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Speech to Print


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About the Author

Dr Louisa Moats has been a teacher, psychologist, researcher, graduate school faculty member, consultant, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers on the topics of reading, spelling, language, and teacher preparation. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from Wellesley College, her master's degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt, and her doctorate in reading and human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She began her professional career as a neuropsychology technician, teacher of students with learning disabilities, curriculum director in a residential school, and education specialist in a hospital learning clinic. After completing her doctorate, she spent 15 years in private practice as a licensed psychologist in Vermont, specializing in evaluation and consultation with individuals of all ages who experienced learning problems in reading and language. Subsequently, she was employed as the Visiting Scholar in the Sacramento County Office of Education, where she helped obtain a 1 million dollar grant to write teacher training materials for California's reading initiative.

Dr. Moats spent the next 4 years as site director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Early Interventions Project in Washington, D.C. This longitudinal, large-scale project was conducted through a grant to the University of Texas, Houston, under the direction of Barbara Foorman. It investigated the causes and remedies for reading failure in high-poverty urban schools. Evidence from the study strongly supported the value of in-depth training for teachers on the essential components of effective instruction. During the last two decades, Dr. Moats has focused her efforts on developing courses and workshops for teachers based on her experiences at the Greenwood Institute in Vermont, St. Michael's College in Vermont, the NICHD Early Interventions Project in Washington, DC, the California Reading Initiative, and Reading First. Those professional development materials are called LETRS: Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, published by Voyager Sopris Learning. Dr. Moats' other publications include, in addition to many journal articles, Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction (York Press/PRO-ED, 1995); Straight Talk About Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference During the Early Years (with Susan Hall; Contemporary Books, 1999); Parenting a Struggling Reader: A Guide to Diagnosing and Finding Help for Your Child's Reading Difficulties (with Susan Hall; Broadway, 2002); Basic Facts About Dyslexia and Other Reading Problems (with Karen Dakin; International Dyslexia Association, 2007). She is also well known for authoring the American Federation of Teachers' (1999) Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science: What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able to Do.

Dr. Moats' awards include the prestigious Samuel T. and June L. Orton award from the International Dyslexia Association for outstanding contributions to the field; the Eminent Researcher Award from Learning Disabilities Australia; and the Benita Blachman award from the Reading League.


Includes all a teacher needs to know about the English language in order to teach reading and writing . . . a must-read for all teachers. --Marcia K Henry, Ph.D.

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