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Science of Reading: The Podcast

Science of Reading: The Podcast delivers the latest insights from researchers and practitioners in early reading. Each episode takes a conversational approach and explores a timely topic related to the science of reading.

Learn how to apply the science of reading to personalized learning at Amplify’s upcoming virtual summit, Reading Reimagined: Uncovering the Science Behind Personalized Learning on May 13, starting at 11am ET. Register here and receive a complimentary digital copy of our new SoR ebook!

 

 

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Available episodes

In each episode, host Susan Lambert, Chief Academic Officer, Elementary Humanities at Amplify Education, explores the increasing body of scientific research around how reading is best taught. As a former classroom teacher, administrator, and curriculum developer, Susan has a special interest in turning theory into best practices applicable immediately in the classroom, as well as in showcasing national models of excellence in this realm. Listen and subscribe here!

Season 3, Episode 11.

Continuously Improving Literacy Instruction: Alana Mangham

Join Alana Mangham, literacy specialist for the Center for Development and Learning, as she shares her pathway from educator to changemaker in the Science of Reading field. She’ll also highlight her successful four-part literacy plan and urge you to question your instructional practices to better foster reading achievement in children today.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 10.

Deconstructing the Rope: Language structures with Kate Cain

Join Kate Cain, professor of language and literacy at Lancaster University, as she unwinds language structures, a strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. In the latest episode of our Deconstructing the Rope series, Kate explores language structures in the simple view of reading and explains its connections across reading comprehension in literacy development. She also highlights the reciprocal relationship between books and conversation and underscores the importance of reading aloud to children from a young age to develop their vocabulary and semantics.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 9.

Deconstructing the Rope: Vocabulary with Nancy Hennessy

Join Nancy Hennessy, past president of the International Dyslexia Association, as she unwinds vocabulary, a strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. In the latest episode of our Deconstructing the Rope series, Nancy defines the role of vocabulary and elaborates on the nuanced structures of comprehension in literacy instruction. She also highlights how to explicitly teach vocabulary to students through her research-backed, four-pronged approach.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 8.

Deconstructing the Rope: Language comprehension with Sonia Cabell

Join Sonia Cabell, assistant professor at the School of Teacher Education at Florida State University, in the latest episode of our Deconstructing the Rope series as she unwinds language comprehension, a strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. Sonia explains the true definition of language comprehension in relation to the simple view of reading and highlights the role of parents and educators in the use of advanced language models in literacy development. She also reflects on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teachers and families and discusses how it has highlighted the importance of education today.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 7.

A Defining Movement: The Reading League on the science of reading

In this special episode, Dr. Maria Murray, President and CEO of The Reading League, analyzes the intricacies of literacy instruction and shares common misconceptions that educators have about the science of reading. She explains why The Science of Reading: A Defining Movement coalition was founded: the belief of clear understandings of what the science of reading is and what it is not to promote the proper use of instructional practices aligned with the findings from the science of reading.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 6.

Deconstructing the Rope: Background knowledge with Susan Neuman

Join Susan Neuman, Professor of Childhood and Literacy Education at the Steinhardt School at New York University, as she unwinds background knowledge, a strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. In the sixth episode of our Deconstructing the Rope series, Susan explains the important link between background knowledge and reading comprehension in the science of reading and shares insights about her five research-based principles to build knowledge networks in literacy instruction. She also highlights the connection between speech and reading and previews her upcoming studies on the role of cross-media connections in children’s learning.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 5. Deconstructing the Rope: Sight recognition with Dr. Bruce McCandliss

Join Dr. Bruce McCandliss, Professor at the Graduate School of Education of Stanford University, as he unwinds sight recognition, a strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. In the fifth episode of our series, Bruce explains the role of sight and word recognition in the science of reading and highlights the importance of the rapid integration of print, speech, and meaning. He also encourages listeners to be cognizant of the ever-changing, technological learning environment while nurturing young readers and writers.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 4. Plain Talk: Making the Shift to the Science of Reading in Your District

Join leading experts Natalie Wexler, Ernesto Ortiz, Dr. Carolyn Strom, and Susan Lambert for a podcast on making the shift to the science of reading. In this special episode, they discuss how educators can implement the science of reading through an incremental change on all levels, from a classroom to entire districts. Sharing their research and both professional and personal experiences, the panelists share the leadership knowledge, training, and curriculum advice you’ve been looking for. 

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 3. Deconstructing the Rope: Decoding with Dr. Louisa Moats

Join Dr. Louisa Moats, President of Moats Associates Consulting, as she unwinds decoding, a strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. In the third episode of our Deconstructing the Rope series, Louisa highlights the significance of decoding in the science of reading and discusses the value of becoming students of our own language. She also mentions the reciprocal relationship between decoding and encoding and why both are essential to provide effective phonics instruction to children in the classroom.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 2. Deconstructing the Rope: Word recognition with Alice Wiggins

Join Alice Wiggins, Vice President of Instructional Design & Products at UnboundEd, as she unwinds word recognition, a strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. In the second episode of our Deconstructing the Rope series, Alice explains the role of word recognition in the science of reading and highlights the importance of explicit phonics instruction. She also urges listeners to advocate for an aligned curriculum to bring forth a systematic and equitable approach to reading for all students.

Listen here!

Season 3, Episode 1. Deconstructing the Rope: An introduction with Dr. Jane Oakhill

Dive into our first episode of our Deconstructing the Rope series as Dr. Jane Oakhill, professor of experimental psychology at the University of Sussex, provides an overview of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. She also emphasizes the importance of inferencing in comprehension, why the Simple View of Reading is still relevant almost 40 years later, and how each element of the Rope comes together to deconstruct the complexity of reading.

Listen here!

Season 2, Episode 9. Unveiling insights from assessment data: Danielle Damico

Join Danielle Damico, Director of Learning Science at Amplify, as she explores the impact of the pandemic on at-risk students and those in need of intervention. She shares the insights drawn from DIBELS 8th Edition and highlights how data is now more important than ever in understanding where students are—whether assessments are administered in person or through a digital platform. Finally, she leaves our listeners with best practices to nurture readers moving forward and ensure growth and success through the end of the year.

Listen here!

A headshot of Tim Shanahan

Season 2, Episode 8. Behind the scenes of the National Reading Panel: Tim Shanahan

One of our most popular guests, Tim Shanahan, returns! In our most recent episode, he reminisces about the creation of the National Reading Panel in 1997 and the release of its subsequent groundbreaking report. He highlights how reading instruction has evolved and discusses how new research seems to be changing the landscape of the “reading wars” he thought were settled long ago.

Listen here!

A headshot of Sonia Cabell

Season 2, Episode 7. Research, comprehension, and content-rich literacy instruction: Sonia Cabell

Join Sonia Cabell, Assistant Professor of Education at Florida State University, as she shares findings from her research trials on content-rich literacy curricula and whether activating students’ background knowledge alongside explicit phonics instruction is more effective than traditional approaches. She also explains what constitutes “compelling evidence” in the science of reading and why students need to interact with both written and spoken language while learning to read.

Listen here!

A headshot of Kelly Moran

Season 2, Episode 6. Fostering growth and instructional change

Join Kelly Moran, Curriculum Supervisor of Chardon Local Schools in Ohio, as she shares her journey of implementing a curriculum based around the science of reading. Hear about the steps her district took to reshape literacy instructional practices and about the challenges they faced along the way. Find out how the fostering of reading achievement in students renders all efforts worthwhile.

Listen here!

A headshot of Margaret GoldbergA headshot of Alanna Mednick

Season 2, Episode 5. The Right to Read Project on nurturing automatic readers: Margaret Goldberg and Alanna Mednick

Join Margaret Goldberg and Alanna Mednick from the Right to Read Project as they address the science of reading and its translation into easy practice for educators. They break down the Seidenberg and McClelland Four-Part Processing Model and explain how it relates to the simple view of reading. They also reflect on how educators should approach reading as scientists and be ready to teach in a way that may be uncomfortable for a time—the “labor of love” stage of literacy instruction.

Listen here!

A headshot Afrika Afeni Mills

Season 2, Episode 4. Telling the fuller story: Afrika Afeni Mills

Join Afrika Afeni Mills—Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director of BetterLesson—as she reflects on race, culture, and identity in education. She’ll shed light on the significance of integrating students’ schemas to nurture language comprehension in early literacy, discuss the difference between asset- and deficit-based teaching, and highlight the impact “windows and mirrors” have on students’ classroom experiences.

Listen here!

A headshot of Maria Murray
A headshot of Pamela Snow

Season 2, Episode 3. The Reading League and the science of reading: Maria Murray and Pamela Snow

In our first international episode, join The Reading League CEO and President Maria Murray and La Trobe University Professor of Cognitive Psychology Pamela Snow as they reflect on the long history of the science of reading. They’ll explain the true definition of “the science of reading” and explore why this knowledge has not been translated for the practitioners that need it the most—teachers. Our guests will also discuss the pandemic’s silver lining if that’s possible: the opportunity to reflect on instructional practices and how to best support educators and students now, and in the future. Listen here!

A headshot of Tamara Morris
A headshot of Justin Pita

Season 2, Episode 2. Reflecting on past literacy experiences: Justin Pita and Tamara Morris

Join Amplify interns Justin Pita, undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, and Tamara Morris, alumna of Stanford University, as they share their reading journeys. They highlight the major disparities and barriers that affected their academic experiences. They also reflect on how action must be taken by caregivers and educators to ensure that all students have access to equal opportunities for achievement in literacy, so that no student gets left behind. Listen here!

A headshot of Dr. LaTonya Goffney  

Season 2, Episode 1. Confronting the data: Dr. LaTonya Goffney
Join Dr. LaTonya Goffney, Superintendent of Schools for Aldine Independent School District in Texas, as she recounts her two-year journey with her team of district educators to adopt a new early literacy curriculum. Hear how they successfully challenged the traditional adoption process, studied the science of teaching reading, analyzed student data and experiences, and developed a district-wide set of beliefs and expectations.  Listen here!

A headshot of Susan Lambert  

28. A look back at Season One
Join us in reflecting on Season One and preview what’s in store for an exciting Season Two. In this special episode, we visit the highlights of Season One, with key clips from Emily Hanford, Natalie Wexler, Ernesto Ortiz, David and Meredith Liben, Shawn Joseph, and other moments that inspired us and changed how we think about literacy. Listen here!

A headshot of Dr. Catherine Barnes  

27. A conversation with Catherine Barnes
Join Dr. Catherine Barnes, CEO of Sudden Impact Solutions and leader of the Black Parents Support Networkas she addresses the shortcomings of the educational system during the pandemic in underserved communities, the need for overcoming parents’ perceptions of judgment by educators, and how educators can foster relationships with parents in order to ensure continuous learning for students during these trying times. Listen here!

A headshot of Daniel Willingham  

26. A conversation with Daniel Willingham
Author and University of Virginia psychology professor Daniel Willingham discusses the “reading wars” (and mischaracterizations among their factions), the importance of understanding basic science to teach reading, and the variations in the implementation of the science of reading in literacy instruction across districts. Listen here!

A headshot of Doug Lemov  

25. A conversation with Doug Lemov
Doug Lemov, author and managing director of Uncommon Schools, discusses the role of technology in the classroom and remote instruction, how educators should reconsider how they approach literacy, and his experience reconstructing a reading curriculum for this next phase of digital learning while holding true to the values of the science of reading. Listen here!

A headshot of Shawn Joseph  

24. A conversation with Shawn Joseph
Educator, author, and leader Shawn Joseph, shares his passion for social justice and discusses his work advocating for equity in education, shedding light on what he calls the “silent crisis” in literacy instruction. In this episode, you’ll hear about his experience as a former superintendent of several large urban districts and learn how he fostered achievement in all of his students. Listen here!

A headshot of Elizabeth Jiménez Salinas  

23. A conversation with Elizabeth Salinas
Elizabeth Jiménez Salinas and host Susan Lambert discuss advocating for underrepresented ELs, improving dual language instruction, and learned passivity. She shares tips for ELs during this time and reinforces the importance of home connection and language development. Listen here!

A headshot of Mary Clayman  

22. A conversation with Mary Clayman
Join Mary Clayman, Director of the District of Columbia Reading Clinic, and host Susan Lambert, as Mary shares her experience founding one of the first graduate clinical practicums sponsored by a public school system and discusses how it has influenced the training of DCPS teachers and the success of students in early literacy by using the science of reading. Listen here!

A headshot of Jaquey Barber  

21. A conversation with Jaquey Barber
Jacquey Barber, director of design & development at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. Jacquey examines her research on which instructional approach is most impactful for teaching scientific phenomena, the symbiotic relationship between literacy and science, and what educators should be looking for in high-quality science curricula. Listen here!

A headshot of David LibenA headshot of Meredith Liben  

20. A conversation with David & Meredeth Liben
David and Meredith Liben, nationally recognized reading experts and authors of Know Better, Do Better discuss their need to find evidence-based solutions, the importance of knowledge and skills instruction, and how to tackle unfinished learning in schools. Listen here!

A headshot of Laurence Holt  

19. A conversation with Laurence Holt
Laurence Holt, author of the Learning to Read Primers and language acquisition expert, and host Susan Lambert discuss the Simple View of Reading, how the brain rewires itself to learn how to read, and the importance of background knowledge as it relates to language comprehension. Listen here!

A headshot of Larry Berger  

18. A conversation with Larry Berger
Larry Berger, CEO of Amplify, discusses the use of innovation and technology to inform teaching and learning, his new initiative called Wide Open School, and how we can step back and let this be a time of joy and creativity for kids––letting them discover a love of reading. Listen here!

A headshot of Dr. Elfrieda "Freddy" Hiebert  

17. A conversation with Freddy Hiebert
Dr. Elfrieda “Freddy” Hiebert, author and founder of the Text Project, shares insights from her research on vocabulary, the etymology of the English language, and the importance of teaching morphology to enable kids to make connections. Listen here!

A headshot of Jared Myracle  

16. A conversation with Jared Myracle
Jared Myracle, Chief Academic Officer of the Jackson-Madison County School System in Tennessee, shares his district’s experience in adopting the science of reading and navigating the change management process. He stresses the importance of high-quality instructional materials and implementation fidelity. Listen here!

A headshot of Ernesto Ortiz  

15. Special Edition: A conversation with Ernesto Ortiz
Ernesto Ortiz, principal at an elementary school in Pennsylvania, discusses how to understand when materials are meaningfully “research-based”, how his school made the shift to the science of reading, and how he is supporting his students with remote learning resources to continue their literacy development at home. Listen here!

A headshot of David Steiner

14. Special Edition: A conversation with David Steiner
David Steiner, Professor and Executive Director of the Institute for Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University, and Susan examine how school closures are impacting learning across the nation, how districts are responding to the rapidly-changing environment, and why maximizing our educational reach via technology should be a priority. Listen here!

A headshot of Susan Lambert  

13. A conversation about remote learning:
We’ve been thinking a lot about you–and our hearts go out to you during this confusing and uncertain time. Helping our students continue to learn in this unusual and unsettling situation is not easy. And here at the Science of Reading podcast, we want to do what we can to support you where we can. Listen here!

A headshot of Dr. Bruce McCandliss  

12. A conversation with Dr. Bruce McCandliss:
Susan and Dr. Bruce McCandliss, professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, chat about combining neuroscience with education. How does neuroscience help us understand the changes going on in the brain of a child learning to read? Why do some children struggle so profoundly? He shares his research into focusing students’ attention on letters and sounds versus on whole words. Listen here!

A headshot of Jasmine Lane  

11. A conversation with Jasmine Lane:
Jasmine Lane, a high school English teacher, discusses the importance of equity in education and the disconnect between how teachers feel and what they need to do to push education forward for all students, regardless of background. She also shares how education has changed her life, how early literacy teachers made a difference for her students, and how high schoolers fill in the gaps left by things they missed early on. Listen here!

 

A headshot of Dr. Nancy Nelson  

10. A conversation with Dr. Nancy Nelson:

Nancy Nelson, Research Assistant Professor at the Center on Teaching and Learning at the University of Oregon, discusses myths and misconceptions around RTI, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and universal screening in reading instruction. She describes her work on DIBELS®, the importance of dyslexia screeners, and the tools that need to be in place for RTI to work well. Listen here!

 

 

A headshot of Dr. Carolyn Strom  

9. A conversation with Dr. Carolyn Strom:

Dr. Carolyn Strom, Professor of Early Childhood Literacy and Innovation at NYU, discusses the cognitive science behind early reading. She shares her insights on the importance of neuroscience and culturally responsive teaching and dives into research Linnea Ehri’s four phases of learning how to read. Listen here!

 

 A headshot of Tim Shanahan  

 

8. A conversation with Tim Shanahan:

Reading expert Tim Shanahan discusses his view on the teaching of reading. What are the four crucial things you need to teach reading? What does it mean to really do a “close read” in literature? Listen here!

 A headshot of Anne Lucas  

 

7. A conversation with Anne Lucas:

What is the missing link in reading comprehension? Anne Lucas, former curriculum director and current product manager of Amplify Reading, discusses the multifaceted nature of comprehension, why it’s so difficult to teach, a teacher’s powerful “eureka! moment,” and specific skills which, if practiced, are shown to boost comprehension. Listen here!

 A headshot of Emily Lutrick  

 

6. A conversation with Emily Lutrick:

Emily Lutrick, the PreK–5 Curriculum and Dyslexia Coordinator of a Texas district, examines the facts and myths of dyslexia, how early is “too early” to screen for dyslexia, and how to identify the signs and risk factors. Listen here!

A headshot of Lois Letchford  

5. A conversation with Lois Letchford:

Lois Letchford, author of Reversed: A Memoir, shares personal accounts of her son’s struggles with learning how to read in school with dyslexia. After being told by a teacher that her son was “the worst child [she’s] ever seen in [her] 25 years of teaching,” she persisted with endless patience to help her son and began writing poems to pique his interest in reading. Where is he now? Was she successful? Listen here!

A headshot of Tim Rasinski  

4. A conversation with Tim Rasinski: Susan and Tim Rasinski, coauthor of The Megabook of Fluency: Strategies and Texts to Engage All Readers, discuss his work at the reading clinic at Kent State University, the aspects of good fluency instruction, what constitutes fluency, and how reading speed is correlated to word recognition and automaticity. He stresses the importance of fluency and finding ways to be artful while teaching reading. Listen here!

A headshot of Emily Hanford  

3. A conversation with Emily Hanford: Susan sits down with Emily Hanford, education reporter and host of the Education Post podcast,and examines the big takeaways from her experience reporting on dyslexia, the patterns that emerged in her investigation, why reading instruction isn’t more aligned with the science of reading, and the evolution of whole language, balanced literacy, and phonics instruction. Listen here!

A headshot of Robert Pondiscio  

2. A conversation with Robert Pondiscio: Robert Podiscio, author of How The Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School Choice, , shares what inspired him to embark upon his esteemed career path and how we must acknowledge and address that children come to school from different places and backgrounds. Susan and Robert discuss the latest in education reform, the knowledge gap, how it is only going to get larger as kids move through grades, the limited time we have to correct it, and how to start doing so.

Listen here!

A headshot of Natalie Wexler  

1. A conversation with Natalie Wexler: Susan and Natalie dive into her latest book, The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—And How to Fix It, and discuss the lack of equity in reading education among students, the benefits of knowledge-rich curriculum inside and beyond the classroom, why it’s important to build background knowledge while teaching foundational skills, and why professional development doesn’t seem to be making a difference and how it can be improved. Listen here!

A headshot of Susan Lambert  

0. About Science of Reading: The Podcast: Welcome to Science of Reading: The Podcast! We bring educators and parents the latest insights from researchers and practitioners in early reading. We believe equity in education begins with reading science. Listen here!