The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

Our American Reading History

on June 28, 2020

In order to explain the development of reading from the beginning of time to the present and how we should teach reading today, I will try to describe the world-wide history of language as accurately as I can.

According to what has ben reported by researchers, ancient human beings began to communicate by making oral sounds and carving stone shapes that represented their thoughts, experiences, and needs. Over time, however, sounds and stone carvings became not good enough to communicate accurately with other people, so they used their mental and physical abilities instead. They began by turning grunts into howls, then howls into precise sound forms, that are now known as “words.“  

 As the world grew larger and more complicated many human beings, now called “people”, began to do whatever was necessary to merge with others of different backgrounds or behaviors. At first, their languages were scrambled, and not understandable; but when some people moved to large, healthier areas they improved their speech considerably. However, language differences today still cause problems for anybody moving into a foreign country. 

Today, life may still be complicated for some Americans citizensbecause written English still contains words created in other countries with letter sounds that don’t match our speech. Although competent readers are able to ignore strange word spellings, many young children just learning to read, become confused by letters that don’t seem to fit words.  As a result, their reading confidence may become weaker than before.

Although phonics lovers claim that sounding out words is the way to teach reading, they ignore the fact that much time and effort may be needed by young children, and also that there is a much easier way to learn reading. They reject the fact that healthy Americans–old and young– recognize people, objects, and places where they live or visit immediately.  For example, normally developing young children imminently recognize their parents among family members, the foods they like to eat, their own shoes, and as they grow up, there best friends, school classrooms, their teachers, and their favorite books.

Early reading abilities are not difficult for healthy young children whose parents read to them regularly. But even those children who have not ben read to at home can learn to read quickly and easily at school if they have good teachers. When children see at school pictures of words along with there spelling, hear teachers read regularly to them, or get to sing songs while seeing them written, there reading comes quickly. Seeing, hearing, speaking, or even singing regularly becomes a part of there lives, much easier than reading and more pleasant than reading taught by phonics. If you can’t believe all I’ve said here, just try teaching a child to read first by phonics and then by word sight familiarity. Just see which way works better for children or even adults. Just for fun, ask a child or an adult to read the words below and see how they do it.

“Where”, “knot”, “plough,” “character”, “enough”, “cough”, “knight”, “gnome”, “knew”, “who”, “wreath”, “origin”.


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