Friday, January 12, 2024

Musings of a centrist by Dr. Sam Bommarito - Part 1


'The question about phonics is not whether to teach phonics but rather what kind of phonics and how much phonics' - Dr. Sam Bommarito

Here are some of Dr. Sam’s key points from his article found here and my comments:

What works with one kid doesn’t always work with another. I make that a prior assumption/observation based on 50-plus years of teaching experience. During that time, I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten through graduate school.

This is what the Western World keeps repeating without understanding what they talk about. As far as decoding is concerned what is it that doesn’t work with one kid but works with another?

Teaching the correct sounds represented by letters works with all kids. As mentioned several times in my blog, a majority of kids are confused when letters are taught with extraneous sounds. 

Most of these educators talk about phonics without understanding what phonics is.

Phonics explores the relationship between graphemes (written symbols) and phonemes (each sound in a word). This connection between letters (including letter combinations) and sounds is critical to literacy development. Phonics is not focused on the meaning of words but on reading and creating them.

In other words Phonics = letter sound symbol + blending.

A majority of kids are unable to blend consonants taught with extraneous sounds. To them, buhahtuh is buhahtuh and cannot be bat. Please listen to my short video on this HERE.

Fortunately, most of these kids somehow figure out how to read and become readers leaving behind those kids who are prone to shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read.

Many kids learn to read despite being taught consonants with extraneous sounds. As such educators such as Dr. Sam do not want to accept that kids predisposed to shutting down, disengage from learning to read

I have several examples of such kids who have now graduated from college. Here are examples of two girls from Perth who sounded out the letter sounds ‘wrongly’ and yet were able to read the nonsense words selected from Dr. David Kilpatrick’s book. LINK.

Dr. Sam probably taught the same things he taught in one year for 50 years and calls it 50 years of experience. I also did not know we teach phonics in graduate schools.

No comments: