Tuesday, April 4, 2023

High Frequency Words (HFW) and memorising


On 2.4.2023 I read a Tweet by Melanie Brethour @melbrethour as follows:

Memorizing words is not aligned with the research. Having students "memorize any whole words, including high frequency words, by sight without attending to the sound/symbol correspondences" is a red flag. @reading_league

I Tweeted in response as follows:

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel Replying to @melbrethour and @reading_league

I am afraid I have to disagree with you on this, Melanie.

'Memorizing words is not aligned with the research.' Who did that research?

I teach all my students to memorise all the Dolch words by rote, including words that can be sounded out.

In addition, I teach them phonics from the first lesson.

Tell me what the problem is with kids memorising 220 Dolch words over a 3-month period? Do you know that Chinese school kids have to memorise 600 characters each year for 6 years? And they have to learn English, Malay and Chinese.

A kid’s book consists about 50 to 70 % Dolch words. Memorising them makes it easy for any kid to read most of the words leaving behind only about 30 to 50% to be decoded using phonics.

It is a shame that educators blurt out what they read without a little thinking.

I recommend you to read my post on memorising Dolch (HFW) words at https://dyslexiafriend.com/2020/10/notes-for-parents-and-teachers-part-2.html#more

Then you are welcome to debate me on this.

It is people like Melanie who are a disservice to parents with kids who are unable to read. Many such advocates of dyslexia are on social media to promote their wares and nothing more.

As I have always said, say whatever you know about how you teach but do not say anything that is detrimental to parents who are desperate to teach their kids to read.

‘The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about. Yet, you refuse to investigate.’ (Dr. Wayne Dyer).

Here is a slogan I saw on Twitter this morning:

'What you know, you must know very well' - Eddy Daud

I know why many kids are able to read in Malay but not in English. I am prepared to take on anyone on this matter including our Fadhlina Sidek, the Education Minister.

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