Sunday, June 13, 2021

'End the bickering on how to teach' Dr. Sam Bommarito


Dr. Sam Bommarito article here is worth reading.

Here is part of a paragraph from his article.

There is no one size fits all answer when it comes to teaching reading. What works with one child/group of children, does not always work with another. If all sides in the dialogue about how to best teach reading would be willing to admit that their favorite method(s) have limits and limitations and that they could sometimes use a little help from methods they usually don’t use, I think the current dialogue around how to teach reading could become more productive. There are a number of things we can and should do to end the bickering (as opposed to dialogue) that has all too often dominated our conversations about reading.

Dr.Sam says, what works with one child does not always work with another. This is something I have tried to figure out ever since I taught my first student in 2004. My question then and subsequently has always been why kids as smart as my students could read in Malay but not in English and my blog posts are based on my experience and my ‘interviews’ with my students over 15 years.

My students who went to Chinese schools could read in Han Yu Pin Yin with ease but could not read even a single sentence in English.

I have never said anything about ‘HOW TO TEACH’.

Yes, as Dr. Sam says, ‘the current dialogue around how to teach reading could be more productive’.

What I have maintained ever since I started my blog in 2010 is how NOT to teach and my blog is almost solely on ‘How not to teach wrongly’.

There are 3 reasons why many smart kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read. Take care of the 3 matters and all kids will be able to read. There will be no kid left behind. It does not matter what method you use, be it whole language or phonics.

We all know of adults who learned using either whole language or phonics. Why are we then debating over which method to use? The question to ask is why are there many who could not read during the ‘whole language period’ and during the period phonics was/is taught.

Many so-called educators have argued that the 3 reasons I have detailed cannot be the only reasons and yet when I ask them to name any other reason they have no answer.

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