Frankly Freddy Blog

TextProject president and CEO Elfrieda H. (Freddy) Hiebert blogs about important issues in reading research and practice.

Frankly Freddy entries (published from 2005 to 2014) have been sorted into five topics of literacy learning and instruction. Click here to download the ebook!

January 24, 2011

Looking “Within” the Lexile for More Guidance: Word Frequency and Sentence Length

Freddy Hiebert

Teachers should use the lexile rating as an initial piece of information, much like a check of someone’s temperature. A temperature can be high or low for lots of different reasons. The average sentence length and average word frequency gives teachers more specific information that is useful for decision-making.


October 6, 2010

The Generalizability of the TExT Model to Indic Languages

Freddy Hiebert

Considerably less is known about reading processes in syllabic and semi-syllabic writing systems, such as those used by a sizeable proportion of the world’s population. In this column, we consider the generalizability of features of the TExT model to alphasyllabic languages, such as those in use in India.


August 4, 2010

Immunizations and treatments in early reading

Freddy Hiebert

Might it be that the immunization effort of the past decade in early reading education has contributed to problems that are far more serious than word recognition ever was? Might it even be that students’ word recognition is, in fact, quite good and that it is their background knowledge and engagement in reading that is the real problem?


June 24, 2010

Opening the dialogue

Freddy Hiebert

There are some children who come to school who officially learn to read in school but who have had hundreds of hours of experiences with books, print, and language play.


June 17, 2010

What Exactly is a Decodable Text?

Freddy Hiebert

Any text written in English is decodable at some level in that the code never deviates from the alphabetic system. However, the degree to which the letter-sound correspondences within words are common or consistent can vary considerably.


June 4, 2010

Whatever Happened to Dick and Jane?

Freddy Hiebert

If you were 6 years old between 1930-1967 in the U.S., there is a high likelihood that this text was the first of your school career.


November 14, 2009

High-Leverage Action #3

Freddy Hiebert

ELLs may have the concepts of a topic but simply give the concepts different labels than the English ones. In a unit on the human body, native Spanish speakers know about a skeleton.


November 7, 2009

High-Leverage Action #2

Freddy Hiebert

In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common origin.


October 31, 2009

High-Leverage Action #1

Freddy Hiebert

We know that oral language is a primary way in which meaning gets constructed and built. Through talk, we come to understand concepts and our interpretations and ownership of ideas.


October 29, 2009

High-Leverage Actions That Can Make a Difference

Freddy Hiebert

As facilitator of the 2009 CREATE conference, I promised attendees that I would reflect on what I view to the important take-aways from the conference and share them in this venue.