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Phonics related - how would you teacher this

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mystery10, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. I wonder if this is worth reporting?
    And while you were busy compiling your word lists a much better way of teaching reading and spelling has become official government guidance and achievement is noticeably rising in schools which implement the guidance properly.
    All that Debbie (and others) do is point out that learning to read and write English with good structured SP instruction is not as difficult as you make out. You should welcome this as bringing relief to the poor tortured children who have to learn to read & write English. Instead you run an anti SSP campaign on the side.
    I think that is hypocritical.
  2. That's where she keeps her vaniity published books.
  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Hemingfordgrey, please tell us more about Spain, the spelling problems of school leavers, and its orthography which you feel is less transparent than English orthography. I find it interesting as everything I have read so far, (and experienced myself) about English versus Spanish would suggest that English orthography is more transparent so I would enjoy seeing the counter-argument to clear up any misunderstandings I have.
    How are the spelling difficulties of school leavers measured, and is there an equivalent statistic for school leavers for whom English is the first language?
  4. Spanish orthography is very transparent and you would therefore expect that spelling would not be a problem there if you were to extend Masha's argument. The fact is that Spain has a real problem with reading. What Spanish research suggests is that teaching reading is often inconsistent and unsystematic, but the main problems stem from the fact that children just do not read as much as in the past.You learn to speak by speaking. You learn to read by reading. You do not learn to speak by being given a list of words, you learn them as they occur. Reading happens in a similar way.
  5. That is a complete lie.
    I don't know how many times I've said that I believe that phonics is the best way to begin teaching children to read and write, for a bout a year.
    I disagree with u and other promoters of phonics about SP being the cure for all English literacy problems. And I am by no means alone in thinking that.
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Hemingfordgrey, this is the only way you could be certain.

    Take a random sample of young Spanish children and teach them to read and write and spell using SSP. Take a random sample young English children and do the same. Then test their reading age and spelling age etc etc and see which group progresses faster etc etc.
    If one group does significantly better than the other, and it's a fair experiment in all possible ways, then you would need to work out why one group did better than the other.
    I think that at the moment people have shown in large scale studies that countries with a more transparent, simpler and regular orthography have a lower incidence of dyslexia than in countries with the opposite.
    I don't know why Spain has a problem with reading and spelling. Can you tell us more about it? Maybe they have a poor education system?

  7. I don't think so, masha. If I had the time I know that I could trawl through archives on this and other boards and find posts where you have attempted to discredit SSP.
  8. I wonder if Look & Say has become a popular method of teaching beginning reading in Spain. It was that which did for many English Speaking children (and still does) world wide.
  9. Actually - mashabell - I totally admire and respect your passion for promoting spelling reform.
    I am not at all trying to undermine your work and I have not at all spread any lies about you.
    I merely point out that the English spelling system is 'as it is' and that, as teachers, we must work hard to organise it as well as we can and then teach it as well as we can.
    What I have said is that by providing word lists which are muddled, this is not helpful.
    Those lists you provide which are sorted, are much more helpful.
    I suggest that you might consider providing your lists with some kind of organisation behind them.
    For example, you could provide two main kinds of organisation - spellings which are different but with the same sounds.
    Spellings which are the same but with different pronunciation.
    Then, as you do already, include the rare words - this is very interesting and a good feature.
    So, being as helpful and positive towards you as possible, perhaps you could think in terms of <u>'charts' with grids</u> to reorganise your lists a little - making it clearer 'what' the list is based upon by providing each type of chart with a clear title.
    Someone like myself who spends a great deal of time thinking about words for spelling and reading can sort of follow your logic - but I'm not so sure that everyone looking at your lists will be able to make the best of them for their own understanding or for using with their pupils.
  10. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes that would help; I have to say though that as a parent I have looked through a fair number of lists and they all seem to have their pitfalls and need a bit of tweaking to make the best of them.
    I've recently looked at the Sounds Write English Spelling - a Lexicon. They look like extremely useful lists too, but you know I shall still find it helpful to look at Masha's lists to see the patterns / rules that can be extracted e.g. when is a /j/ sound most likely represented by a j and when by dge etc etc.
    I could work these things out for myself by dreaming up lots of examples and trying to extract the patterns but it would take me for ever, particularly as I never had to have a particular way of learning or remembering spellings and I don't know how I learned to read.
    The more I look at all of this the more I realise how lucky I am that I just soaked in spellings as a child without ever having to think about it. I think I definitely have a visual memory for words (not for other things) so I'm going to see if either of my children have, or if I can cultivate it in some way. It sure saves a lot of time.
    It's helped me with other languages too. Once my vocab has reached a certain point I don't remember ever having to work out how to pronounce a new words.
    PS. I did get a good laugh from the Sounds-Write Lexicon when I reached the appendix that was at pains to explain that the word "of" was best not described as irregular even though it was the only word where f represents the /v/ sound.
    PPS. The school method is not working for my DD e.g. three weeks ago we had a word list that was all words with "ck" in them, but no explanation of the alternatives or when you might use them. The word pickle was in the list. DD had no problems with the list from the minute she read it through to test day at the end of the week. This week's list had prickly in it. I tested her before showing her the list. She spelt prickly as prikly. So the previous list had not helped her take in the different situations in which you use the different spellings of the /k/ sound (and why should it as it was a just of one particular group and there was no follow-up in class before or after, and no related lists in subsequent weeks), and neither had it set up an automatic "visual pattern" in her brain for short vowel followed by ck.
  11. That's why I redid them in a different way for spelling on my blog, with the explanation

    English spellings A-Z and their exceptions
    <font face="Times New Roman">

    Listed below are all English spelling
    patterns in alphabetical order, accompanied by the words which
    disobey them. When words with irregular spellings almost equal or
    outnumber those with regular ones, all common words are listed. </font>

    Words marked with x2
    have two pronunciations,

    e.g. tearx2 [teer/tair].

    Perhaps I should list just the main spelling patterns first, so that it is more obvious how they are listed?
  12. It is not surprising that you are not taken as seriously as you would like to be when you do such laughable things as talking about words which 'disobey' the rules. It immediately conjures up a picture of bolshie words saying "Shan't! So There!" and making pouty faces!
    Whereas what these words are doing is deviating from a common pattern. And it is a 'pattern' not a 'rule'. There aren't any 'rules'; there can't be with such a huge variety of words being absorbed into English from different languages/cultures. These words very often follow the spelling 'rules' of their originating language; so they are 'obeying the rules', just not the 'rules' that you prefer..
    I strongly suspect that the mistaken insistence on 'spelling rules' has been one of the things that has bedevilled the teaching of English spelling for many years. As so many words run counter to perceived 'rules' people just give up all together.[​IMG]
    It is far less stressful to teach spelling (and reading) by looking at probabilities and encouraging flexibility.
  13. Why don't you understand how rude it is to post lists of words that everyone knows and can spell and then claim that they can't and that only you know how to because you have resea... copied them from the dictionary?
  14. It is that which has beleaguered the Spanish. They are now taking on board a phonics approach and, although it is too early to say, early results are positive.Masha's approach would represent an enormous backward step......and he constant spamming of it is annoying.
  15. I call them 'patterns', not 'rules' and am happy to change 'disobey' to 'deviate from'.
    But what I really wanted to know was if I should list all the patterns first, so that people can see more easily in what order the words are listed.
  16. Why not post a link to an online dictionary. I don't know what you believe posting lists of words everyone knows already achieves other than causing annoyance.
  17. Another change that might make your lists clearer, is that when you mean 'sounds', you use a better notation for sounds:
    Root the spelling graphemes in the notation:
    /ai/ ai, ay, a, a-e, eigh, ea, ey and so on.
    So, for your homophones, you wouldn't put 'teer' to mean the sound (which simply looks like a non-spelling) you would put the sound first followed by the spellings:
    /t/ /eer/ 'tear' 'tier'
    So, you are using a clearer and more appropriate notation to distinguish when you mean sound and when you mean spelling.
  18. And:
    /t+air/ 'tear'

    'tear' can be code for /t+eer/ and /t+air/
  19. So, sounds always in slash marks.
  20. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I don't know anyone on this forum or at least I hope I don't. As an outsider to this strange world of spelling wars, I do think that Hemingfordgrey comes a close second to Brainjim who I name as the rudest person I have ever not met. I rank Brainjim as the rudest as he swore online in a post addressed at me, but I do actually credit him with a certain sense of humour. Hemingfordgrey seems to lack any such thing; this is a shame as it can act as a redeeming feature.

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