Marilyn Adams

Marilyn Jager Adams earned her Ph.D. from Brown University in cognitive psychology and developmental psychology in 1975. She is a Visiting Professor in the Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences Department at Brown.

Since 1992 she has served on the Planning or Steering Committee for National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading Assessment.

She was the Literacy Advisor for "Sesame Street" and Senior Advisor for Instruction for PBS's "Between the Lions."

In 1994 she published Beginning to Read:Thinking and Learning about Print,

In 1995 Adams was Senior Author of the Kindergarten and Grade 1 levels of Open Court Publishing Company's reading and writing program, "Collections for Young Scholars," which in 2000 contributed to the Reading First component of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind initiative.

In 2001 she founded the for-profit company Soliloquy Learning to develop speech-recognition software. In 2008 Scientific Learning Corporation acquired Soliloquy Learning for an undisclosed amount. In 2020 Carnegie Learning acquired Scientific Learning Corporation for $15,000,000. It's not clear what role Marilyn Adams has in this company.

In her book Beginning to Read, Adams devoted chapter 11 to the problems of teaching phonics first. Rudolf Flesch, following the advice of the great Yale linguist Leonard Bloomfield, suggested initial teaching should involve just the 26 letters of the alphabet, with the short sounds of the five vowels /ă/, /ĕ/, /ĭ/, /ŏ/, and /ŭ/, and a singe hard sound for consonants /c/ and /g/.