1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Why learning to read English is exceptionally difficult

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mashabell, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. I tried to explain on Opinion why quite a few children find learning to
    read hard going because learning to read English is much harder than in other
    languages with alphabetic writing systems. I thought some of u who probably never look at Opinion (which is a bit of a bear pit) might find it of
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    </font>If English spelling was like other European alphabetic writing systems,
    it would have around 50 spellings, something like the following 43 with a few
    extras, and they would all spell just one sound:
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    ai, air, ar,
    aw, b, ch,
    d, e, ee,
    er, f, g,
    h, i, ie,
    j, k, l,
    m, n, ng,
    o, oa, oi,
    oo, oo, or,
    ou, p, r,
    s, sh, -si- (vision), t,
    th, th, u,
    u-e, v-, w,
    x, z .

    English has 164 main spellings and also another 33 which are used in
    only 5 words or less. Some don&rsquo;t involve extra learning for reading (e.g. &ndash;er,
    -or, -ar endings). But in the course of learning to read, children have to
    learn to decode the following 123, and
    of those have more than one pronunciation:

    a, -able,
    a-e, ai,
    air, al, all, ar, are, -ary, -ate, au, -augh,
    aw, -ay, b, ca/o/ut,
    cc, ce/i, ch, -cial, -ck,
    -cy, d, -dge,

    ee, e-e, eigh,
    er, ere, eo, -et, eu, ew, -ey, f,
    ga/go/gu, ge-/gi,
    -ge, gn,

    h, i, -i, -ible,
    ie, i-e, -ie,
    -igh, ir,

    k, kn, l,
    le, m, mb, mn, n, ng,

    oar, o-e, -oe, oi, ol, oo,

    or, ore, ou, ough,
    oul, our, ow,

    p, ph, qu, qua, quar, r,
    -re, rh, s, sc, -se, sh, -sion,
    -ssion, -sure,

    t, -tch, th, -tion,
    -ture, u,
    u-e, -ue, ur,

    -ve, w, wa, war, wh, wo, wor, wr,

    y-, -y, --y, y-e, z .
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Learning to read English is not 'exceptionally difficult'. Many, many millions of people have found it easy peasy.
  3. Same old twaddle. Same lack of evidence.
  4. http://whelk-stall.blogspot.com
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Doesn't the differing rates of occurence of "dyslexia" in different countries help to point towards the difficulty?
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    It helps point towards a number of things, but not the notion that spelling in English makes it 'exceptionally difficult to learn'. The 'bear pit' on Opinion contains a number of diagonsed dyslexics who totally refute the claim that it is the spelling of English which causes them their difficulties.
  7. The implication of that statement is that Masha thinks primary teachers are a bit soft in the head.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    And Masha - as we've told you time and again - no-one ever has trouble reading you.

  9. And before you can do that, you have to learn to recognise write and
    sound out no fewer than TWENTY SIX WHOLE LETTERS!!!!! Truly, it is
    impossible for any child.

    And as for the NUMBERS you have to learn - you know, I believe there may well be over a million of them.
  10. On the other hand, they would have problems with ewe and yew. "I saw u with a u near the u."
  11. No. Most definitely not!
    It means that people on here are mostly more civilised and courteous than many on Opinion, except for the few who seem to lie in wait to pounce on every post by me and so follow me here as well.
  12. Mashabell, don't you think that people who are interested in reading
    and spelling might be regular readers of and contributors to the primary
    forum, and also likely to respond to posts about reading and/or
    spelling? If you were to post on other topics, you would get a
    different cross-section of posters repsonding to you. I doubt whether anyone is lying in wait
    ready to pounce on you.
  13. There's a word for that response. You might want to correct its spelling:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia
  14. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    One of the core difficulties of dyslexia is a problem with phonological processing which means that the trickier words are to spell, the harder it is to learn the correct spellings. Hemingfordgrey: you are a nasty piece of work and Masha is not being paranoid. I though better of middlemarch as a headteacher but she appears ro have joined in with the flock of fellow sheep. If you haven't got anything to contribute to the discussion, don't bother. It's like dealing with a bitchy group of year 9 girls on here sometimes.
  15. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Or PTA mothers!!!
  16. The trickier it is, the harder it is? Who'd have thought it? Thank you for that valuable insight.
  17. Forums are for opinions. To object to opinions as Masha does is paranoid. What she needs to do is provide the evidence asked for, not claim it's obvious so she doesn't need to.
  18. Why doesn't masha post her statement on Early Years where the people who do the greater part of the teaching to read hang out?

  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    1. I disagree with Masha's premise and have done for some years now. It's my opinion it's incorect and unfeasible in any case and am allowed to express that opinion. You are not the forum police.
    2. I do spend time regularly on other forums, including Primary and so am allowed, if I see Masha posting her daft theory here, to express my opinion. You are not the forum police.
    3. My 'contribution' to discussion is to ask regularly for Masha's plan to implement her 'change the spelling of the most widely learnt language in the world'. She never gives it.
    4. You are not the forum police.

Share This Page