Wednesday, February 24, 2010



    He's been thrifty with his praises
    All his life.
    He's been thrifty with the dough
    He gave his wife.
    Now he's going to retire,
    It's the cold he feels, not fire,
    'Cause he's been just too damned thrifty
    With his life.

    He was thrifty with his tolerance
    And tact.
    And humanity was one more thing
    He lacked.
    So it isn't any wonder
    That he feels he's going under,
    That the dice are loaded
    And the cards are stacked.

    If the Sermon on the Mount
    Means anything,
    Then we'll have to have him back
    Inside the ring.
    We don't have to call him 'dear’,
    But, let's buy the man a beer,
    'Cause he's just an old bee now -
    Without a sting.

Another poem GWF from the 1994 book "Verse you can read" - The chapter called 'On Pedagogy'

Monday, February 22, 2010

WRITE NOW - printable pages of units in NRT

Every unit in NRT is interactive on the computer screen, and is also available as a printable page. These are some sample pages from the Write Now section.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Facsimile of 1978 programme and 'BASICS'

The cover of the programme from about 1978.


I love to read
I love to spell
I love to use the language well
I think that grammar is a must
I don't mean just to earn a crust
But for its own intrinsic worth.

Do you know there is quite a dearth
Of people who know English well ?
Who read with ease ?
And who can spell ?

1994 "Verse you can read" -The chapter called 'On Pedagogy'

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sample unit from NRT Lesson 4

Lesson 4 contains 20 activities that focus on the forth vowel: 'o'.

This movie is the second activity of lesson 4. It animates single syllable phonic words that contain the letter o. Clicking on the image will take you to a page where this movie plays.

As each word is displayed, it is sounded so that the viewer can get used to how it looks and sounds.

It can also be used without the sound for testing purposes.

There are a set of 14 syllables across the top of the page. When clicked on, the movie goes to words that contain that syllable. This interactivity allows the user to control the movie and hence their own rate of learning.

This is one of 567 units in NOW READ THIS.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


This is where we find the magic,
This is where the whole thing starts
This is where God put together
All these fascinating parts.

See those big eyes, trusting, glistening,
Ready smiles and gurgling laughter,
Confidences, gorgeous creatures,
Why should anything come after?

This is where the best things happen,
Children are such precious people,
Teach them number, reading, writing,
Here’s the church and here’s the steeple.

Let them show you too, my teachers,
All the secrets that they know of,
Secrets that the angels told them
Not too many seasons far off.

This one swings her shiny pigtails,
Tells you her new baby brother
Will be coming some time next week,
As a present from her mother.

This one with the short blond haircut
Tells you of the bike he’s getting
But you know the bike’s a dream thing,
That his crippled foot’s preventing.

So they come and say they love you,
Reaching out with chubby fingers,
Urge you here to do some skipping,
Hurry, hurry, no one lingers,

Can’t you feel their wild excitement,
Aren’t you happy, aren’t you flattered,
That these busy Lilliputians
Make you feel as if you mattered?

by G W Falkenmire

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to form each of the letters of the lower case alphabet

Click the image to see the movie in a new window.

This is a screen shot of an animation in NOW READ THIS.
This movie shows how each lower case letter is formed.
In an attractive animation, students can see the correct way to write each letter of the English alphabet.
The movie runs for about 8 minutes. It is in two sections, the first part forming each letter of the alphabet, stroke by stroke. The second part of the movie is all of the 26 letters fading in and out one at a time. This second part will loop endlessly unless interrupted by the user. 

There are control buttons to manage the replaying, pausing and stopping the movie.
An alphabet written across the top of the page is a row of links that allow the user to jump directly to the writing of the particular letter that they click on.

NOW READ THIS also has a matching movie that shows the writing of the uppercase letters. 

Monday, February 15, 2010


Your life is ruled by attitude.
Whatever that may be,
So, good or bad, hot or cold,
Your attitude is Thee

It's your responsibility,
To keep yourself on top,
Your attitude will call the tune,
Until the day you drop.

So, when you know you are the best,
No matter what they say,
Just be ruled by your attitude,
And you'll enjoy the day.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

from GWF

The following is part of the FOREWARD written by G. W. Falkenmire for the version of Now Read This that was published in 1984 and called "Highway to Literacy"

Dear Students and Teachers,
This course is specially constructed so that anyone who can read and write can teach someone else to read and write.
It is the result of a lifetime of concern about literacy levels of children and adults. It is the earnest desire of the author that everyone should have access to the printed word.
This course is virtually an exercise in programmed instruction - where the progression from a known fact is made as simple as possible.

Our digital version of Now Read This holds true to this description. However it is programmed instruction, but the user has control of the programme and can take it in many directions. In this way the programme caters for learners at every level of English literacy and any speed of learning.

The title page of NRT with links to the 10 lessons.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The only literacy programme especially for adults

Now Read This is a programme that has been designed for adults. As far as we know, it is the only digital literacy programme that is not demeaning for older illiterate people. Once copied to a computer it is easy to use, and has content for learners at every level.
We are going to use this blog to promote the programme by revealing what is in the programme, and how it could change the lives of the many adults who can't read, or who have difficulty reading.
Every day we will add something here that is interesting and entertaining ... about our programme, or about English literacy ... that should just about cover it!
Please feel free to comment, and to ask questions. Jon and I have put a lot of time into making this programme, and we would really like to see it out there improving people's lives.