Here is an extract of an interview of Dr. G Reid Lyon on Children of the Code.
Phonics is absolutely essential, non-negotiable. You can’t read English without it. But it’s not sufficient. But surprisingly, a lot of people say, ‘Well, I never learned phonics, I learned by this or this or this, nobody ever taught me phonics and I read okay.’ We’ll bring them into our laboratories and we’ll have them read a sentence and put a word in there that they have never seen before and guess what they use? Phonics. They use it because a lot of our kids who can learn to read under any instructional method, no matter how cockamamie, are able to do that because they have already been taught these foundational building blocks.
I agree with Reid Lyon. I have experienced this first hand by teaching my students phonics and sight words since 2004.
My students could read in Malay but not in English which uses the same 26 letters. They were confused because of the cockamamie way the pronunciation of phonemes was taught.
Yes! I have proven his statement that children use phonics to read unfamiliar words. This is regardless of how ‘cockamamie’ a way they have been taught.
Thank goodness that many children somehow work it out by analyses and begin to read.
Unfortunately, because of the cockamamie way of teaching phonics the majority waste an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to read and their reading fluency is delayed.
The sad part is that many smart kids who are predisposed to shutting down disengage from learning to read due to the confusion caused by the cockamamie way pronunciation of phonemes is taught.
I have written about this problem to many ministers, educational institutions, educators and universities since 2010. Unfortunately, it falls on deaf ears.
I believe that many of these so-called researchers are placed in universities as heads of research to do everything else except to ‘discover’ that kids are unable to read because of confusion created by teaching them the wrong pronunciation of phonemes of consonants. As I have mentioned many times, dyslexia scam is a multi million dollar business.
As far as other educators are concerned, having taught consonants with extraneous sounds for decades they cannot understand why this is a problem.
I hope new doctorate students will look into this and do research on this matter.
Otherwise the Reading Wars will continue and result in many smart kids continuing to leave schools as illiterate.