Narelle Lynch Interview: Empowered, informed Australian teacher talks about her highly successful approach to literacy instruction. Blog entry by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Narelle Lynch Interview: Empowered, informed Australian teacher talks about her highly successful approach to literacy instruction. Blog entry by Dr. Sam Bommarito

It has been over five decades since the 1st-grade studies were carried out LINK. That complete and comprehensive set of studies laid the groundwork for all future studies of the teaching of reading. They demonstrated that no one method works for every child every time.  They found that teachers predicted more of the variance in reading achievement than particular methods. In a nutshell- good teachers get good results. My conclusions about what good literacy instruction should look like are the same now as they were then. The best path to improving literacy instruction is to empower teachers. Train them in both the art and the science of teaching. Give them a background in all the ways to break the code and all the ways to help children make meaning. Empowered, informed teachers are the key to a successful literacy program. One size never has and never will fit all LINK.

Last week I had the privilege of talking to one such empowered, informed teacher. Her name is Narelle Lynch. As you listen to her talk about her teaching, notice the depth of knowledge she has about orthographic principles and how she uses that knowledge to help her 1st and 2nd grade become successful readers (10:21 on the video). She received a great deal of training at the Thrass Institute in Australia. I will be interviewing the head of the institute in the near future about their program. In the meantime, have a look and a listen to a person I consider a master teacher and find out what she does to help her children down the path of becoming successful readers (and writers!).

Here is the link to the interview:

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka the guy in the center happily taking flak from all sides)

Copyright 2021 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the author’s view and do not necessarily reflect any other person or organization’s views.

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BTW- to follow Narelle on her blog use this LINK.

1 thought on “Narelle Lynch Interview: Empowered, informed Australian teacher talks about her highly successful approach to literacy instruction. Blog entry by Dr. Sam Bommarito

  1. luqmanmichel

    This is a very well done interview/ conversation. It was clear and easy to understand. Well done Dr. Sam and Narelle.

    Allow me to say that Narelle is one of my oldest Twitter connection. As such I have seen her arguments on Twitter and I believe she is a good teacher. A very good teacher.

    There are one or two comments that I would like to make.

    Dr. Sam’s first question was ‘Your views about taking a complete view about how students decode’.

    Narelle, in my opinion, was not responding to the question. She talks about understanding grammar and syntax and morphology and etymology which, in my opinion, are important for reading with understanding but not for decoding words in primary one and 2.

    I repeat, there is no doubt in my mind that she is an excellent teacher.

    It is obvious that she is not well versed with the correct sounds represented by letters as the sound of the letter ‘p’ in the first word ‘cop’ that she used as an illustration was sounded out with an extraneous sound. (Minute 6.09)

    Then she went on to say, ‘Here is the symbol and this is the sound, has been around for years. Can anyone out there tell me that a child doesn’t know that the letter ‘b’ makes ‘ber/bur’. (minute 12.22)

    At the 20th minute she says that ‘children are stuck at letter sound process’.
    This phonics teaching has been going on for 23 years, so for millions of children who have been through the process and who are still failing, these children are stuck. They are stuck at letter sound processes.

    I have taught more than 70 so-called dyslexic kids on a one on one basis over 15 years. I have observed them and ‘interviewed’ them and learned from them why they were able to read in Malay and Han Yu Pin Yin but not in English. It is because they had been confused because teachers have taught them the sounds represented by consonants with extraneous sounds. This is why Narelle says that these children are stuck with ‘letter sound process’.

    Many children learn regardless of the way they are taught. However, about 20% of kids around the world disengage from learning to read when they are confused. I believe that if we teach kids the consonants with no extraneous sounds almost all children will be able to decode. Then, we can go on to grammar, syntax, morphology and etymology.

    Once again, well done.

    Reply

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