Another point for elaborating please:
Your book pg 39 : For example, take the name Darcy, which is on the list.
This was transcribed from a recent assessment of a thirteen- year old (seventh grader) that I conducted. The child read the name in the following manner : "Uhhh [pause a second or two], Darky [one more second],no, Darcy."
Luqman: Now Doc, why do you think she read it this way?
My guess would be that she has not been exposed to reading. Any child who has been reading regularly will not have made this mistake and, like you said, it would have been automatic to read Darcy.
Dr.Selznick: I agree with you that reading regularly takes care of most issues. But let's continue the basic experiment. Let's say you had 100 average IQ type second graders to track for a year or so. You expose them to reading as you say above. I still maintain that at least 20 of them (perhaps 30) are not going to be great decoders or fluent readers. For most kids regular exposure enables them to get it - they decode automatically and off they go. The kids who are stumbling with words like Darcy are trying to access the word from their visual memory, I believe. They are looking at the word as a whole unit, rather than breaking it down into its component parts.
Luqman: The fact that she had to pause for a second possibly could mean that she was thinking about phonics rules (though this is not probable as US is not using phonics) and changes her mind.
If students have been taught from the onset that the letter "C" is represented by 2 sounds (phonemes), as in the words cat and city and it carries a different sound before the letter 'h' (comes under consonant blend – chamber, charity and chair), the students will not have a problem reading automatically.
You need to use phonics rule that the letter 'c' carries the sound as in city only when it is before the letter e and i and before letters carrying the sound of i. In this case the letter 'y' has the 'i' sound. But, to repeat, as you say, this should be automatic in a thirteen year old child who has been reading regularly.
Dr.Selznick: Most kids don't need this. The 70 % that I describe above get it automatically. I don't think I was ever taught a phonics rule when I was young, yet I can decode effortlessly.
I agree fully that for the group in question, they need more structured, explicit phonics instruction. And, yes, in our centre we start with individual phonemes and then move into 2 letter closed vowel patterns to C-V-C, and then CCVC. We stay with that until mastery and then move on to more complex patterns.
I did answer this mail but I cannot find the mail and so I am writing again.
I guess that even under the best teaching methods there will be a certain number of people who will not be fluent readers but I believe they will not be just dyslexic.
Dr.Selznick: Correct. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you call them, really. Whether they are weak readers, non-fluent readers, or "dyslexics," the answer is the same - structured, explicit phonics instruction to try and rewire their approach to reading.
Luqman: You wrote: “The kids who are stumbling with words like Darcy are trying to access the word from their visual memory, I believe. They are looking at the word as a whole unit, rather than breaking it down into its component parts.”
Doc, if the dyslexic child has been taught phonics as well as sight words, as I do in my lessons, by the time he is in primary 4 or 5, let alone form 1, at the latest he will be able to read the word Darcy correctly .
Looking at the whole unit could be specific to US where, I understand, they have done away with phonics for about 10 years. How could one expect a child who had learnt whole word system to read a word one has not seen before? Sorry, I cannot imagine it. It would be like learning Chinese characters.
Dr.Selznick: It's my observation that spatial thinkers like I describe in the SDL do this naturally. They tend to look at the whole and not as much at the parts (e.g., when they have build something). I think they do the same with words. It's their neuro-orientation (now there's a new term!)
Luqman: You wrote: “Most kids don't need this. The 70 % that I describe above get it automatically. I don't think I was ever taught a phonics rule when I was young, yet I can decode effortlessly.”
I sure do hope that the percentage will be much higher than 70%. I was not taught phonics rules either. (Perhaps we belong in the same generation group) I don't know most of the rules and when I read something and if it does not sound right I just change it.
But Doc, from teaching experience, I have found that dyslexic children learn anything logical very rapidly. They spend a disproportionately longer time learning illogical things. They spend considerable amount of time and energy memorising illogical things and tire out easily.
Dr.Selznick: Yes, understood. But, give me an example of a logical and an illogical thing that they learn, so I know what you are referring to.
Luqman:I am glad to know that your centre does teaching in a manner appropriate for dyslexic children. With this kind of teaching, illiteracy rate will be reduced.
I as a single person cannot make an impact but you as an organisation will surely be able to contribute more to society. Good luck to you and your centre.
Dr.Selznick: thanks, same back to you.
For lesson 43 click here: