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Uncovering the Logic of English Paperback – April 1, 2011

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Uncovering the Logic of English will be really helpful for teaching reading to children who are mathematical pattern thinkers..."

--Temple Grandin author of Thinking in Pictures

"Uncovering the Logic of English" is a thoughtful guide for anyone who wants to understand language better or is looking for advice to help them teach it." --Midwest Book Review

"A gem of a book... This is a very useful book for teachers, parents and anyone interested in bringing the joy of reading to our nation's children." --Dr Reid Lyon

"The "thrust" of this book might be better described if the title was changed to The Heartbreak of English: a Logical Means of Recovery." --Retired 3M Engineer

From the Back Cover

"English is so illogical!"

It is generally believed that English is a language of exceptions. For many, learning to spell and read is frustrating. For some, it is impossible... especially for the 29% of Americans who are functionally illiterate.
  • But what if the problem is not the language itself, but the rules we were taught? What if we could see the complexity of English as a powerful tool rather than a hindrance?
Uncovering the Logic of English challenges the notion that English is illogical by systematically explaining English spelling and answering questions like "Why is there a silent final E in have, large, and house?" and "Why is discussion spelled with -sion rather than -tion?" With easy-to-read examples and anecdotes, this book describes:
  • the phonograms and spelling rules which explain 98% of English words
  • how English words are formed and how this knowledge can revolutionize vocabulary development
  • how understanding the reasons behind English spelling prevents students from needing to guess.
The author's inspiring commentary makes a compelling case that understanding the logic of English could transform literacy education and help solve America's literacy crisis. Thorough and filled with the latest linguistic and reading research Uncovering the Logic of English demonstrates why this approach should be as foundational to our education system as 1+1=2.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Pedia Learning Inc.; First edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936706008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936706006
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Denise Eide has her hand on the heartbeat of the literacy crisis and is pointing to a way out. Having grown up in a disadvantaged family and struggled with math, Denise understands the hopelessness experienced by students who struggle with illiteracy. She has a gift for connecting people to answers, providing hope, and empowering and motivating others to action.

After completing her B.A., Denise began study for her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. While pursuing her degree, Denise worked with non-profit organizations to develop ESL curriculum. She also taught English at a University in Russia. During this time she discovered that Eastern Europeans think systematically about language. Her students asked many questions about spelling to which her best answer at the time was, "That is an exception. English has evolved; therefore, it is not logical."

When her sons struggled to learn to read, Denise began to research how to help them. She sought training in an Orton-Gillingham approach to reading, where she discovered answers to her sons' reading difficulties, to her own questions about spelling, and to the questions posed by countless students.

In order to share her excitement, Denise put together a forty-five minute presentation called "The Logic of English." While giving this presentation, she began to touch the heart of the literacy crisis: two-thirds of U.S. students read below grade level. Wherever Denise shares, people rush forward to tell her their personal stories. Scientists, mathematicians, and engineers concur that this information would have transformed reading and spelling education for them. Teachers exclaim that everyone is talking about the problem, but that Denise is the first person bringing hope and answers. Parents and community leaders become passionate about changing their communities.

Denise strongly believes that one should not need to be diagnosed with a disability to be taught how English works. In order to empower others, she founded Pedia Learning, the company that publishes the Logic of English series of books and curriculum. Her first paperback, "Uncovering the Logic of English", has won four publishing awards and has been recognized by Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Reid Lyon, and Dr. Robert Sweet, Jr.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jack on March 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Uncovering the Logic of English
Written by Denise Eidi
Reviewed - March 2011

The "thrust" of this book might be better described if the title was changed to THE HEARTBREAK OF ENGLISH: and a Logical Means of Recovery.

The Heart (the will, the intellect and the emotions) of this book will be addressed rather than the mechanics. The reason is that it was my heart that was touched first and foremost as I began to read.

Let me give a little background. I was at the L'Abri Conference 2011 held in Rochester MN (February 11 - 12) when an announcement was made that Denise Eide was available in the lobby to discuss her new book. When I found her table, stacked high with copies of her book, she was deeply engrossed in a conversation with others - so I pressed the money into her hand, smiled and strode off with a copy of Uncovering the Logic of English. A few hours later I began to read...

A deep well of pain and humiliation was tapped - with tears flowing I read on and on. Just so you know; I am a retired Electrical Engineer, I'm 70 years old and those that know me best might say I'm as tough as nails. I, like most boys, think logically and literally and we do not tolerate inconsistent rules. Try as I might, I cannot come up with a description of what I experienced as a boy in school when trying to read, write and spell. Currently I work with several young men at the Middle School and I am drawn to them because they are "gear heads" -- they have the "knack". Check out this one minute video to see what I mean... [...]

The next day I returned to Denise and her table of books. As she finished up her conversation with another visitor she turned to me, "How can I help you?" she asked. "I've been reading your book," I said.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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....
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LDIMom on August 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am about 1/3 of the way through this amazing resource. It is everything I had read about it. Fascinating, helpful, truly unlocking the logic of English for this long-time Editor. I am reading it for the sake of our children, some great readers and some not-so-great. Some natural spellers and some not. One of them is not a native English speaker, so I can't wait to share some of the wisdom in this book with him.

BUT. Big but. The tables in the book, which are vital to understanding the logic of English, are nearly microscopic in size on the kindle. I have tried increasing font size and many other settings, but to no avail. The only way to read the tables is with a magnifying glass. That is just not acceptable.

My only regret: I should have bought the paperback version. So buy this book, just not the kindle version. 3 stars because I can't read the tables.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By marshck on January 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I met Denise Eide at a convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, last year. My then 8yo son had just been diagnosed with dyslexia, and was meeting weekly with a professional tutor. My older children had learned to read without much effort, but weren't the greatest spellers, and after all the upheaval, I was frustrated with the reading curriculum to which we had been so faithful. I felt like it had failed us! I went to Denise's seminar about teaching wiggly children, and I sat in the back of the room, scribbling furiously, trying to write down every word she said. I couldn't believe that I had found a book that taught everything that our (very expensive!) private tutor was teaching! I ended up purchasing not only Uncovering the Logic of English, but the whole Essentials curriculum, which I am now using successfully with my 7yo, and we are beta testing the soon-to-be-released Foundations curriculum with my 5yo.

Uncovering the Logic of English is not a long, heavy, textbook that feels overwhelming to look at. It's much more like a concise, readable handbook. I had to slow myself down because I wanted to absorb everything at the first sitting! The hard copy of the book that I purchased at the convention is underlined, marked up and highlighted, and I couldn't believe how many simple rules I had missed when I was in school.

When I spoke to her at her booth, Denise told me that this book teaches in the detailed, methodical way that struggling readers are taught, which is true to our experience with the private tutor. She said that she had always wondered why we don't teach everyone the rules and strategies that we reserve for kids who are already behind. Doesn't it make sense that if students learn the right way when they are starting out, there will be fewer who fall behind?
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