Saturday, July 4, 2020

You can't teach old dogs new tricks (Part 2 of 3)

This is a continuation of extracts from Pamela Snow's Blog post and my comments.

Pamela Snow:
What WL (Whole Language) advocates do not appear to understand, however, is the important neurobiological difference between oral language and written language. Where humans have an evolutionary advantage for acquiring oral language, such that it is sometimes described as biologically “natural” or “primary” (see the work of David Geary), written language is recent in evolutionary terms, being only about 6000 years old, and is biologically “unnatural” or “secondary”.

My comment: This is an insult to the intelligence of the human race. This thing that reading is unnatural has been propagated for decades as the cause of kids being unable to read. 

The alphabet is an invention. Man invented the letters of the alphabet and when you invent something it isn’t natural. But, so are many other things that we learn like driving, flying a plane, rocket science etc.

There are thousands of kids in Malaysia who can read in many languages namely Malay, English, Arabic and Tamil. 

And we have people like Pamela Snow who tell us that reading is not biologically natural and that is why many are unable to read and that too in just one language. How naive can one be to say something as stupid as that?

Pamela Snow is good at collating information from the internet without thinking if it is logical. 

There are many things that are biologically unnatural that humans have learned to do. However, many can’t read in English because the foundation of phonics is taught wrongly and not because it is unnatural.

If written language is natural, how do WL/BL advocates account for the high rates of low literacy in first-world, English-speaking nations?

My comment: What a ridiculous thing to say when the percentage of kids being unable to read has been about the same during WL/BL and phonics period.

The logical thing to do is to find out from the kids themselves to why they cannot read in English but are able to read in other languages. I have found that out and have explained it to these educators who are still groping in the dark.

I believe that most of these educators are affected by the Backfire effect which you may read here.

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