Denise Eide has successfully answered the oft quoted, and false statement that "English spelling is inconsistent, illogical, and, for some, impossible." She has taken a complex subject, made it understandable, and provided a step by step process to teach ANYONE to read proficiently. There is no longer any excuse for a student schooled in America, whether at home or in a public or private setting, not to learn to read with comprehension by the time they complete first grade. There can no longer be any reason that a middle school student, or an adult who was mis-taught cannot be rescued and re-taught to read proficiently.
Who needs to read and understand and apply the irrefutable information in "Uncovering the Logic of English?"
* Professors in every college of education where elementary school teachers are being prepared to teach kindergarten, first, and second graders to read. Today, the overwhelming "philosophy" of reading instruction is based on the false and harmful belief that students learn to read the way they learn to speak. NOT SO...learning to read is a skill to be learned, just like one learns to play the piano, or the harp, or build a house. It requires a step by step set of rules that must be mastered if one is become a good pianist, or harpist, or carpenter.
* Reading "coaches" and "reading supervisors" and "kindergarten, first, second, and third grade teachers. Sad to say, the giant publishing companies in America (four of which control 75% of the textbook market) print what they think teachers will buy. They do not care that the information presented is not based on decades of research. They do not measure the methods of instruction against what works....thus, school districts spend billions on textbooks that are dutifully used by untrained, but well intentioned teachers. And so, our illiteracy rates in America continue to burgeon each year...students are placed in Special Education, or drop out of school, or are underachievers, simply because they are not taught the basic logic of the English language.
* Home School Moms, are probably the most well educated and savvy of all the teachers in America because they are not saddled with the false teaching "strategies" of whole language. There are other products being successfully used that can be used to teach a student to read, but "Uncovering the Logic of English" is one of the best, simplest to use, and most inexpensive teaching tool available today.
* Education writers in popular periodicals or news outlets need to read this book. It will provide a basis for offering "a solution" the next time another report is released noting the poor student reading achievement that has lulled Americans into a trance of inaction, and continues to plunge countless students into a lifetime of greatly limited possibilities.
* TV and Radio Talk Show hosts often pontificate about the low achievement of students in our schools, but usually offer no alternative solutions. This book offers some excellent "one liners" that can be quoted like: there are a "finite number of tools that unlock the mystery of 98% of the words in the English language. When these 104 tools are presented, all students can succeed." Or, there are "26 letters in the English alphabet, that represent 44 sounds, and there are 74 ways to spell those sounds and 30 "rules" that when applied make complete sense out of learning English. If these tools are learned, and they CAN be learned, in first grade for most, and no later than third grade for 95 % of students, then they can read what they can talk about and understand. No problem with comprehension either.
* Everyone else who cares about the unacceptable illiteracy rate in America should read this book. You will find, as I did, that there are many helpful, interesting, and practical "rules of the road" that you will find fascinating as you explore your language.
There is no magic involved here. It is simply applying what has been known since "Hornbooks," the "New England Primer," or Noah Webster's "Blue Backed Speller" were used to teach a nation to read proficiently, with fluency and comprehension.
As my colleague Dr. Reid Lyon, Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development says: "Denise Eide has written a gem of a book that brings light to the way in which words are read and spelled. This is a very useful book for teachers, parents and anyone interested in bringing the joy of reading to our nation's children."
Dr. Robert W. Sweet, Jr.
The National Right to Read Foundation