Here is the continuation of my Twitter discussion / argument with Pat Stone.
I have maintained that many smart kids are able to read in Malay and those who go to Chinese schools are able to read in Han Yu Pin Yin (Mandarin written using Roman / Latin letters).
I took it up as a challenge to teach so-called dyslexic kids to find out why they were able to read in Malay but not in English.
The Western World has indoctrinated parents and teachers to believe that it is because English is an opaque language whilst other languages are transparent languages.
From my observation and ‘interview’ of kids, I have taught on a one on one basis, I have found that many smart kids shut down from learning to read due to confusion. They are confused as a result of:
i. Teachers not teaching the correct pronunciation of sounds represented by letters.
ii. Teachers not informing kids at the onset that letters represent more than one sound.
iii. Teachers not teaching letter names.
I have produced YouTube videos explaining the above. You may find the videos here.
Many teachers keep writing on Twitter that there are many other matters that are just as important. When I question them they talk about vocabulary, comprehension, fluency. I respond by asking what has all these got to do with decoding and I get blocked.
I believe that firstly kids should be taught to decode and for that phonics will help greatly.
Here is a tweet by Pat Stone, a retired teacher from England. Coincidentally, I found that she has blocked me today. Is it because she could not respond to the question below?
Pat Stone #GTTO
We have heard why kids shut down, over and over. Nobody disagrees. The solution is at contention however.
I hope we can discuss this contentious issue. Tell us please, why the solution is contentious? Has anyone done a research report on this? Have you even discussed this with your WL* friends? Tell us if there is anything other than the 3 matters I have been harping on since 2010. Why do you think kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read?
*WL – whole language.
Pat Stone, a retired teacher from England, is not the first
to make statements like the above and then disappear when challenged. There are
many others, including Pamela Snow and Emina McLean who say similar things.Here is one of several articles I posted on Pamela Snow.
We should not put the cart before the horse.