Unfolding the Ambiguity in the Code:
The following is an interview conducted by David Boulton with Siegfried Engelmann
In other words, we've let the kids tell us what we were doing wrong… The only one that didn't totally strike out was ITA, which was sort of like an adaptation of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Right. Which reduces the amount of ambiguity they start off with?
Right. With those symbols, you could teach the kids to read words.
But then you have a big transition problem because you've got them up and reading on a less ambiguous system that is not representative of the system they will have to use eventually.
You nailed it. That's exactly what happened. As soon as we switched over to the traditional orthography the change in spelling absolutely blew them away. They didn't get the idea, or we could not teach them, because we reinforced them too long in assuming "one symbol, one sound." When we tried to transition, they just totally fell apart.
Which, to some degree speaks to a major part of the problem with reading in general. This is what we're teaching children, or at least many parents are when they first expose their kids to letters. We act as if letters have this definitive, one-to-one kind of correspondence with sounds. Sesame Street does that and books and crib mobiles and everything else, as if letters have definitive sounds. In terms of unfolding the ambiguity in bite sizes that they can actually deal with.
And then David Boulton rehashes this whole ITA thing and says that after 3 decades of research they have come up with a new system and we are expected to believe them?
How stupid do we have to be to swallow that hook, line and sinker?