Sunday, June 25, 2023

Learning to Read Changes the Brain - Richard Gentry


This morning I read a Tweet by Karen Vaites which had a link to the article here.

Here are some excerpts from the article and my thoughts. 


“How Learning to Read Changes the Brain”.


Yes, brain imaging will show a difference in the brain before and after a child learns to read. But it does not show how the brain learns to read. No one has discovered how the brain learns to read. 


Explicit instruction for beginners in phonics for decoding, and spelling for encoding words, works!


Of course, it does especially if the sounds represented by letters are taught correctly without extraneous sounds.

Educators argue that teaching sounds of letters with extraneous sounds does not disengage a child from learning to read. Where do these guys get this nonsense from?

These so-called educators do not have the common sense to think. If there are no research reports to back up what I have experienced, then it cannot be true. I have numerous examples of kids who become good readers after their confusion is cleared and yet these educators say that this is anecdotal.  I wrote several emails to a guy named Andy Johnson (Andrew Johnson from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis) in 2015 and he kept asking me for research reports. He does not look like someone who can think for himself.


Discovery learning for word study with minimal guidance, currently a dominant practice in many American schools ensconced by decades of whole language training and whole-language-inspired published resources, along with what’s popularly known in education circles as “balanced reading," “does not work” to quote Dehaene.


This same nonsense is repeated by all these so-called educators. But, they will not reply to questions asking how the millions of kids learnt during the whole language/ balanced literature period. 


He avers that “whole language or even balanced literacy confuse the attention of the child” due to now debunked cueing practices, such as guessing by looking at pictures, remembering the word’s shape, or guessing from context. These signature whole language practices prevent the child from paying attention to mapping sounds to letters.


Another disinformation by these SoR proponents. Who teaches to memorise words by ‘Word Shape’? 

Read my post here to see what our educators, Erin Harrington @eeharrington, Debbie Hepplewhite @debbiehepp, Sue Lloyd @suelloydtcrw, Pam Kastner @liv2learn, thought about learning words by word shape. AND they call themselves educators!

All systems teach kids the sounds represented by letters. How exaggerated can it be to say that a child will read the word horse as pony? I have explained in detail how many kids, somehow learn to read during all the different periods. They figure out to read even when sounds of letters are taught with extraneous sounds. 


Dehaene describes early acquisition when beginners in first grade begin to decipher words slowly and analytically, requiring a lot of short-term memory; they must effortfully analyze words letter-by-letter, he says, convert each grapheme into a phoneme, then “listen” in their mind to the word on the page and connect it to a word in their spoken language in order to enable understanding and comprehension.


Tell me J. Richard Gentry, how a child listens in his mind luhahmuhbuh and figures it out as lamb, (An example from Mark Seidenberg) or Duhahguh for dog as stated by Sally Shaywitz in the New York Times.


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