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Saturday, November 7. 2009
This is weird, but interesting!
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
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Konw waht I cnat raed?? The Mad-or-Bad post...
Oh, and try:
Or mybae it's pacle in a scentene mtrates too?
I breezed through it. Does that mean I am smart? PLease tell me yes.
This posting has unintentionally brought up the war between Whole Language versus Phonics as the best way to teach children to read. Go to Wikipedia or a teacher friend if you want further elucidation.
Basically, Phonics advocates maintain that the best way to teach children to read is to teach them to connect letters and letter groupings to their corresponding sounds, and once that is done, to use that knowledge to determine what combinations of letter groupings, a.k.a. words, sound like. This involves a fair amount of drill and repetition.
Whole Language advocates maintain that the best way to teach children to read is to teach them whole words, i.e., by reading. Others can explain and justify it better than I.
Deciphering the above passage could be seen as a victory for Whole Language advocates. Those of us who deciphered that misspelled passage saw it as a combination of whole words. We did not break the passage down into letter sounds to understand it. Had we done so, we would have been very frustrated.
There are at least two flies in the ointment for those who maintain that reading this was a victory for Whole Language. First, note that only about 55% were presumed able to decipher this passage. When we teach something, we do not shoot for 55% mastering something: that would be considered failure.
A further problem, assuming that the 55% figure is for adults, is that adults, with their adult-sized vocabulary, will do much better with Whole Language than will children with their child-sized vocabulary.
Phonics gives the child to decode the sound of a word they have never seen before. Whole Language does not give them this capability.
The problem with Whole Language advocates is that they think as adults and not as children. Adults are much more able to see words whole, as in the above misspelled passage, because their vocabulary is much more extensive than that of children. A second way that Whole Language advocates do not think as children is that as adults they get bored by the drill and repetition of Phonics, and assume that young children will also be bored by the drill and repetition of Phonics. Au contraire, young children like drill and repetition: it increases familiarity with something new. Think of how a four or five year old wants the same story read every night in the same way .
A further issue with the Whole Language advocates is that they assume that Phonics precludes also reading whole books. Not at all: some time with phonics, some time with stories.
I was dismayed during one trip to Guatemala to find out that some well-intentioned gringos were teaching according to Whole Language, ignorantly claiming that as a way of teaching children to read it was “proven” and “well-regarded.” Ironically, while such well intentioned people see themselves as reversing the US’s screwing the Third World (THEIR view of how the US has acted, NOT MINE), teaching via Whole Language would be screwing the Third World.
According to this link, it's a bogus study anyway. The difficult-to-decipher scrambled sentence at the end of the post does suggest the first-and-last-letter "principle" is a bunch of hooey.
Any way you spell I can read it. But if I were a beginning reader I would not be able to. I have been reading for 67 years, my eyes and brain just see the words.
I am a firm believer in phonics. I taught many adult illiterates some of whom had as many as 10 years in school but could not read past a third grade level. They had been taught by the whole language method.
Gringo, not just a third world country, but two generations in this country have been gypped out of a good education because if you cannot read well you cannot do well in school.
Have you noticed how some people don't know the way to comport themselves, how to think, how to logic, etc., etc.,
It wasn't just reading they were gypped of, it was a total eduction.
I am mildly dyslexic. This was a very easy for me to read. The problem comes when I have to type. Takes me awhile. Thank God Mac spell checks me all the time.
The human mind is a pattern recognition machine not a computer. (well we don't compute much).
as I said here:
Einstein didn't compute all the partial derivatives when he wanted to pick up a glass of water.
Gringo - the confusion is that the best way to LEARN how to read is not how we read once we have learned how.
By Jove, I think he's got it! In an illogical, intuitive kind of way. As a mostly-yet-quasi-libertarian, that Einstein analogy works well. Turtles aside...
My dyslexic son read this more fluidly than I've ever seen him read anything. It was as if he was reading an elementary school text. I'm an accomplished reader and read it with some ease, but in the halting style that usually characterizes him.
The whole point of phonics is to enable a kid to decipher words and to utilize that skill in the future. Without knowledge of phonics, a kid can't look at a new word and sound it out/read it.
Remember sitting every night while your little one read out loud? It was reading-in-action as their minds ate up the phonics and popped out the correct pronunciation, and thus, the new word. A great feeling for a new reader.
I just thought of something off-beat. I was taught phonics, and I've pretty much given up reading Russian novels because my mind wants to sound out the names of the characters. Glossing over words is not easy for me, so it's a kind of torture to get through Russian names. Plus, they all have several names.......... oh well. As far as the above, I read it as if it were not mixed-up at all.
I'll announce my ignorance here, not being up on the terms at all. In the 50's, how was I taught? My point being, I guess, is that it worked quite well, I think, whatever method it was.
Glad I'm not the only one. Gave up on "The Idiot" partly because I couldn't keep track. Kept notes through Anna Karinnina (reading for pleasure, I never did that with a novel before). Like it would be such a burden for the publisher to provide a list of characters with their full names. I've often wondered if the use of which name when meant something or if the translator was just being a snob, or what. I suppose if I had read one as part of a literature class I would know these things, but should you have to take a class to find this sort of thing out? What's the big secret? Just another one of those annoying things no one seems to talk about.
I don't know a teacher or professor who ever undertook the task of teaching a Russian novel. Maybe one of the short ones. I'd read and get so mad and wonder why they couldn't just give them American names like 'Sam' or 'Jim'. How frustrating! Funny, too, I had to take notes for 'Anna Karenina'. I have 'War and Peace' and just looking at it makes me wiggle. I really want to read it, too!
While in first grade I was exposed to both types, whole word and phonics. I failed to learn to read with whole word after 6 months training. 3 months of phonics, I could read. And yet, the above combination of letters I could easily read. Perhaps because I was a legal secretary for the IRS?
I think I learned to read by following along while someone read to me, until I could puzzle it out on my own, a process that must have combined phonics and whole language. Once I got to school, I can remember learning about sounds and spelling, which helped a lot with words I didn't know yet. I can still remember how exciting it was to learn to associate the letters "i-n-g" with the peculiar bell-like sound they make, which I already knew quite well from spoken language.
Whatever the explanation, I found the scrambled passage almost as easy to read as correct spelling would be, but I could barely decipher the scrambled passages in the first and second comments. I can't see why.
I agree with you and Meta that the multiple names in Russian novels frustrate the reader. I recently read Anna Karenina, and also wondered why the publisher did not also include a listing of the characters' various names. I kept telling myself I was going to write such a list, but never did. Maybe I'll do it the next time I reread War and Peace.
The copy of War and Peace that I read was published 70 years ago. It had a simple pullout list of the characters and a two line synopsis of their parts. I do admit it was very handy. Perhaps somewhere on the web there is a similar cheat sheet that could help with Anna Karenina.