More on Spelling

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 22 16:51:08 UTC 2008

I worked with kindergarten and first grade readers for a while, and one
thing I found to be consistent is that the "sounding out" practice that is a
part of a lot of phonics instruction works only if the child already knows
the word and there is enough context for the child to predict what the word
she's sounding out is supposed to be.  Put a phonically regular word in that
the child won't know and doesn't have context for, and they can't get past
the sounding out stage.  Not surprisingly to most of us on this list, word
recognition is not simply a matter of knowing the sounds of the letters
spelling it.


On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 9:30 PM, Katharine The Grate <
KatharineTheGrate at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Katharine The Grate <KatharineTheGrate at COMCAST.NET>
> Subject:      Re: More on Spelling
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > So the letter-sound correspondence is more regular than not.  Some forms
> > of teaching reading (whole language) prohibit teaching letter-sound
> > correspondence to learners.  It's been said this idea is akin to
> > malpractice.
> That's not true.  Whole Language incorporates phonics rules into the way
> people naturally read.  think:  'teach the whole child'
> Scripted phonics teaching (what we see a lot of now in the elementary
> schools) teaches that there are universal phonic rules, that there is a
> consistency in the way letters are pronounced, that teaching children to
> grunt out a certain amount of lettersounds will ensure all children read.
> And, according to the idiot Bush, that all children will be above average.
> More likely, all children will be dropping out.
> Katharine "frustrated Kindergarten teacher" in N. California
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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