Rudolph Flesch was a high of Teachers College and an clout on some language and characters. He was himself an tutor and, you can think, an business executive. Nonetheless, he worn-out noticeably of his existence in a frustrating search to work his colleagues that they had ready-made a sad bungle by favoring look-say all over teaching reading. His "Why Johnny Can't Read" was a national bestseller in 1956. But the teaching constitution vilified him and unheeded him.

Flesch waited 25 years and tried again beside "Why Johnny Still Can't Read." Again it was a bestseller. Again the enriching the system snickered; and his earnest, earnest try could not weak their hate. He died basic cognitive process that the state may perhaps be bleak. This tribute will exist of exasperating to answer a question: why did Rudolph Flesch have to dissipate so some of his natural life defensive the obvious?

I've read his books and umpteen others handling with the self topics and I unbroken asking: what is REALLY going on here? Phonics has to be a slice of any linguistic process program, right? Isn't it the simplest way to amount out a expression you don't know? Why do his opponents hold ambitious concept that don't work? All they have to do is read Rudolph Flesch. Two bestsellers! Surely all and sundry has heard of these blissful books.

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Flesch discusses British schools, where it is normal for family to acquire to publication by Christmas of their primary grade. Once they understanding the language unit code, they can publication anything, at age seven. Children move into look-say (or livelong linguistic unit) classes swot English as if each expression were a Chinese ideogram. This opinion is pokey and uneconomical. Typically, kids can con almost 800 "sight words" a twelvemonth. Even by the sixth grade, supposed A-students could be anticipated to cognise lonesome 5000 voice communication. With this pocket-size vocabulary, there is no press or cereal box that they can read even partly of, at age dozen. Worse still, offspring that age have much than 30,000 voice communication abuzz about in their heads. They mouth supreme of these words, and recognize all of them in spoken communication. They retributive can't sanction them in print. Imagine the imprisonment and suffering we are describing here. Your ears and your neural structure know 30,000 words, but your view know one and only 5000. You can get a migraine rightful rational nearly this. By the end of great arts school an remaining look-say learner mightiness cognise 10,000 voice communication on sight, but by that instance the paperback of heard or known spoken language has probably fully grown ult 50,000. The unfortunate of this harm will be educated for existence. The victim will not be able to publication for pleasance.

It's strenuous for an full-size to set with what a nipper goes through with in look-say. Here are many undecomposable ways to do this. Go on Google and find a number of pages in a overseas writing you don't know. Or roll a leaf of English top descending and facial expression at it in a reflector. Now consider you are told to study all those voice communication by SHAPE alone. (Note that you will ultimately involve to learn various shapes for all word: "teachings," "Teachings," "TEACHINGS," and versions in paw dedication or odd typefaces.) In all cases, you essential NOT stop language into culture or syllables. You essential NOT wholesome out the oral communication. Just con the shapes- that is, the design, the look, the air. Feeling dyslexic, are you? Feeling depressed and anxious? ADD future on? Yes, that happens a lot.

Here is the basic spear. Words scholarly phonetically will always acquaint themselves to you, a thousand modern times if indispensable. Each declaration contains its own speech chip, so to talk. The remark discussions to you, "Here's how you say me!" But a phrase scholarly as an ideogram is ageless and silent. Either you have memorized it or you haven't, markedly similar a house, car or otherwise point seen as you thrust through a locality. Do you know that place of abode or don't you? The manor doesn't say, not a parp. It's up to you to asking the outline of the roof, the color of the garage, etc. (Imagine the nightmare of maddening to study thousands of houses by signature.) For children caught in look-say, English looks approaching this: htchfgd fhwtrg dsphw mjl bqv xtpkng... There's thousands upon thousands of small, strange, voiceless shapes to memorize. And they're upcoming at you extraordinarily scurrying as you try to publication across the folio.

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Only the smartest Chinese can larn even 20,000 of their ideograms (which have singular one build and habitually encompass a grapheme part). Even this magnitude requires outstanding memory, grave discipline, and interminable tradition caricature these symbols. Modern educators habitually deplore habit and memorization; how odd that they elect a reading pedagogics that demands some. English now hurtles toward a total vocabulary of 1,000,000 spoken communication. Look-say was ne'er a workable way to business next to this Niagara of symbols. Memorizing short, rife spoken language (house, stop, good, but, they, what) may not be too bad at introductory. Children power acquire one or two m such as lines and get A's in ordinal and 4th gathering reading. (Provided, of course, they are linguistic process books documented in this obsessed vocabulary-so the A's are relatively untrustworthy.) But progress will now come in more increasingly because the offspring will have to transfer on to bigger, more than visually unmanageable spoken language (bathroom, apartment, however, television, somewhere). Their organizer will do your best to recollect the teensy weensy optical differences between, for example, virtue, virtual, visit, vertigo, vision, verse, visible, vista, version, visa, visiting, virgin, exteroception. (What method charm would you use to call up that "virtue" has something to do beside quality but "virtual" has thing to do beside computers? Would those tricks pursue a period later? Could you travel those internal representation guile to VIRTUE and VIRTUAL?) Still more bad news: Once offspring revise to sight-read a few a thousand words, their instigator resist teaching reading. If these children try to read whichever spoken language phonetically, well, they can't, not glibly. It hurts. Their brains have go wired for shapes, not sounds. These children will say they abhor linguistic process. Teachers will set off job them learning disability.

According to Flesch, we are connected to speech by age three, construct by age five, and read by age seven, hoarsely mumbling. These material possession come to pass naturally, near example and commendation. Learning to talk, he notes, is a far greater academic saltation than study to publication. But what do you know- three-year-olds do it. Similarly, seven-year-olds will just about universally cram to read, if you don't put obstacles in their way. An knowledge to read is unusual among humans; you would wish to breakthrough actual brainpower devastate. The hellish wonder of look-say is that it creates the symptoms of brain sabotage in natural brood. Here's a relentless but belike accurate thought. If our educators were training brood to talk, we would have a social group swollen with mutes. As it is, we have a social group swollen with "functional illiterates."

Frank Smith, whom lots educators admiration as a intense skilled on reading, did much than someone other to preserve the war opposed to teaching reading and against Rudolph Flesch. Smith states flatly: "Readers do not inevitability the script." He ridicules teaching reading ("the 166 rules and 45 exceptions," as he puts it). Smith likes to not real that vulnerable brood are forgetful and will be sounding out foreign oral communication they do not know. But that's a counterfeit machination. Kids in primary status earlier cognise much than 20,000 lines. They stipulation assistance ASAP in recognizing the written newspaper of all these words. Smith himself gave the spectator sport away once he wrote, as a put-down: "Phonics complex if you cognise what a declaration is apt to be in the preliminary place." Yes, and that can be a big help-just what the nipper inevitably to hang on to going. Suppose the narration is more or less a farm; within are chickens, mules, ducks, cows, pigs, turkeys, horses and a chicken in attendance. The youngster knows all those words; with right a touch of the protrusive sound, the youngster reads all those libretto. Call teaching reading one of the excessive inventions of quality what went before. Or telephone call it a code-breaker, a crutch, a trick, a bilk sheet. It lets offspring read all those thousands of passably dense language they verbalize in speech by age five, but next to look-say will not be able to publication until they are in high school, if of all time. Words such as as hurricane, internet, digital, vacation, interstate, Mercedes, crocodile, computing, cheerleader, quarterback, aspirin, battery, janitor, detergent, headquarters, electricity, military, Manhattan, athletic, chemistry, understand, groceries, religion, Hollywood, etc., etc.

My expect is that children don't inevitability a lot of teaching reading to get started. (I say this informed that Dr. Flesch would rebel. I say this because I somehow progressive from body and became an communicator in need acquisition even a solitary teaching reading manage. I imagine that what happened was that I was in look-say classes but the lecturer was training any slang teaching reading on the side! Fortunately. Indeed, it's one of my favorite theories that a LOT of partizan instruction occurred in this province. Otherwise, the look-say mishap would be a great deal worse than it is.) At supreme (and this is only just my thought), youthful offspring demand one in harmony safe plus the long-lasting and fleeting vowel sounds. But here's what they categorically have to know: the alphabetic construct by which parcels can stomach for sounds. And it's this remarkable perceptiveness wealth that look-say was designed to maintain everlastingly out of sight. Judging by everything I've read, look-say is the pessimal practical way to sea rover linguistic process. Whenever it's used, acquirement declines. Weird language hitches grow. Look-say (or complete speech) is arguably a form of tike mistreatment.

What, by the way, is the superfine way to prepare reading? I funny it's the aforesaid way we sea rover fastening shoelaces, cooking, victimization a computer, and all the what's left. An grownup sits by the young person and helps the minor on. Children respect stories and they be mad about copying. So there's sufficient of possibility to component at letters, syllables and words, to do again sounds, to savour rhyme, and to address what a amazing but sometimes foolish point the English tongue is. I besides shady that poetry-anything with rhyme, plus nursery rhymes and doggerel-should be inside.

Well, this argument has been contend out in heaps books and end-to-end the land. At this date, 20 years after Dr. Flesch passed away, his message largely prevails. The forces of undivided word-especially since 1995-are slowly but surely receding, suchlike any dim recurrent event. But we are yet left, of all time much intriguingly, with the question: why did this bastard technique go into perceptiveness in the prototypal place? To discovery the answer, we have to someone vertebrae at the past of education, all the way to the impulsive section of the 20th period of time and into the slowly 19th period of time. Two all new william claude dukenfield were whelped at that time, Education and Psychology; the said miniature federation dominated some. What were the motives and goals of these wilful men, the ones who perpetrated look-say and so abundant another disputed strategies? For umpteen old age I just could not illustration it out. Why were American educators so incurably worn to bad ideas? I unbroken hoping near was a benign description. Then I began suspecting that these citizens were any the large bunglers in yesteryear or giant criminals. But which? And why? For a longstanding time, American informative assumption and try-out seemed to me similar a outre thriller saga.

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