Saturday, February 17, 2024

Reading is unnatural - Jennifer Knopf


Here is a post on LinkedIn by Jennifer Knopf from Orlando that included the above image.

Jennifer is the President and Founding Director @ REED Charitable Foundation

Her post was reposted by 13 LinkedIn members. I commented on one of the reposts and had a discussion/debate with someone. A day later all our (hers, another member and mine) comments has disappeared. Why members do this is beyond me.

Here is what Jennifer Knopf said in her original post.

This is so important to understand. Most of us assume that reading should come naturally if exposed to it in school and at home. Science has proven this is NOT true. The biggest mistake we could ever make is letting beliefs and assumptions drive decisions on how we teach children. We need to let science and truth drive instruction.

My comment:

It is Jennifer Knopf who is letting her beliefs and assumptions drive decisions on how to teach children.

She, like Pamela Snow of La Trobe University copy-paste what has been said/written by someone. They say that learning to speak is natural but not learning to read. They say that this is because reading is only about 6,000 years old.

In a Blog Post, Pamela Snow wrote the following: LINK

Spoken language is a faculty humans have developed over millions of years of evolution, such that the human brain devotes significant amounts of its real estate to producing and understanding language.

Reading and writing, on the other hand, have only existed for 5-6000 years – a mere blink in evolutionary terms.

Pamela Snow, is belittling the power of the brain. She is one of the many women who blocked me on Twitter for asking her questions that she could not answer. I questioned her on the same matter in the clip above back in 2018. She did not respond. LINK

If learning to speak is natural, then learning to read is also natural.

When we speak to a child in any language the child slowly learns to speak. If we speak in Tamil, the child will start speaking in Tamil and within a few years will be able to speak basic Tamil. However, the child will not speak a word of English or any other language. This is because the child is not exposed to English or any other languages.

Once a child knows his alphabet, we can sit him beside us and read simple books in Malay to him and ask him to read after us sentence by sentence and in about 3 months of half an hour of reading the child will be able to read anything in Malay. The only explanation that may be needed is to let the child know that the letter E in Malay represents 2 sounds.

Who is Pamela Snow, Stanislas Dehaene and Jennifer Knopf to say that reading is not natural? Are any of them saying that Malay is not a language?

I look forward to Jennifer Knopf and any of those LinkedIn members who reposted the post by Jennifer to comment and hope to have a discussion/debate on this topic so that others may benefit from our discussion. 

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