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Reeding iz Fundeementle

2005-12-01 15:55:20.235948+00 by petronius 1 comments

According to the Guardian, the UK school system is going back to using the "phonics" method for initial reading lessons, reverting to a traditional system that keeps coming back every few years. The nuns taught me phonics back in 1956 and it took just fine. But then, I suspect that I was the sort of extremely verbal, symbol manipulating type of kid who would have learned reading without much trouble, regardless of the system used.

Some will learn better by one method, some by another. The article states that in phonics kids learn the words faster but comprehension a bit slower. As in any educational method, individual adjustments are important, and cannot be factored out of the equation. If I hadn't come from a family of avid readers, who knows what would have happened.

I saw a show recently about how babies acquire language, and how at one point they can learn foreign phonemes (like in Manderin Chinese) that adults never pick up. Apparently this discovery led to a rash of Spanish and French teaching videos for babies, most of which failed. Why? Because babies don't learn language from hearing it; they learn language from hearing people use it. We can't forget the human factor.

[ related topics: Language Children and growing up Sociology Education ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-01 17:22:22.059528+00 by: meuon

Phonics worked for me, even bouncing through many school systems as a kid, and still does. It's probably why I'm not a great speller, and my punctuation usage sucks, but I digress... I got tested a lot in Kansas in grade school, they would though adult level books at me because I was reading the kiddy stuff at 700+ WPM, not doing what most call 'speed reading'. But then, I was the bookwork nerd that actually skimmed/read parts the set of encyclopedia setsand other books me parents kept around. No discovery channel: Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" series, and Time Life 'History of the World' books.. and.. and.. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. - Like you, I grew up in a family and house of books, magazines and periodicals. Starting with Dr. Suess.

I think you are correct in that some methods of teaching/learning work better for different people, but I also have to give credit to great teachers (including parents), as I think a great teacher, and a poor method, is better than a poor teacher and a good method.