Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Stephen Parker - Phonics proponent Part 2

I know Stephen Parker is teaching phonics accurately. If phonics is taught the way he does then for sure there will be no kid disengaging from learning to read.

However, he is insisting that it should be taught without sight words which is like a horse wearing blinkers.

All of us know that most of the sight words can be taught using phonics but what is the problem with asking a few sight words to be memorised?

All my students could read the 220 Dolch (sight) words in 4 months with ease.

What is so difficult about learning 220 sight words when Chinese kids have to learn 600 characters in the first year and then another 600 characters every year for another 5 years. Don’t forget that Chinese characters are not represented by letters as in English.

AND the Chinese students also have to learn Malay, Romanised Mandarin and English in school.

Reading was the focal subject in the last PISA test. Don’t the educators want to find out how Chinese students attained the highest marks and left Australia, the UK and the US far behind?

I have taught more than 70 so-called dyslexic kids who came to me towards the end of primary one or in primary two. All of them knew the letter names but the pronunciation of phonemes was all wrong.

The self-esteem of these kids, when they came to me for tuition, was very low. 

They go back home on their first day after their lesson with me, with their self-esteem, boosted.

When they find out they can read many sentences within the first hour of my teaching they go home wearing a smile on their faces.

Do I want to bore them by teaching them all the phonemes (intensive phonics)? Absolutely not. By the end of my 7th lesson, they would have known most of the phonemes and would have learned to blend and from then on blending can be done by them with ease.

I will upload one of the lessons in the next few days and you decide for yourself whether we should or should not advocate that Dolch (sight) words be memorized.

“An Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

You may listen to one or two of the testimonials from parents at 

To be continued…


Unknown said...

I agree! Learning sight words alongside phonic, gives dyslexic students a boost, as they can soon read a simple sentence. I also asked them if there were words they wanted to read and I got words like, hockey ,goal,puck, football, soccer, and swimming!

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you for your comment. In future add a pseudonym so that I can address you.
Why are these phonics proponents so adament about teaching only phonics is beyond me.
Stay safe.