Tuesday, July 18, 2023

One best way

Since 2010 I have written exhaustively on how to teach kids to decode. I have written the 3 reasons I have learnt from my students on how to teach decoding to ensure that no kid shuts down/ disengages from learning to decode. My book ‘Shut down kids’ explains this and is backed up with corroborative evidence from researchers. Educators who agree with me keep saying that there are other considerations including vocabulary and comprehension. But what has vocabulary and comprehension to do with decoding?


How did kids during my school days, who could not speak a single word of English, learn to decode? Vocabulary and comprehension were taught after we were able to decode. We did not hear a single word of English spoken outside our schools.

Once a kid does not shut down/ disengage from learning to decode then there are definitive series of steps which a teacher may follow to ensure that all kids will grow in reading in an efficient manner. There are thousands of teachers who are able to write on how to teach kids vocabulary and comprehension. There are myriads of articles on teaching vocabulary and comprehension on the internet and on YouTube videos.

There is one best way to teach kids the sounds represented by letters. Teach it without extraneous sounds so that no kid is confused and shuts down / disengages from learning to decode.

Stop this nonsense of saying, that, because kids can learn decoding despite being taught the sounds represented by letters wrongly (that is with extraneous sounds), that cannot be the reason why kids disengage from learning to read.  Most kids somehow figure out and manage to learn to read. If not for this inherent ability the number of kids leaving school as illiterates will be unimaginable.  

For the last few decades, we have been producing a large number of ‘reading disabled’ kids and have been experts in finding plausible excuses for their failure to read rather than in searching ways to prevent the failures.

I have done research to find out why students are able to read in Malay and Hanyu Pinyin but are not able to do so in English. The white man dismisses it by saying that the former two are transparent languages. Most of these white men cannot read anything other than what is written in English and yet have the audacity to write as if they know all about reading. They had conned the world for more than 35 years that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of kids being unable to read.

They are continuing to debate on whether whole language/ Balanced Literature is the cause when thousands had ‘managed to figure out’ how to read during any and all methods of instruction.

Why are men unable to think?


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