Skip to comments.Fake Reading Theory is the Slave Trade of Our Era
Posted on 12/16/2011 4:49:36 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
Fake reading theory is the slave trade of our era. Conscience demands that it be opposed.
A hundred books, perhaps two hundred, have been written on the reading wars. Finally those millions of words come down to a few dozen. English is a phonetic language and must be learned phonetically. Whole Word, the opposing theory, is a mirage, without merit.
The great sophistry of the 20th century was to create the illusion that Whole Word could actually work or, one step lower, that there was a legitimate choice between the two approaches to reading, as there is between fahrenheit and centigrade temperatures. The sophists urge even today: lets use both.
Please dont. In truth, theres no debate, no choice. Whole Word is a lie.
One architect of Whole Word casually stated that most people could memorize fifty to a hundred thousand sight-words. Not true. In fact, only people with photographic memories could memorize even 20,000 sight-words. Ordinary people have trouble reaching 1,000. Many children cannot reach 100 sight-words. Virtually no one actually reads with sight-words.
Fortunately, most students finally see the phonics inside the sight-words and learn to read in a normal phonetic way. Unfortunately, the students who dont see the phonics (the sounds) usually remain illiterate. They also become damaged and deeply unhappy. Many end up on Ritalin.
Its important to say decisively that Whole Word is a fake, a scam, a hoax, I would even say a crime. The people promoting it are too smart not to know what theyre doing. That is my reluctant conclusion....
(Excerpt) Read more at rightsidenews.com ...
It’s called deliberate dumbing-down - and yes, it is a monumental deliberate crime that deserves to be prosecuted for what it was and is.
I was about to write some painful drivel, something probably nonsensical, that said essentially the same thing you have. You have said it much better than I though. Thank you!
Another method of learning to read; that is neglected today in the dumbing down of America, is learning how to identify the meaning of words; by identifying the context, a few years ago I had a boss in his late twenties, he could read some words but was almost clueless as to what he was reading, simple written instructions needed verbal explanations. By the way he was an obvious affirmative action employee, although I’m sure the company would deny it.
Don’t agree. At all. I learned whole words, was reading at age 4.
Phonetics is the foundation. Practicing reading leads to sight reading over time.
But without the foundation... It doesn't work. The numbers show it. Phonetics was taught in grammar school for ages, and literacy rates were high for those that learned to read.
Phonetics was dropped, and literacy has fallen even though we have near-universal education.
Are there schools that still try to teach sight reading? I thought most schools had returned to phonics. No?
I never knew until now that I’m illiterate. Strange, I passed all my tests with high marks in a demanding school. And I’ve written and sold several articles on various subjects to large newspapers. Guess I’d better send back the checks because I’m illiterate.
I agree with that. We couldn’t figure out why our son wasn’t able to read well going into the third grade. It was the whole word crap that had him buffaloed. We did the phonics thing and taught him at home to sound out the word. After that he excelled in reading comprehension. It was like we hit the go button. BTW, that was long before hooked on phonics hit the market.
I can't recall learning how to read myself; I could read at two years old.
Few adults learn to read. Children learn to read. Which process is best for children in order to learn the skill of reading? I'm 59 years old and I DO NOT read phonetically. However, 53 years ago it was the method that was used to teach me. In first grade I went from trying to make out words on the back of the Rice Krispys box to reading the jokes in The Readers Digest. Not a bad method for most people.
Phonics doesn’t work with some types of brains. My son couldn’t learn to read that way. They call it a “processing disorder,” but it is a very right brain oriented type of issue and has been associated with dislexia.
My son is 30 now, but as a child, his brain filed words as pictures. When reading a sentence, he would see the action unfold. This has to be whole word reading. It is till difficult to learn to read because of all the abstract words that have no associated picture. Phonetics made no sense at all. A key was speed reading where his brain learned not to stop when he came to an abstract word.
He is extremely intelligent. The armed services courted him in high school because he registered so high as a potential code breaker on tests. He is an original thinker who puts unique things together -very inventive and able to solve problems in troubleshooting complex systems.
IMHO, whoever wrote the article is an idiot.
I was in first grade in 1947 when 'look-say' teaching was first instituted. My foster-mother found out they were not teaching phonics and proceeded to teach me. It took less than three or four months and I was reading books far above 'grade level' and my teachers wondered why and how.
Today I know how to pronounce words on first-sight that are rarely used in print. Sight reading simply doesn't provide that ability, nor does it give you the basic tools you need for learning how to spell words easily.
Phonics is an excellent way to teach reading. It give the child a way to recognize words that he already knows that is not possible in any other form of written language. It enables a kid to quickly gain mastery in reading. I never knew a time that I wasn’t able to read. My nephew in kindergarten and first grade could fluently read aloud the Chronicles of Narnia (and just about anything else—I remember him reading Podkayne of Mars) at a level that you just had to laugh over because it was so beautiful.
I never understood exactly how reading became politicized. I was taught using whole word, and we taught our two youngest children (now adults) whole word as we homeschooled. We all read just fine, thank you.
Listening to some of the more rabid phonetic advocates, it’s a miracle that Asian children, with their non-phonetic written languages ever learn to read at all. If everything these advocates claim is true, then these languages would have died in their infancy as it would have been impossible for a sizable amount of the population to learn to read them.
You might even say something like "Animalism" if you were reading it out loud and "animal" had anything to do with it.
If that doesn't make sense to you, you take another look at the word and check out what the other phonemes are telling you.
In short "WHOLE WORD" doesn't work by itself and neither does "PHOENICS". It's much more like reading hieroglyphics or ideograms than not.
Could be why the first successful writingsystem, Sumerian, was done in hieroglyphics. Er, so was the second, and the third, and the fourth, and so on.
Alphabets are a far more recent invention ~ pretty good for typing ~ not necessarily strictly phonic ~ more line linear hieroglyphs that are easily written.
I was also reading at age 4. I attribute my ability to 2 things.
1) My mother sat with me and read comic books (which I still love) pointing to the words and sounding them out (I’m convinced she did this out of her need and not an attempt to show me, in either case I love her for instilling that early ability in me) and
2) because my dad would come home and sit in his recliner and read the paper and pulp westerns after supper while the tv played in the background - I wanted to be just like him so i was determined to learn how to read as quickly as I could.
My teachers had issues with my reading before I was in school - they were convinced that I would end up with less ability because I didn’t follow their methods - or so I’ve been told.
My girls are avid readers now as well - in two languages - I’m convinced it is instilling the love of reading that drives the capability - not the method. My youngest struggled a year or so more than my oldest. Then one day I noticed she was on her 3rd book in a week and she had a sparkle in her eyes - I asked if she liked the book and said she was reading more than before... She gushed about how it was like seeing pictures in her mind and went on and on about the author and the story without any prompting for nearly 10 minutes. After that I knew she wouldn’t have any issues with school (let alone reading)- and she hasn’t (nothing but straight A’s last few years).
Now my wife would appreciate it if I cut down my library a bit (upwards of 20K comics and well over 15k books (paper and hardback)) - it does tend to sprawl around the house - but ... well I think I’ll just hold on to my books.
Right, I use phonetics only when I come across an unfamiliar word.
I also agree with you that as an adult, I certainly don't sound out words (except still with Hebrew and Russian, and some rare English words). I sight read (english, latin, french and spanish) now, with decades of practice.
But I learned to read right after I graduated from diapers, my mother teaching me with an ancient phonetics reader.
Phonetics was my foundation.
My mother taught me to read. It’s lucky for me, as the schools I attended used the whole-word method.
“My girls are avid readers now as well - in two languages - Im convinced it is instilling the love of reading that drives the capability - not the method”
You are correct.
I started with the phonetics, but once my mind “clicked” - I couldn’t stop. I loved it and devoured books.
The phonetic approach gets left behind quickly - IMHO
I’m curious about this. Are you saying that by, say, second or third grade, you didn’t know that “ball” started with a b- or buh- sound?
If you did, then you were reading phonetically.
If you didn’t and went on to memorize a large vocabulary of sight-words that you didn’t sound out, you have a very fine memory. A rare memory.
Trouble is, most kids don’t. What are we to do with them?
All the phonics experts say they teach 99+% of kids to read in first grade.
I'm single and no-one complains about the books, but I've been cutting down the paper books to art books, out of print technical stuff, my 1800s/early 1900s books, and a few dog-eared favorites... I expect that when I get done, I'll easily have less than 3000 paper books on hand.
E-books, though... I have those, lotz of those. Stored several ways, and I have a spare e-book reader in a Faraday bag from TechProtect, just in case we get some bad EMP from the sun or something.
In the last 5 years or so, I've read probably 95% of the books in electronic format. PDF, e-book, whatever.
Designer asked; “Are there schools that still try to teach sight reading? I thought most schools had returned to phonics. No?”
Here is a wonderfully stark summation by phonics guru Don Potter:
The situation across the nation is dramatically worse that anyone can possibly imagine. When I ask the teachers why they teach sight-words, they inevitably tell me because their students are going to be assessed on them. They are totally unaware that sight-words are positively harmful. They consider sight-words part of a good reading program that includes some phonics, not realizing that sight-words create a reflex that interferes with phonics instruction. Sight-words are an obstacle to reading, not an aid.
These saccades or eye movements are not smooth but occur in a jerky fashion and are involuntary. And we are completely unaware of them so our eyes might be jumping ahead to the next word and priming our expectations of what meaning to assign to that word.
Sometimes the kids just don't pick it up ~ but that's because they are missing all that other stuff about "stuff" so they have nothing to reference the signal to.
Some kids just read spontaneously. This is all meaningless stuff to them.
Yep! The teachers who agree to use whole word reading are either evil or stupid.
My guess is that the “educators” at the university level are evil.
oh - hadn’t thought about those - umm - I’ll have to recalculate... :-9
So?...How do you reform evil? Hm?
The place to start is to call it what it is: Evil!
That’s right, I didn’t think of it as sounds. One day in the car, at age 4, I read a word on a billboard. I brought a book to my mother and asked her to teach me to read. The first word was “look”. She said the word, I read the word. I was off and running.
I was like him, saw things in pictures; still do.
Your post is fallacious. English is a phonetic language, and is best taught that way.
And that is the whole point. A child needs to know the fundamentals to know how to read. English is not pictographic. Yes, in time, a good reader reads "whole words", but one has to start with baby steps.
I still remember to this day when the concept of reading suddenly clicked in my brain. I learned by sounding out the letters of the words. Heaven help me if someone had dictated I learn by the "whole word" method. I likely would never have made the hurdle.
Actually, hieroglyphics are phonetic based and not pictographic. It's what made their initial translation impossible as they look like little pictures so people assumed they represented an object and not a sound. That wonderful Rosetta Stone provided the key and the insight on how to read hieroglyphs.
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I think children should be allowed to use whichever approach works best for them.
I don't fully agree.People with sense do not agree with this drivel.
I think children should be allowed to use whichever approach works best for them.Different folks learn differently. Congrats, sense!
No mention of one of the driving forces behind whole word, none other than Noam Chomsky.
Noam Chomsky, a man who has done more to keep black Americans down than anyone before or since. He is the great oppressor, responsible for the despair and poverty of millions.
And nothing he might ever do, no pain he might ever suffer, will be enough reparations to make up for that.
The cunuiform wedges are just marks ~ you have to look at groups of them to see the stylized hieroglyphs ~ but there's several thousands of years of development behind that system.
The first Chinese hieroglyphs are arguably derived from the Sumerian system ~ although they have a very powerful component that is strictly Eastern ~ or American Indian in origin. That is an elaborate SIGN SYSTEM inside the main system that's based on the configuration of the human body. It's pretty much the same as American Indian Sign Language.
The Chinese may also have incorporated an older shamanistic "sign system". In the end Chinese hieroglyphs/and symbols have changed seveal times so today's system looks nothing like the oldest systems.
To Metmom and Homeschoolers. There is a second article that ties in with this one. “Is English a Phonetic Language? Of course. 100%.”
Since Semitic speakers (Egyptians) were using hieroglyphs, special signs, and signs tied to specific sounds, it made sense for them to develop the first alphabets ~ but they didn’t use them instead of their hieroglyphs ~ they developed them OUT of their hieroglyphic system. The earliest alphabets passed through many hands over hundreds of years.
I learned to read by whole word. I am an excellent reader and spell well. I do not know what is best for most people. Maybe, I read well cause I do also have a great memory. Not quite photographic but close. Use what really works well. I want people to read and read well. Nothing will make you as successful and happy in life like reading. You can lean anything if you love to read. And, it is very fun.
Thanks for the links.
I taught my kids phonics and they were all reading at an early age.
Phonics works especially well when you know it thoroughly. There are many odd exceptions to sounds that you need to learn as well as the basics.
Once they were able to sound words out, they could often figure out the word based on context before finishing sounding it out.
That plus many English words are just best plain memorized, and you have to learn those exceptions as well.
Outside of that there's no secret or "best way" to learn to spell. BTW, learning Pre-Norman French English won't help. They used to use "hw" back then, when today we use "wh" ~ and the "w' in "sword" was still properly pronounced. Then there's that "ask/axe" and "task/tax" question ~
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