Location: England UK and Philippines
Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher Boy who could not read
Getting boys to read and the problem of spelling.
All too often a boy’s enthusiasm and willingness to read can be destroyed by the intolerant teacher or parent who finds spelling easy, the ones obsessed with spelling and its importance. English is one of the most difficult to spell because over 60% of the language is not phonetic. The sound of the word has little relationship with the correct spelling. So when you hear a word sometimes it is very hard to spell it and if you have a non native teacher, who does not pronounce words correctly, you have no chance of knowing how to spell a word
Just take a moment of your time to read this:
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55% of plepoe can. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the only iproamtnt thing is that the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the human mind deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? And I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Keith, thanks for the family moment! I called the kids and husband up to the offce and they can all read it!
Keith , It’s amazing to know that I can read it and learned from it.
Location: Hawaii, USA
I think that is an awsome example- of how focusing on details.. you can loose the big picture.
What great insight!
Location: Virginia, USA
Position: Education activist
March, 2010 is the 55th anniversary of “Why Johnny Can’t Read.”
I’ll use that hook to suggest that the main points made above may not be correct. I’ve seen that paragraph many times; it seems to me to prove the opposite of what the researcher claims. The human brain reads each letter in order to unscramble the mess! I’ll go so far as to argue that all English words are phonetic, despite the irregularities. Just as all shades of blue are blue despite the differences.
All of this has huge relevance to boys because, many reports suggest, they are a little slower to crack the phonetic code. Forced to learn sight-words, they crash and burn.
Anyway, my take is that Flesch got everything right and his standing just grows as the Education Establishment keeps on pushing sight-words. If that thesis intrigues you, please see: “Rudolph Flesch Rules the World of Reading.”