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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000692.txt from 2000/04

From: "J. Hobby" <jhobby@-----.net>
Subj: [kl] good beginner books
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 22:09:30 -0400

>From: "Dee D. Hays" <deehays@-----.com>

>These arguments sound a great deal like those that were used to justify the
>"whole word" method of teaching reading. "Afterall is the words that have
>meanings not the individual letters and sounds."

There's no need to justify the "whole word" method of teaching reading.
People taught to read by the whole word method, or by a combination of
whole word and phonics, are better readers than those taught by phonics,
alone. (By the way, "after all" is two words.)

>The net results was students who could not read any word that they
>had not specifically been taught.

Dictionaries are such wonderful things. (And it's either "result was" or
"results were".)

>They could not figure out words that they had not seen before even
>if it was part of their spoken vocabulary. These students had the poorest
>communication skills ever.

I'll rush out and tell the bank presidents and other civic leaders in the
community
who learned by that method how poor their communication skills are.

>Yet taking the approach of teaching the individual elements (called
"phonics")
>was successful and it was used successfully as a remedial technique for
>those subjected to the "whole word" approach.

Artificial statistics. It's easy to do, when you consider that the
knowledge base of
a high school graduate today is roughly the same as an eighth grade graduate
in
the sixties. Most students today cannot read. Even the better students
read poorly,
thanks to the reducation of standards in public schools -- plus the
inability -- or
unwillingness -- of many public school teachers to speak correctly and
require the use
of proper English in their classes.

Jim Hobby

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