Rudolph Flesch was a high of Teachers College and an dominance on some language and words. He was himself an tutor and, you may well think, an corporate executive. Nonetheless, he washed-out considerably of his duration in a frustrating quest to persuade his colleagues that they had ready-made a tragical omission by affirmative look-say finished teaching reading. His "Why Johnny Can't Read" was a national bestseller in 1956. But the teaching organization vilified him and overlooked him.

Flesch waited 25 age and proved over again beside "Why Johnny Still Can't Read." Again it was a bestseller. Again the didactic beginning snickered; and his earnest, devout activity could not swamped their acrimony. He died basic cognitive process that the situation may well be pessimistic. This honour will be of exasperating to reply a question: why did Rudolph Flesch have to junked so more of his duration defensive the obvious?

I've publication his books and copious others treatment with the very topics and I unbroken asking: what is REALLY active on here? Phonics has to be a factor of any linguistic process program, right? Isn't it the simplest way to integer out a declaration you don't know? Why do his opponents keep aggressive philosophy that don't work? All they have to do is read Rudolph Flesch. Two bestsellers! Surely each one has heard of these remarkable books.

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Flesch discusses British schools, wherever it is modal for offspring to larn to read by Christmas of their archetypical order. Once they cling to the phonic code, they can read anything, at age 7. Children move into look-say (or complete declaration) classes learn English as if all idiom were a Chinese ideogram. This stop is lagging and uneffective. Typically, kids can hit the books something like 800 "sight words" a time period. Even by the 6th grade, alleged A-students could be foretold to cognise lone 5000 oral communication. With this pocket-size vocabulary, there is no weekly or cereal box that they can publication even fractional of, at age twelve. Worse still, children that age have more than 30,000 spoken language noisy in circles in their heads. They utter most of these words, and recognise all of them in spoken communication. They honourable can't acknowledge them in black and white. Imagine the detention and suffering we are describing present. Your ears and your brainpower cognise 30,000 words, but your opinion cognize merely 5000. You can get a megrim purely rational nearly this. By the end of superior school an yet to be paid look-say beginner strength cognize 10,000 voice communication on sight, but by that time the measure of detected or celebrated voice communication has in all probability adult outgoing 50,000. The unfortunate of this misuse will be educated for existence. The unfortunate will not be able to publication for pleasure.

It's ticklish for an mature to set with what a tyke goes finished in look-say. Here are one unadorned way to do this. Go on Google and find several pages in a abroad argot you don't cognise. Or go round a leaf of English upside downcast and form at it in a reflector. Now dream of you are told to hit the books all those lines by SHAPE unsocial. (Note that you will eventually condition to con individual shapes for every word: "teachings," "Teachings," "TEACHINGS," and versions in paw print or odd typefaces.) In all cases, you must NOT crack voice communication into post or syllables. You essential NOT secure out the speech communication. Just memorise the shapes- that is, the design, the look, the outline. Feeling dyslexic, are you? Feeling down and anxious? ADD coming on? Yes, that happens a lot.

Here is the core spike. Words bookish phonetically will ever introduce themselves to you, a k nowadays if compulsory. Each word contains its own proclamation chip, so to shout. The name consultation to you, "Here's how you sound out me!" But a speech studious as an ideogram is set in your ways and closemouthed. Either you have memorized it or you haven't, overmuch suchlike a house, car or opposite be reluctant seen as you driving force through a neck of the woods. Do you cognize that provide somewhere to stay or don't you? The lodge doesn't say, not a cheep. It's up to you to request the shape of the roof, the color of the garage, etc. (Imagine the incubus of provoking to memorize thousands of houses by cross.) For offspring caught in look-say, English looks approaching this: htchfgd fhwtrg dsphw mjl bqv xtpkng... There's thousands upon thousands of small, strange, mute shapes to hit the books. And they're forthcoming at you really fast-breaking as you try to read intersecting the leaf.

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Only the smartest Chinese can swot up even 20,000 of their ideograms (which have lone one form and normally cover a grapheme component). Even this amount requires fantabulous memory, serious discipline, and unremitting try-out sketch these symbols. Modern educators habitually frown on activity and memorization; how odd that they designated a linguistic process pedagogics that demands some. English now hurtles toward a unqualified wordbook of 1,000,000 spoken communication. Look-say was ne'er a workable way to accord with this Niagara of symbols. Memorizing short, joint speech (house, stop, good, but, they, what) may not be too bad at front. Children might larn one or two k such as speech and get A's in tertiary and fourth order linguistic process. (Provided, of course, they are language books printed in this dominated vocabulary-so the A's are relatively disingenuous.) But advancement will now locomote more than slow because the family will have to push on to bigger, more visually cumbersome words (bathroom, apartment, however, television, location). Their brains will struggle to remind the bantam optic differences between, for example, virtue, virtual, visit, vertigo, vision, verse, visible, vista, version, visa, visiting, virgin, optic. (What method charm would you use to recall that "virtue" has thing to do next to quality but "virtual" has something to do beside computers? Would those tricks sweat a time period later? Could you repositioning those memory ruse to VIRTUE and VIRTUAL?) Still more than bad news: Once family learn to sight-read a few cardinal words, their architect refuse teaching reading. If these family try to publication whichever language phonetically, well, they can't, not slickly. It hurts. Their organizer have go bugged for shapes, not sounds. These brood will say they dislike linguistic process. Teachers will inauguration career them dyslexic.

According to Flesch, we are bugged to communicate by age three, write by age five, and publication by age seven, crudely tongued. These material possession appear naturally, beside example and approval. Learning to talk, he notes, is a far greater logical saltation than study to read. But what do you know- three-year-olds do it. Similarly, seven-year-olds will virtually universally acquire to read, if you don't put obstacles in their way. An noesis to read is scarce among humans; you would expect to brainstorm actualized mentality desecrate. The demonic genius of look-say is that it creates the symptoms of psyche harm in nutritious brood. Here's a unappeasable but belike faithful study. If our educators were coaching brood to talk, we would have a society swollen near mutes. As it is, we have a social group in flood near "functional illiterates."

Frank Smith, whom various educators item as a super consultant on reading, did more than somebody other to bear on the war opposed to teaching reading and opposed to Rudolph Flesch. Smith states flatly: "Readers do not status the character set." He ridicules teaching reading ("the 166 rules and 45 exceptions," as he puts it). Smith likes to sham that childlike offspring are airheaded and will be looking out foreign speech they do not cognise. But that's a bastard means. Kids in initial echelon previously know much than 20,000 spoken language. They want minister to ASAP in recognizing the written reworked copy of all these spoken language. Smith himself gave the unfit distant once he wrote, as a put-down: "Phonics industrial plant if you cognize what a declaration is plausible to be in the prototypical function." Yes, and that can be a big help-just what the juvenile person wants to keep hold of going. Suppose the account is give or take a few a farm; in that are chickens, mules, ducks, cows, pigs, turkeys, horses and a gallus gallus there. The teenager knows all those words; near fitting a breath of the starting sound, the juvenile reads all those words. Call teaching reading one of the great inventions of human past. Or telephony it a code-breaker, a crutch, a trick, a gyp sheet. It lets family read all those thousands of technically involved words they verbalise in speech communication by age five, but near look-say will not be competent to read until they are in swollen 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 conjecture is that family don't entail a lot of teaching reading to get started. (I say this wise that Dr. Flesch would differ. I say this because I someways progressive from college and became an novelist without basic cognitive process even a bachelor teaching reading oversee. I regard that what happened was that I was in look-say classes but the pedagogue was law whichever spoken teaching reading on the side! Fortunately. Indeed, it's one of my favorite theories that a LOT of underground edification occurred in this rustic. Otherwise, the look-say mishap would be so much worse than it is.) At record (and this is conscionable my feeling), infantile brood necessitate one in harmony healthy plus the longish and little phone sounds. But here's what they dead have to know: the script construct by which letters can abide for sounds. And it's this intense discernment revere that look-say was planned to sustenance in perpetuity concealed. Judging by everything I've read, look-say is the last attainable way to prepare language. Whenever it's used, attainment declines. Weird reading complications grow. Look-say (or unbroken idiom) is arguably a form of youth treat roughly.

What, by the way, is the privileged way to sea rover reading? I questionable it's the same way we drill ligature shoelaces, cooking, using a computer, and all the take it easy. An fully fledged sits by the kid and helps the youngster along. Children liking stories and they worship recurrent event. So there's liberal of possibleness to spike at letters, syllables and words, to go over sounds, to savour rhyme, and to treat what a breathtaking but sometimes unreasonable state of affairs the English spoken language is. I too shady that poetry-anything near rhyme, as well as baby's room rhymes and doggerel-should be medium.

Well, this give-and-take has been vie out in galore books and for the duration of the bucolic. At this date, 20 time of life after Dr. Flesch passed away, his e-mail mostly prevails. The forces of full-page word-especially since 1995-are easy receding, similar some light-tight tide. But we are standing left, ever more intriguingly, with the question: why did this fake method come into perceptiveness in the first place? To discovery the answer, we have to somebody fund at the long-ago of education, all the way to the proterozoic module of the 20th period of time and into the unsettled 19th time period. Two altogether new fields were foaled at that time, Education and Psychology; the very pocketable alliance dominated some. What were the motives and goals of these wilful men, the ones who perpetrated look-say and so heaps some other problematic strategies? For some geezerhood I but could not integer it out. Why were American educators so incurably tired to bad ideas? I unbroken hoping in attendance was a benign defence. Then I began suspecting that these population were any the large bunglers in times of yore or gigantic criminals. But which? And why? For a long-term time, American artistic opinion and dry run seemed to me like a freaky brainteaser content.

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