Document Type


Publication Date

July 2004

Publication Title

English Teaching Forum



Issue Number



Language Interpretation and Translation | Linguistics


Speakers of non-Romanized languages face special challenges in learning to read English: a new alphabet, the left-to-right direction of English text (new to many of these learners), and, most significantly, the letter-sound correspondences of English, which are relatively complex among Romanized languages. Fortunately, strategies for overcoming these challenges are presented in a text by the famous linguist Leonard Bloomfield and the lexicographer Clarence Barnhart (Bloomfield & Barnhart, 1961). Though Bloomfield and Barnhart’s text was designed for teaching native-English-speaking children to read, with minor modifications it can be used to successfully teach speakers of non-Romanized languages to read as well. This paper discusses Bloomfield and Barnhart’s approach to teaching reading, and then suggests modifications of their approach for the EFL learner.


This article originally appeared in English Teaching Forum, 42, 3, 2004. This work can also be found online at this link.