However, I wasn't convinced that that's how readers read most of the words in text. The point is that readers read many more words correctly than incorrectly in a text in order to comprehend the text. Anything below 90% accuracy is considered a frustration level, so relatively few words count as miscues. And if Q, sampling and guessing were the way that children read, you'd see many more errors occurring. So I said, I thought to myself, well, there's a different process that explains how words are read in text. And this led me to propose that words are read for memory by site, not by guessing that words are stored in memory. And then readers access those words in memory to read them automatically. And so I wrote a paper that elaborated Goodman's theory to include this word recognition mechanism.

[00:21:40.430] - Speaker 2
And I sent a copy of the paper to Goodman, and he returned it to me with notes in the margins. Most of those notes just stated no, maybe two or three times on a page. And then at the end, he wrote, Reading is not a process of recognizing reading words. So that began my research on word reading and how children are able to move into reading and read words accurately and automatically from memory.

[00:22:17.630] - Speaker 1
Interesting. And that's where this whole cycle linguistic guessing game, that was really the start of the ascendancy of the whole language movement.

[00:22:28.310] - Speaker 2
Exactly right.

[00:22:29.900] - Speaker 1
You were kind of pushing back against Ken Goodman's theory during this time when that was just gaining traction and foothold.

[00:22:40.770] - Speaker 2
Yeah. In fact, a few years later, I published I should say we conducted a study that involved two treatment conditions. In one case, children read words in the context, in sentence context. In the other condition, they read words in isolation on flashcards, and then we assess how much they remembered about the spellings, pronunciations, meanings of those words, and we found that if children read the words on flashcards, these were kindergarten first graders. These are first graders, right. And if they read the words on flashcards, they remembered more about the spellings of the words, and they could read the words more quickly. However, if they read the words in context, in sentences, then they remembered more about the meanings of the words. And so what we were trying to show is that there are various identities of words that get stored in memory, and the experiences that children have reading those words influences what gets stored in memory during the sight word reading process. So we submitted the paper to Reading Research Quarterly for publications, and we were shocked at the reviews that we got back. I can read you some of them, a very slight study, not a very interesting or important topic, full of sentences which need to be rewritten to give them some sparkle, a worthless study which adds to the abundant confusion about learning words.

[00:24:30.730] - Speaker 2
This study signifies nothing but adds sheer weight to the unwarranted focus on words. Really, when will we get to real issues? When will we try to look at kids reading real language, and when will we lift our eyes from the word to meaning? So anyway, the Editors rejected the paper and submitted it to Child Development, which is a respected Journal, and they published it. And then we did another very similar study, and we submitted that one to Reading Research Quarterly. And at this point, the Editors have changed and they accepted the paper. And in fact, the paper was given an award for publications in that year. The issues during that year of Reading Research Quarterly. Interesting, the point is that a lot of resistance to a study of words, and I think it's reflected in Goodman's view.

[00:25:38.140] - Speaker 1
So do you think that first round with those kind of brutal reviews, do you attribute that to the environment at the time?

[00:25:46.140] - Speaker 2

[00:25:46.940] - Speaker 1
And then how many years later was the second submission to Reading Research Quarterly?

[00:25:53.310] - Speaker 2
It was just a couple of years later. But the critical thing was that the Editors had changed and David Pearson was one of the Editors, and they were much more sympathetic to studies to try to understand how children read words, because words are the core of text. You can't read the words, you're not going to comprehend the text.

[00:26:21.790] - Speaker 1
I think I can speak for all of us when I say thank you for persisting in this line of inquiry, because I think your work has really helped us focus on that whole concept, that we have to get the words off the page. But I still think there's a lot of misunderstandings out there, especially around this idea of site recognition. So can you talk to us a little bit more about sight word reading and the whole idea of unitizing? Because I think there are still some schools of thought that children just memorize whole words or look at visual shapes of words. So perhaps you can speak to that.

[00:27:01.160] - Speaker 2
Yeah. Well, during the days when whole word instruction was popular, children were just shown words on flash cards and expected to remember them. And this was even before children knew Alphabet letters and performance was really limited. In fact, in our work, if children don't know letters, then they try to use these visual cues, but their memory for words is very poor. You just can't remember words based on shapes or chains of letters. There just isn't enough information there to distinguish among all the thousands of words that you can read from memory. So that can't be the explanation. The theory that I proposed to explain sight word reading involved forming connections between graphing in the spelling of words and phonies in their pronunciation. And knowledge of the bracketing phoning writing system provides the glue that allows children to form connections between letters and the spellings and sounds in the pronunciation. So once you've got that glue, the spellings can be secured, bonded to pronunciations and stored in memory. And so subsequently, when you see those words, you can read them from memory by sight. You don't have to decode them. You don't have to predict them because the word is stored there in memory.

[00:29:12.310] - Speaker 2
I think I mentioned earlier earlier that the origin of this idea of connectionism really arose from my work with Bill Roar, where he was showing that imposing sentence structure on specific word pairs boosted memory for the word pairs. And so sentence structure serves as blue that helps to get that specific information in memory. And so knowledge of the graphene phoning system acts very similarly to secure spellings of specific words to their pronunciations and memory. For example, if you're introduced to somebody who has an unusual name, you may ask, how is it spelled? And then once you hear the letters in the spelling, that clarifies sounds in the pronunciation and helps you remember that person's name. So it's a very powerful mnemonic system knowing graphing phoning relations that serves to get specific words in memory for sight word reading.

[00:30:30.230] - Speaker 1
I want to elevate some of these things that you said because I think it's really important for our listeners. Interestingly enough, you talk about the glue is that those connections between graphene and phonemes, and that is actually the system that Ken Goodman de emphasized and said it was the least important, right?

[00:30:49.690] - Speaker 2

[00:30:50.010] - Speaker 1
So at that point, you were taking some of these studies that you'd done in the Psycholinguistics field and applying it to reading to help us understand that mnemonic system, right? Yeah. It stands to reason that you can't memorize your way to reading. You just can't visually memorize your way to reading.

[00:31:10.020] - Speaker 2
Well, in a sense, certainly visual memory is involved because spellings are visual forms, but you have to analyze the spellings in terms of the graphings as they connect to phonemes. In other words, it's a special kind of memory. And there's some evidence that it's different from non alphabetic memory, like memory for faces or memory for other visual things. It's a special form that's grounded in the analysis of breathing phony relations. And of course, once children build a lexicon of sight words in memory that's fully analyzed with these graphene phoning relations, they learn larger chunks in words and parts of words. And so they can use spellings of syllables, spellings of morphemes, multi letter units, and they can recognize those in the spelling of words and connect those to pronunciations in the words and then get multi syllabic words in memory. That way, their knowledge of the writing system begins with wrapping phonings, and that spans to larger spelling units.

[00:32:37.290] - Speaker 1
So when you were first doing this research and throwing this out there in the world, phonies weren't really things that we were paying a lot of attention to.

[00:32:49.590] - Speaker 2
Liberman and Shankweiler in the US were really the first to draw attention to phonemes, to show that they're strongly related to how well children learn to read and to identify various ways of assessing children's thy name of awareness.

[00:33:17.190] - Speaker 1
So I have one question a lot of people have is when we think about the importance of these grappophonic relationships and spelling patterns, a lot of people have questions around repetition and how important repetition is to secure those words in our site, word recognition. Can you speak to that?

[00:33:39.930] - Speaker 2
That's one of the powerful effects of having this mnemonic system, the graphing phoning relations because it's so powerful, you don't need very many exposures to get words into memory. Now notice, the child has to know those graphene phoning relations. It has to have mastered them and be able to apply them in reading words. So when he reads the spelling of a word, those connections have to be activated to connect the spelling to the pronunciation. So you need to have that knowledge base. But once you have that, then it doesn't take very many exposures. David Share did some research showing that maybe three or four exposures to a word as children are reading text is sufficient to get information about the spelling of the word in memory.

[00:34:42.570] - Speaker 1
Great. Right. So that's that whole self teaching mechanism.

[00:34:47.860] - Speaker 2
Right. He proposed that children, when they read text and read unfamiliar words in text, that they can apply their decoding skill to pronounce the word and then get it into memory. He showed that there was memory for those words, unfamiliar words, when children decoded them. It's interesting. David Cher, he did his graduate work and early research in Australia, and then he's Jewish and he always wanted to move to Israel. So he picked up his work. And in his travels, during his travel to Israel, he passed through the United States and he made appointments with several researchers along the way to talk to them about their reading research and their views about reading. And I was in the Bay Area at the time. And so he came to my house and we chatted about reading. So it was interesting. And then he went to Israel and he didn't even know Hebrew. And so he taught himself Hebrew and began teaching courses in Hebrew at HYPA University. Anyway, that's a side story, but it's interesting, I think, that our work in the US influenced his thinking about self teaching and how children read words. You mentioned my work, but it's important to recognize that this is done in the context of lots of other people.

[00:36:48.660] - Speaker 2
And so around the time I was doing this research, there were other psychologists who also became interested in reading. And for example, Rich West was one of the participants at the Institute, and he was a good friend of Keith Stanovich, and they were both graduate students at the University of Michigan. So he went back to Michigan and they were very concerned about Goodman's claim that good readers read words by predicting, by guessing them from context. So they did a number of studies to show that that's how poor readers read. They depend on context to read words, that good readers process words fully to read them, that they don't. Certainly text has an influence on reading words, but if you're a good reader, you don't need that content to recognize the words because you've got it stored in memory or you can decode it if it's an unfamiliar word.

[00:37:57.740] - Speaker 1
Right. I think that's so important because there are practices that are still in existence that are really based on this idea that readers depend on context. And there are practices in classrooms where teachers tell children skip the word. What do you think makes sense looking at context and pictures as opposed to looking at the words? And I think that one of the insights I think is that has come through the science of reading as a movement. I would say is this idea that that is what poor readers depend on, as opposed to having this mechanism that allows them to store these words for site word recognition.

[00:38:46.750] - Speaker 2
The evidence shows that poor readers lack decoding skills. Their spelling skill is very limited, and so they haven't acquired mastery of this writing system, the Grapple phonemic system, and how to apply it in decoding words and reading them to get sight words in memory. So their sight word lexicon is limited. It appears that maybe it only includes some of the letters in words. And so guessing becomes much more important in their reading.

[00:39:24.970] - Speaker 1
Exactly. Evidence shows poor readers lack the decoding skills. So one thing I wanted to say is I would love to have been a fly on the wall for this conversation when David Cher stopped by and you guys were able to talk. I bet that was just fascinating. So I wanted to ask you about if we understand the importance of sight word learning in this process of acquiring those site words. I'd like to talk a little. Have you talk about the phases? Because I think these phases are the work that most teachers are familiar with. I think so. Can you just really clarify phases versus stages and maybe just kind of give us a brief explanation of that so that we can acknowledge that important piece that you've contributed to our understanding?

[00:40:22.470] - Speaker 2
Okay. Well, I proposed a series of sequence of four phases to describe the emergence of sight word reading skill in beginning readers. Well, maybe first I should describe what the phases involved and then explain the difference between phases and stages. The phases are labeled to reflect the alphabetic knowledge that predominates in the connections that students form to store words in memory. And there are four phases. At the pre alphabetic phase, children use visual non alphabetic connections. For example, if they are observed to read McDonald's, they're looking at the golden arches. They're not looking at the arches forming an M. And at the partial alphabetic stage, children use some letter sound connections. They have learned many letters of the Alphabet, and they can use those to analyze graphing phoning relations in words. But their knowledge is partial, so they may remember beginning and ending graphing phoning relations in words but not the middle. They may lack sufficient vowel knowledge about how vowel spell sounds in words. And you can see this in their invented spellings, where you ask them to write the sounds in words and they'll only be able to write some of the sounds.

[00:42:13.280] - Speaker 2
And they lack decoding skill, but they can still use what they know to remember words for sight word reading by memory for partial letter sound connections. And then at the full alphabetic phase, children have much better knowledge, more complete knowledge about graphene phony relations. They can use that knowledge to decode words, and they can fully analyze the graphing pointing relations in words to store spellings and memory bonded to their pronunciations and meanings. And then the final phase is a consolidated alphabetic phase where children have acquired knowledge of many words. They can read many words, and the spellings of these words have become unitized, so they function as a single unit. And also morphemes like ing Ed endings have been learned as units. And so at the consolidated phase, children can use these larger spelling units to read multisyllabic words. So those are the four phases. Now the difference between phases and stages is that information used at one or another stage overlaps. At the partial phase, let's say at the full phase, children may still be using partial connections to read some words. But the predominant type of knowledge used at the full phase is graphene phoning relations, whereas with a stage theory, a stage theory proposes that you use exclusively one type at each of the different stages, and that when you switch to a new stage, you're using new information at that stage and not information at an earlier stage, whereas a phase theory is more flexible, I guess you could use information at multiple stages to remember how to read words.

[00:45:00.210] - Speaker 2
One type predominate. Does that make sense?

[00:45:04.780] - Speaker 1
It does, yeah. Basically, what you're saying tell me if this is another way to think about it, is that the knowledge used or the information used in each of those phases doesn't go away. As you move into another phase, you're constantly using that knowledge or information based on the task at hand.

[00:45:28.110] - Speaker 2
Right. The words that you're encountering. Yes. You may encounter words that at the consolidated phase, certainly you'll encounter words where you don't recognize any larger multi letter units. And so you use graphing phoning units.

[00:45:48.170] - Speaker 1
Phoning graphing, right.

[00:45:50.280] - Speaker 2
Yeah. So there's overlap in the information used across the phases. Right.

[00:45:57.080] - Speaker 1
And so when we think about this phase concept, are there any new learnings or outstanding issues that have impacted this? Would you say in the recent research or in your recent work?

[00:46:14.370] - Speaker 2
There's one study that we've recently we're in the process of publishing. I should say we submitted it and then revised it. There was a study done with a Brazilian graduate student during the course of his graduate work. He came and he spent a year with me and he took my classes and we talked about issues in Brazil. The approach to reading in Brazil has been heavily influenced by Amelia Ferrero, and she has adopted she used beginning reading as syllabic process. In spoken Portuguese, syllables are especially important. And so in learning to read, she regards syllables as an important unit of print. And in addition, sort of a discovery whole language approach has been part of her influence on schools. And so children in the public schools have not their reading achievement is disappointing anyway. So Henan Sargiani worked with me and he wanted to conduct a study comparing syllable reading to graphene phoning reading. And so we designed a study and he carried it out where in one condition, children learn to read syllables. These are CV syllables which appear in lots of Brazilian words. And one group learned to read many syllables by just decoding, by saying the graphene phony relation separately and then blending them to read the syllables.

[00:48:24.790] - Speaker 2
And we taught them to criterion in that case, in that condition, in the other condition, children just practiced reading these CDs consonant Val units as whole syllables, and they went through the same long sequence of lists of CVS, and we taught them to criterion in both condition. And then we examined children's ability to read syllables that hadn't been taught to learn to read words by sight, to spell words. And we found a huge difference between the two groups that the syllable group just tried to learn those syllables as units. When we examined their knowledge about graphene phoning units, even though these syllables had repeated the same graphene phony units across all the syllables, they couldn't tell you the sounds of the letters. It was very poor. So focusing on a larger unit at the outset of reading did not advance them much in terms of their reading. And we were especially surprised that they didn't analyze those graphing phony relations within these very simple units that they learn to read. This told us that it's especially important for kids to work with the smallest units when they learn to decode in an alphabetic language that that is going to provide the foundation that allows them to move into reading.

[00:50:08.240] - Speaker 2

[00:50:08.720] - Speaker 1
So the phases really hold up in an alphabetic system, regardless of how transparent the orthography is.

[00:50:16.430] - Speaker 2
Oh, exactly. In fact, the phases work in a better way, maybe better in a transparent orthography where we're talking about using graphing phoning relations to read and spell words. Well, that's a transparent orthography. English, unfortunately, has some complexities that make it a little harder to move into reading. In fact, there's evidence that kids in a transparent orthography learn to read at the end of a year. It takes students in English two or three years to learn to read. So English really slows them down. But it's important to note that even though we have irregularities in the spellings of words, that there are still enough graphing phony relations within those words to build them into memory, to connect the spelling to the pronunciation. So like in sword, all but the W maps on to Ownings and the pronunciation in listen all but the T maps. So even with irregular words, the same connection forming process applies to get those words into memory. Oh, and one other thing. People used to think that sight word reading meant only irregularly spelled words or high frequency words. You had to memorize those not using alphabetic information. And that's not true.

[00:51:54.240] - Speaker 2
All words get learned as sight words.

[00:51:57.800] - Speaker 1
Yes. And I think that's such an important point because I think that has been very misunderstood. As I mentioned before, I think that there have been many teaching practices around this idea that high frequency words or irregularly spelled words are somehow not mappable, and therefore they're just learned as a whole unit almost at a visual level. And so making that point that even with their regular words, we want kids to map the graphene phonemes, which will help support this acquisition of that word as a site word. So, Lynnia, when is that research going to be available, the Brazilian study that you're at home?

[00:52:43.340] - Speaker 2
Well, if anybody wants a copy, I have a prepublication copy. We're just waiting to hear back from the Editors about our musicians and whether they're accepted.

[00:53:01.550] - Speaker 1
Well, it sounds really important and interesting. So thank you for sharing that with us. I wanted to kind of move into your work at the National Reading Panel. You were a panelist for the National Reading Panel, and recently you wrote a Journal article for our Reading League Journal, which really summarized the findings of an actual reading panel. And I just have to say in our Journal this is one of my favorite articles because it was so clear and concise, and you just gave a wonderful perspective on the whole National Reading Panel Report, and we talked about it as a game changer. So can you just talk to why this was a game changer and why the United States was ripe for this report in $2,000?

[00:53:58.350] - Speaker 2
Well, let's start with being right. The climate in the US at this time really needed something like the National Reading Panel Report. There was strong disagreement about the most effective way to teach children to read. It's been referred to as the reading wars, and as I mentioned earlier, I was involved in some of that of having a lot of opposition to the use of systematic phonics instruction, which follows from the word reading research that I did. So the phonics instruction advocated teaching letter sounds explicitly and systematically, whereas a whole language approach advocated the meaning based and minimized the importance of graphing phoning decoding skills to read. So resolving the reading wars was one reason why such a report was thought to be useful. The second was that there was an ECT of research findings. Over the years, the US government had funded high quality research studies on reading acquisition and instruction, and the results improved our knowledge about how children learn to read and then the types of instruction that were effective. But these findings weren't being implemented in schools. Rather, approaches that were not supported by the evidence were being used, and it appeared that the loudest voices were influencing instruction more than the evidence.

[00:56:02.310] - Speaker 2
So bringing attention, publishing a report that reported on scientific findings of these studies that the government had supported was important. And then third, students were not performing very well on National Reading Test, their performances below expected levels, and the number of students requiring remedial instruction was rising. So that was a third reason that such a report was believed to hopefully have an impact. And then in terms of being a game changer, the panel was appointed by the US Congress, which is certainly a respected body. So it grew national attention from its origin, and the members represented not just scientists, but a broad spectrum of people involved in reading. There were teachers, educators, administrators, and parents that form the panel of 14 people, and our purpose was to review the scientific rebased research on effective methods of teaching reading in kindergarten through 6th grade. And then once we provided a report on these findings, then the purpose was to distribute these findings widely, and we identified five major topics where reading instruction had to be implemented effectively. And these five areas were phonemic awareness, phonics fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. In fact, a formal statistical metaanalysis.

[00:58:20.190] - Speaker 2
Two of them were performed, one on phoneic awareness instruction and one on phonics. And then in terms of having an impact. The report was published in 2000, and it guided reading. First, legislation, $5 million were appropriated and it was part of Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation. Also, it drew attention to the importance of basing instruction on scientific findings. A lot more attention was paid to programs and whether the program was based on scientific findings. Yeah. In fact, I had a researcher who had developed a very effective program called Reading Rescue. I met her and she approached me about doing research on her program because she felt that in order to convince schools to adopt her program, it was similar to Reading Recovery, only it involved more phonics. And so she got her foundation to hire me and some of my colleagues to do a research study on her program because she felt that it was important for obtaining scientific evidence to support her program. So we went ahead and we did that study and published it.

[01:00:05.240] - Speaker 1
Wonderful. Yeah. And I love what you said about loudest voices versus evidence. This was a moment when we could start to really influence reading instruction through evidence. Yeah. And I want to talk a little bit about the studies on phoneic awareness because I know you headed this subgroup. Am I correct in that?

[01:00:30.510] - Speaker 2

[01:00:32.910] - Speaker 1
From my understanding is that some of the studies that were reviewed by the National Reading Panel included phonological work without letters, phonological work with letters at a later point, studies using letters as initial prompts. And I just wanted to go back to this. There's a lot of buzz right now about this whole idea of how we approach phonemic awareness. And I wanted to go back to something that you had written in our Journal article and just read it for our listeners and then have you comment on it. Phonemic awareness instruction was found to be effective when children were taught to manipulate phonings and spoken words by pronouncing them separately or by moving tokens to distinguish them. A subgroup of studies examined the contribution of letter knowledge. Results suggested that teaching children to manipulate letters representing phonemes and spoken words was especially effective in teaching phonemic awareness and its transfer to reading and spelling tasks. So it seems pretty clear. But I think where the confusion comes is people questioning, do we do oral phonemic awareness tasks or phonemic awareness tasks with tokens, or do we just get right to phonemes and letters, which seems like phonics to me.

[01:01:54.820] - Speaker 1
So maybe you can kind of add some clarity to that for us.

[01:01:59.370] - Speaker 2
Well, first of all, the studies that we reviewed showed that teaching phonemic awareness either with letters or without letters, both approaches were effective in teaching children phonemic awareness and in having an impact on reading and spelling. Those effect sizes were significant. So arguing that teaching anemic awareness without letters isn't it still is valuable. Okay. And then why would you teach phonemic awareness without letters? Well, what about children who haven't learned letters yet? You can introduce phonemic awareness, especially initial sounds in words. That's pretty easy to strip off of words. So you can begin phonemic awareness instruction without letters when children don't know letters. Also, we've done some research examining the impact of drawing children's attention to not only sounds in words which are ephemeral and disappear as soon as they're heard, but amplifying that with monitoring mouth positions and movements that occur as children are pronouncing the separate sounds and words. It makes it much clearer when children can focus on their mouth and when they say book at their mouth closes and then opens and then something touches their tongue touches in their mouth. And so helping children distinguish those sounds with mouth movements can be done as another way without letters to teach panemic awareness.

[01:04:09.330] - Speaker 2
And of course, the value of teaching with letters is that there is greater transfer. So if you're analyzing sounds and words with letters, then when it comes to reading words or spelling words, you've already learned those associations that you can use for reading or spelling or for building sight words in memory. In fact, we've shown that in one study we showed that teaching children phonemic awareness by analyzing their mouth movements and then letters. So we taught both mouth movements and letters as a way of learning phonemic awareness. And then we examined and in the comparison group, they just learned letters. And then we examined the impact of this on site word learning, and we found that the group that had articulation as well as letters learned to read those words much better than the letter group, suggesting that maybe articulation mouth movements help to secure those letters better in memory for reading those words.

[01:05:36.390] - Speaker 1
Wonderful. So the mouth movements through articulation, then letters has a higher transfer to word reading than just starting with letters.

[01:05:49.410] - Speaker 2
Right. In our study. Now, I should point out that we taught students to criterion, and both groups learned phonemic awareness with letters or in either condition. And typically, that's been observed in these studies that the same number of trials are required taken by children to learn when they're taught with letters or they're taught with tokens. We did one study where that's what we found. But if they receive training with letters, then they do better on the post test, like segmenting new words into their sounds or learning to read or spell words. But it makes sense because those tasks, reading or spelling tasks require the letters, and you have to taught the letters if you use tokens.

[01:06:51.850] - Speaker 1
So the value of doing the phonologic tasks with tokens or that just focus on the articulation, those are valuable before kids know letters.

[01:07:02.120] - Speaker 2
Yeah, sure.

[01:07:05.830] - Speaker 1
Good. Okay. Thank you for that, because I think there's been some confusion out there around some of the original research. What do you think people sometimes get wrong about the National Reading Panel Report?

[01:07:25.130] - Speaker 2
I don't know.

[01:07:31.470] - Speaker 1
That's fine. One thing I would love if you could share with our listeners your story about the chair, Donald Langenberg, and he's a physicist, and what he said during his address to Congress when he presented the report?

[01:07:47.130] - Speaker 2
Yes. At the end of the panel service, we went to Washington, DC, to present our report to Congress. And our chair was Dr. Donald Langenberg, who was a physicist, and he was also Chancellor of the University of Maryland. Now, Dr. Langenberg knew very little about reading instruction when he began his job, but he was committed to leading our charge and identifying the most effective ways to teach students to read. And during our first meeting, Dr. Langeberg was given a booklet written by Louisa Moats entitled Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science. And he was especially interested in this booklet because his business was rocket science. So two years later, when he addressed Congress in presenting our report, he referred to this booklet and he complained that its title was quite misleading. He said, and I quote, as a physicist chairing this panel for two years and preparing this report, I have come to realize that teaching reading is really much harder than rocket science.

[01:09:04.710] - Speaker 1
I just love that, especially coming from a physicist. Yeah, that's great. Well, thank you for your contributions to the National Reading Panel, because I do see that as at least when I think about my own development and evolution as an educator. That was a watershed moment for me.

[01:09:25.290] - Speaker 2
Oh, really?

[01:09:26.280] - Speaker 1
Yeah, it really was. I mean, I came up during the whole language years. I knew so much about Ken Goodman's work. And the National Reading Panel was a moment for me. And I think other people, perhaps of my era who then looked at that and thought, okay, we are a profession that can now hold ourselves to a standard of research and evidence and how actually empowering that can be.

[01:09:52.350] - Speaker 2
That's wonderful. I'm so glad to hear that. Thank you.

[01:09:57.690] - Speaker 1
So how far do you think when we think about our evolutionary development, how far do you think we have come in our understanding about the process of reading and our understanding about reading instruction since your early work?

[01:10:11.850] - Speaker 2
Oh, I think there's been immense progress. The amount of research since the early days is just urgent. I mean, there have been new journals introduced and many more people doing research on reading and reading instruction and more money allocated by the government for reading research. The studies are better designed, more controlled studies to clarify the processes involved in learning to read and effective instruction. Brain research has emerged and clarified what appears to be going on in the brain when beginning readers move into reading and what processing might not be happening when you have dyslexic or disabled readers before they receive remediation in the reading. And the computer programs have been developed to help children learn to read. Also, one other thing, there's been concern about professional development of teachers and how much they need to know in order to teach reading. And so there have been studies that provide evidence regarding that and show the importance of teachers learning more about phonemic awareness and how to break words into their smallest sounds and how to conduct effective instructions. So I think that's an important source of progress, too.

[01:12:06.940] - Speaker 1
Yeah. I feel very hopeful about this as well. And I know when I share with teachers the amount of research and how long this research has been going on and multiple fields of study, including the neuroscience, people are often surprised by that. So I think just elevating that the sheer amount of research we have to guide our practice. Again, I think that can be very empowering. What do you think is left to do? What are the areas in which we can shift attention now to help us move toward all students reading?

[01:12:49.750] - Speaker 2
Well, that's a big question. You know what? There'd be a lot of directions, I imagine, depending on who you ask. And so I guess I'll just answer by focusing on one concern I have where I'd like to see more research. We did a study a few years ago where we examined the effect of children these are fifth graders. I guess we had them read text and the text clarified the meanings of some unfamiliar words. And in one condition, we had children pronounce the words aloud, and in the other condition, they read the word silently. They read the text silently, but these words were marked as ones that they should either read aloud or in the silent condition just to note them in the text. And then we examine what they learned about those words. And reading them aloud made a difference that the spellings being able to read the words out of remember how to read the words was better if they had pronounced them aloud. So I become and that was the only study we did of that sort, although in our other studies, children have always spoken the words aloud. But I'm concerned about the use of silent reading during the beginning years.

[01:14:32.530] - Speaker 2
Our theory suggests that to get sight words in memory, you need to pronounce the words so that the spellings map onto the pronunciations. And if children are beginning readers are reading words silently, I am not so sure that those pronunciations are activated sufficiently so that the spellings become bonded to the pronunciation. I've talked to teachers in kindergarten, first grade. They say, oh, yeah, our kids read silently. Well, I think they should be reading aloud. They should be reading text aloud in order to get those words bonded. The spellings of the words bonded to pronunciations in memory, and then at some point, that's going to become an automatic process so that when they read words silently, they're going to still be pronouncing the words in their head enough so that the spellings map onto the pronunciation. So I'd like to see more research done that early period, especially since silent reading is, as I understand it's, pretty commonly used.

[01:15:49.510] - Speaker 1
Yeah. That would be a really interesting and important area to have more clarity on because it does kind of stand to reason, doesn't it, that activating the pronunciations will support this process of the mapping.

[01:16:04.010] - Speaker 2
Yeah, exactly. Because you want to build a lexicon of sight words. That's the challenge of beginning readers to get those words into memory. One practice is posting keywords on the wall. Well, what good does that do? The words need to get in the kid's head, not on the wall. If you can't read the word, he's not going to recognize it on the wall.

[01:16:32.410] - Speaker 1
Right. And I think that might be one of those practices that's based on, again, going back to the idea that somehow reading is more of a visual as opposed to a graph of phonemic process.

[01:16:48.850] - Speaker 2

[01:16:51.250] - Speaker 1
I consider that kind of a leftover practice, a practice that's left over from old thinking, perhaps. So. Lynnia, you've had such a rich career devoted to teaching and reading, and you've made so many contributions. Can you leave us with a lesson or words of wisdom that you've learned in your many different roles?

[01:17:26.930] - Speaker 2
Well, a lesson for, I would say, junior novice, beginning researchers. Persistence is especially important when you're trying to become a researcher. You're trying to do studies and publish those studies. And it can be very discouraging when you write up those studies and submit them to journals and have them rejected or having to rewrite them in so many ways, spending so much time rewriting that you lose confidence in your skills as a researcher, writer, publisher. So just encouraging junior researchers to stick with it and work with other researchers. I think collaboration, sharing ideas with other people is really important. As I was moving through my years as a researcher, I got to know other people in the field, and we would meet at conferences and we talk about ideas and studies. And often those led to doing studies that supported or challenged other ideas. So I think it's important for beginning researchers to embed themselves in a community of researchers, not to just work alone.

[01:19:18.130] - Speaker 1
Yeah. And we need researchers to help, again, guide and form our practice. So supporting them the story that you started out with when you submitted to Reading Research Quarterly and you got all those rejections from those Editors, but you persisted. That's a wonderful lesson for people to take to heart.

[01:19:44.080] - Speaker 2
Was there one study we did that I felt was really central in providing evidence for the connectionist theory, and that was a study showing that when you are teaching new vocabulary words, unfamiliar words, spoken words to children, and you show them the spellings of the words just Incidentally as they're practicing these pronunciations, and then you test them on their memory for those pronunciations when the spellings are no longer present, that if they saw spellings, they remembered the pronunciations better than if they hadn't seen spellings. And we've done additional studies showing that that really impacts vocabulary learning. That when you expose people to spellings. It enhances their memory for the pronunciations. Well, this first study that we did, I was a junior researcher. I just trying to get evidence for my theory about connections. And I did one study, and then it hit me that I failed to counterbalance there was a design flaw in that study. So I did it a second study where I corrected that problem. And then I submitted the paper to a Journal, and the Journal was skeptical. And they said, well, wait a minute. People in the control condition who didn't see spellings, maybe they didn't pronounce the word as much as the people who saw the spellings, that seeing the spellings made them say the word an additional time.

[01:21:27.110] - Speaker 2
And that's why you saw a better performance when students saw the spelling. So they said I had to do more research before they accept that paper. So we did a third study where we had multiple conditions. Students pronounced the words extra times in the no spelling condition, or they said the letters in the words. Anyway, other additional control conditions. And we still found that spellings facilitated. So that was the third study. And then we added a fourth study where we told children to imagine the spellings, not just they didn't see them. They imagined what they look like if they were learning. And even that facilitated learning compared to not seeing spellings. Anyway, the point is we did four studies, and finally the Editors accepted that paper for publication. So sometimes you have to just replicate, add a condition, persistence. Again, figure out how you can get this stuff published.

[01:22:34.370] - Speaker 1
Persistence. And I also like what you said about collaboration and sharing ideas. I mean, I think so much of what your work represents and other groundbreaking work in the field represents big ideas, starting with a big idea and then following that chain of thought to research it and then provide evidence for practice. So that time for sharing and big ideas is really critical.

[01:23:03.600] - Speaker 2
And I should point out that my research has been done with I just haven't been operating alone. But I have many collaborators. First of all, when I was at UC Davis on the faculty, I had a research assistant, Lee Wilson, who was wonderful in helping me carry out my studies. And then when I moved to the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, I moved there because strictly it was a PhD program, and I would be able to work with students advising them on their dissertations. And because I was teaching courses on literacy, I thought that would get them interested in conducting a study that would advance my research program so that they would join in and we would do more studies. And that worked out very well. I supervised probably 40 students at the CUNY Graduates School on their dissertations. Now, not all of them followed my research program, but many of them did. And it advanced our knowledge about reading processes and instruction.

[01:24:24.590] - Speaker 1
Wonderful. Well, I know I speak for so many of us out there when I just thank you for all your contributions and for your persistence. We are so appreciative of you, Linnaeya.

[01:24:38.520] - Speaker 2
Oh, well, thank you.

[01:24:41.270] - Speaker 1
So I did want to close with our rapid fire questions just because I've done this with all of our other guests. So just a few questions, kind of personal questions, I guess. Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why.

[01:24:59.790] - Speaker 2
Growing up? You mean in, like, elementary.

[01:25:04.470] - Speaker 1
Even in higher Ed? That's fine, too. You have a teacher that really sticks out in your memory.

[01:25:11.130] - Speaker 2
Well, I guess. Dan Sloban, I took his class in Psycholinguistics, and it really opened up the possibility. I became so interested in the study of language behavior, how people process language, how children acquire language. It was just such an interesting topic during graduate school, and it's really his course that did that.

[01:25:46.570] - Speaker 1
Well, thank you. Thank you, Dan Slobin, we appreciate that you started, Linnae, on this course. What is your favorite book or a favorite book, either as a child or as an adult?

[01:25:59.170] - Speaker 2
Well, as an adult, I would say it's a book that I listened to when I was at UC Davis. I would commute I had to commute about 60 miles between home and campus. And so I would listen to books on tape, and I found this book that was offered. It's called The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seaton. And it turns out that that book, historically it occurs in the 1600s. It was a woman who was Governor Winthrop's daughter. And it takes place right where I'm living right now in Stanford. It takes place in the Massachusetts Connecticut area, and it involves interactions between the settlers and Indians. And the woman, Anya Seaton, it turns out she's old Greenwich resident. I think she's passed away now. But anyway, it became really especially important when I moved to the East Coast and settled in this area. Interesting.

[01:27:20.060] - Speaker 1
Well, just to let our listeners know, I'll put some of your recommendations that you've shared and some of these studies in our show notes so they can access them. So, Lynne, what are you reading right now?

[01:27:32.810] - Speaker 2
Well, I'm reading Barack Obama's book, The Promised Land. Unfortunately, during culvert, I acquired a puppy and he's a reading terrier, so he's intruded on my reading time, and I haven't been able to read as much as I used to before I got stuck.

[01:28:02.160] - Speaker 1
Yeah, a puppy is very time consuming, isn't it?

[01:28:05.520] - Speaker 2
Indeed. I realized, oh, my gosh.

[01:28:09.410] - Speaker 1
What's your puppy's name?

[01:28:11.180] - Speaker 2
Quincy. And it's a patriotic name because he was born on the 4 July. So John Quincy Adams is the source of Quincy his name. That's adorable. So he's just a puppy about nine months. Eight, nine months.

[01:28:31.490] - Speaker 1
Bless your heart. Is there anything you have on your desk that symbolizes you or is dear to you?

[01:28:41.690] - Speaker 2
I would say photographs of my friends and family.

[01:28:51.750] - Speaker 1
Yeah, absolutely. And last question. What are your greatest hopes for today's children?

[01:29:02.190] - Speaker 2
Well, let's see. I would hope that as many as possible are able to grow up with loving families with enough to eat, with access to education and opportunity to become a successful, self confident adult.

[01:29:23.110] - Speaker 1
Wonderful. Well said. Confident adult. So wonderful. Thank you. Thank you so much for this time today. I'm so appreciative that you would spend this time with me today and I wanted to just close by kind of talking about something that you said in your address to SR in 2004. You quoted Yogi Bera. Thank you for making this day necessary and I just wanted to thank you for making this day necessary for us and thank you for being here. Thank you for your groundbreaking work that has enriched our collective understanding of how we can move closer to our goal of having all of our children to read. So thank you much gratitude.

[01:30:14.060] - Speaker 2
Thank you. I'm really honored.

[01:30:16.690] - Speaker 1
May we all be out in the world soon? All right. Thanks, Linnaea.

[01:30:23.820] - Speaker 2
Bye bye.

[01:30:25.020] - Speaker 1
Bye bye. It was such a delight to be able to talk to Linnae Ari today and I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode. I find her a thoughtful and articulate spokesperson around so many ideas and so much research for our understanding of the process of learning to read and reading instructions. So much gratitude to Dr. Linnea Airy. If you enjoyed this episode, if you enjoyed this podcast, please rate us. Also, please provide us with feedback. I would love to hear who you'd like to hear from on this podcast. Thank you for your support. Thank you for listening and I hope to see you you again next time. Thanks.