I have maintained for the past 10 years that we will end the reading wars if we teach the pronunciation of consonants the way it was meant to be taught.
A group of ladies who are phonics proponents insists that teaching consonants with extraneous sounds cannot be the reason why kids shut down from learning to read.
If this is not the reason, then should they not say why kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read. When I ask them for some specific reasons they come up with ‘there are many reasons’ but they do not come up with any specific ones.
The first of these ladies is Sue Lloyd of Reading Reform Foundation UK who says that there can be no harm in teaching consonants with extraneous sounds. Yet she is the one promoting Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP).
Is it because she comes from the UK where the ‘Charlie and the alphabets’ episode comes from? OR is it because she is afraid that she will not have kids coming to her for intervention or purchasing her products if they are taught the correct pronunciation of phonemes?
I must add that I believe that Sue Lloyd is a very nice lady. It is her blinkered view that is the problem. She is so bogged down with her SSP that she cannot see that there are kids, even in the UK, who learn to read despite SSP not being taught, let alone the rest of the world.
Debbie Hepplewhite who also comes from the UK agrees with me that in ‘Charlie and the Alphabets’, the sounds of consonants are not that great. She too does not believe that teaching consonant with extraneous sounds is the cause of kids being confused.
The way consonants are pronounced in the ‘Charlie and the alphabets’ episode is how consonants are taught in many schools around the world. Could this be a way to get more students to disengage from learning to read and then give them intervention classes?
What do these phonics proponents mean by the pronunciation of the consonants in that episode as ‘not great’ but ‘it will not cause kids to shut down’? Have they interviewed kids who once were unable to read and then, after teaching, were able to read? Of course, they have not but I have.
Insistence on not teaching Dolch words.
As I have said several times, I agree with Sue Lloyd’s way of pronouncing the consonants except for the letters ‘b’ and ‘p’. The proper way of pronouncing all the letters of the alphabet are as per the lady in the clip here. Teach the pronunciation of consonants the way she does and we will see an immediate reduction of kids needing intervention. There will be a dramatic reduction in kids leaving school as illiterate.
Why would Sue Lloyd or any other sane person insist that Dolch words should not be memorized?
Joining Sue Lloyd and Debbie Hepplewhite is Sara Peden from Canada and here are some of the discussions I had with her which was a waste of my time as she too has her mind made up and will not consider what I have to say.
It has been more of an argument with all these ladies instead of a discussion. They were more interested in who is right rather than what is right.
Sara Peden Advancing Structured Literacy Practices
Replying to @luqmanmichel , @debbiehepp and @suelloydtcrw
“I think you'll find complete agreement among those who know how to teach phonics re: consonants shouldn't be taught with extraneous sounds. Fixing that, if it's an issue is necessary, but by no means 'cure all'. I teach consonants sound correctly and still have lots more to teach!”
My comment now: ‘…fixing that if it is an issue?’ (Sara Peden)
She says that she knows that teaching the correct pronunciation of consonants is vital and yet she doubts that it is an issue. She and her phonics proponents will lose a lot of business if the pronunciation of phonemes is taught correctly as there will hardly be any students requiring intervention.
“I teach consonant sound correctly and still have a lot more to teach.” (Sara Peden)
Did I in any way say teaching consonants correctly is all you have to do and there is nothing else to teach?
She keeps putting words into my mouth thinking she can get away with it. This is not her first attempt.
She was arguing when I wanted a discussion so that we may together reduce illiteracy.
Of course, there is much more to teach and I have said this in my blog all along. The foundation is teaching the pronunciation of phonemes of consonants correctly so that children will read much earlier than they are now as there will be no confusion. The kids do not have to figure out how to read. You cannot teach kids ‘buh ah tuh’ is bat and then call it phonics. The kids predisposed to disengaging from learning to read will not shut-down from learning to read if they are taught pronunciation of consonants correctly as done by the lady in the clip above. As far as the teaching of the pronunciation of phonemes is concerned, there is only one correct way for all kids throughout the world.