Letters to the editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 30, 2003

Thanks to delegates for courage to speak

Our thanks go to Delegate Bobo and her 10 General Assembly colleagues for their letter of protest to President Bush ("11 Assembly Democrats send Bush protest letter," March 27).

I do not agree with Delegate McMillan that this is not the time or place for disagreement. How long should we be silent? How many people have to die, suffer and lose their loved ones before we are allowed to speak?

Yolanda Bruno

Columbia

Article on reading called misleading

As a longtime reading instruction specialist, I found part of the article by Laura Shovan, "Pupils make best friends with words" (March 26), distinctly misleading.

Ms. Shovan attempts to convince her audience that reading aloud to students is a time-effective manner in which to develop their proficient reading skills.

Unfortunately, that canard has been widely disseminated throughout the media. Parents and the public are falsely advised that their children's listening to stories read aloud to them is a most important aspect of their learning to read adeptly.

As a matter of experimental fact, children's (a) listening to stories read aloud, and (b) their acquisition of quick and accurate written word recognition ability, are remarkable different processes. Skill in the former is acquired instinctively.

To the contrary, competence in the latter is best developed through direct, intensive, systematic, early and comprehensive tutelage of a predetermined hierarchy of discrete reading skills and knowledges.

Patrick Groff

The writer is professor of education emeritus of San Diego State University.

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