Why Jacques, Johann and Jan Can Read

Author: Geraldine Rodgers

ISBN: 978-1-60264-179-2 (softcover);
978-1-63868-139-7 (eBook)

419 pages

Appalled at the reading disabilities in her third-grade classroom in New Jersey, Geraldine E. Rodgers requested a sabbatical leave to observe first-grade reading instruction and to test resultant second-grade oral reading in the United States and Europe. In 1977-78, using a portion of a silent reading test from IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement), which she had translated commercially into Dutch, Swedish, German, and French, she tested the oral reading of over 900 second-graders in their own languages in the United States, Holland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany, Austria, and France. She rated first-grade teaching emphasis on a scale from 1 (for sight-word "meaning") to 10 (for phonic "sound"). Mixed programs were rated from 2 to 9. She then immediately tested the oral-reading accuracy, speed, reversals, and comprehension of second-grade children in the same schools, in their own languages.


Miss Rodgers has written several other books on the reading problem since this book was originally written in 1979. She has corresponded widely, in the intervening years from 1979 to 2008, with others who were attempting to improve the teaching of beginning reading. Yet she regrets that all the hard work done by so very many people to replace sight-word teaching with phonic teaching has largely been unsuccessful Therefore, her advice to parents is brief. Get a copy of Dr. Rudolf Flesch's 1955 book, Why Johnny Can't Read, and teach your children to read from the tables in the back of that book before the children enroll in the public schools. Furthermore, do not be hypnotized by any school's use of the word "phonics" since it is usually meaningless.

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