What is the Tunnel Wall?

.........................A timely collection of conservative articles about liberal influences on politics and culture in America ......................



Friday, March 24, 2017

K-12: No Joy In Reading. That's the Plan.

Bruce Deitrick Price  . . . "To start with, Sight-words are the worst way to start.  Instead of learning letters and the sounds they represent, children memorize graphic designs.  Rudolf Flesch (Chapter V of Why Johnny Can't Read) said that as of 1948, eleven studies had been conducted; all found that phonics is superior.  (So the Education Establishment has always known that if you want a society to have low literacy, you will promote Sight-words.  And that is what they relentlessly do.) 
Children who rely entirely on Sight-words will invariably end up semi-literate (aka functionally illiterate).  However, it's also true that the more verbal children will in time figure out that Sight-words are not efficient.  These children will notice that certain letter-shapes represent certain sounds.  And by the third grade, many children will be reading phonetically even though they were never taught to do so!" . . .
Bruce Deitrick Price explains educational theories and methods on his site, Improve-Education.org. For info about his four new books, see his literary site, Lit4u.com.

The Reading Wars; Phonics versus Whole Language  . . . "Phonics proponents led by Rudolph Flesh in his 1955 book Why Johnny Can't Read attacked the whole word  
approach because it did not get students into reading children's stories that did not have carefully controlled vocabularies. Phonics advocates focus their efforts on the primary grades and emphasize the importance of students being able to sound out (read) words based on how they are spelled. A problem with English is that it does not have a one-to-one sound symbol relationship that would make reading much easier. The many homonyms in English such as to, too, and two create difficulties for students, even at the university level in regard to spelling.

"While knowing basic phonetic rules helps students sound out words, other very common "outlaw words" still need to be memorized as sight words because they don't follow any but the most complicated rules. It is estimated about half the words in the English language cannot be pronounced correctly using commonly taught phonic rules. Other problems with phonics include the differing size of students' vocabularies and differing dialects of English that vary in their pronunciation rules


"Phonics is considered a "bottom up" approach where students "decode" the meaning of a text. The advantage of phonics, especially for students who come to schools with large vocabularies, is that once students get the basics down, they can go to the library and read a wide variety of children's literature." . . .

Image result for cartoons teaching reading

UK Guardian: Fabulous Phonics: a creative approach to teaching reading and writing
"Last week, I spent a fascinating afternoon at John Donne primary school with 24 early years and foundation stage (EYFS) teachers listening to deputy head and early years specialist Ruth Moyler share her creative approach to teaching phonics." . . .
Her resources:
Phase 2 of Fabulous Phonics for reception teachers: 'SAT' 'PIN' 'MDG'Phase 2 Fabulous Phonics for reception teachers: 'OCK' 'CK' E U 'RHB'Phase 3 of Fabulous Phonics for reception teachersFunny phrases for phase 3 phonicsPhase 2 phonics suggestions for real 'sound' objectsPhase 3 phonics suggestions for real 'sound' objects
Whole Language: What It Is, What It Isn't  This author prefers phonics.

Whole language "describes a literacy philosophy which emphasizes that children should focus on meaning and strategy instruction. It is often contrasted with phonics-based methods of teaching reading and writing which emphasize instruction for decoding and spelling. However, from whole language practitioners' perspective, this view is erroneous and sets up a false dichotomy. Whole language practitioners teach to develop a knowledge of language including the graphophonic, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects of language. Within a whole language perspective, language is treated as a complete meaning-making system, the parts of which function in relational ways. It has drawn criticism by those who advocate "back to basicspedagogy or reading instruction because whole language is based on a limited body of scientific research."

Defending Whole Language: The Limits of Phonics Instruction and the
Efficacy of Whole Language Instruction
  pdf


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