Cardinal Reading Strategies

Dr. Walter Dunson

Walter E. Dunson, Ph.D. is a structured literacy consultant, author, professor, and legislative advocate.  He is the Executive Director and Founder of Cardinal Reading Strategies and has more than twenty years of experience working with students in the areas of language-based learning and language acquisition.       

Formerly, he served as a literature instructor, a reading lab coordinator, and curriculum developer at The Briarwood School, a school for dyslexics in Houston, Texas, and he served as a language training instructor at The Kildonan School, a school for dyslexics in Amenia, New York.  While at Kildonan, Dr. Dunson received extensive Orton-Gillingham training and was mentored through a 2760-hour practicum by a founding Fellow in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE).  In order to provide diagnostic-prescriptive remediation, he has received additional training in:

  • Lindamood-Bell’s Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech

  • Visualizing and Verbalizing Program of Concept Imagery for Comprehension and Thinking

  • Seeing Stars Program of Symbol Imagery for Sight Words, Reading, Phonemic Awareness, and Spelling

  • Dr. Jane Fell Greene’s Language! Program, a curriculum for at-risk and ESL students in grades K-12 and includes components for writing, spelling, reading, grammar, and vocabulary.

 

In keeping with the findings of the National Reading Panel, he also incorporates:

  • Great Leaps for Reading, a program that has been recognized for years as a researched and evidence-based fluency program that enables students to make significant strides in their reading.

  • Six Way Paragraphs, a three-level series that teaches the basic skills necessary for reading factual material through the use of the following six types of questions: subject matter, main idea, supporting details, conclusions, clarifying devices, and vocabulary in context.

  • Sounds and Letters, a manual of cumulative units of phonemic awareness drills intended for use by teachers or speech-language pathologists to build efficiency in the five activities of phonemic awareness (replication, blending, segmenting, substitution, and rhyming).

Dr. Dunson is strong proponent of evidence-based reading research, a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association (Houston Branch), and the author of School Success for Kids with Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties and The English Code.  Additionally, he is the creator of The English Code Language Training System, a multi-sensory language training system that incorporates auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic modalities with interactive, digital content to create highly effective evidence-based reading instruction.

Dr. Dunson has appeared as a guest on NPR and Project Baltimore, and he has presented on the importance of evidence-based reading instruction before the Maryland State Board of Education, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Maryland House of Delegates, and the Maryland Senate.  He has served as an expert witness and an educational advocate in cases involving the District of Columbia Public Schools and several county school districts in Maryland and Virginia, and he served as the keynote speaker at the 17th Annual Region 4 Dyslexia Conference in Houston, Texas on December 16, 2016.  In addition to his position at Cardinal Reading Strategies, he is a member of Right to Read-Maryland, a coalition of educational organizations, advocates, and supporters who have the common goal of improving teacher education so that all teachers have the knowledge and tools to teach reading effectively.  Towards this end, Right to Read-Maryland has put forth a bill in the Maryland Legislature, with the help of Maryland Delegate, Dana Stein, and Maryland Senator, Joan Carter-Conway, to ensure that teachers of reading pass a competency test (the Foundations of Reading Test) before being placed in front of students.  Dr. Dunson also serves as an adjunct professor in Loyola University Maryland’s Graduate School of Education where he teaches structured literacy skills to public and private school educators, and he is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education Elementary Literacy Work Group, a committee chartered to revise the four reading courses at the college/university level that teachers must complete in order to obtain state certification.