Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Reading the article, the thought I kept having was: "But I do all of these!".

It seems to me we should be teaching all of these tools. It makes no sense to give people just one. Some tools work better in some situations, and some tools work better for some people.

Phonetic reading is very useful when learning many foriegn langues.

Contextual reading is always useful for learning new vocabulary and knowing when to look up a new word or skip and back-fill meaning as you get more context.

Sight reading seems like it should be the goal, so why not also teach it directly alongside those first two techniques for when the going gets tough?




> Contextual reading is always useful for learning new vocabulary and knowing when to look up a new word or skip and back-fill meaning as you get more context.

If you don’t have phonics down well, you cannot actually learn new words from context. If you cannot “sound out” the unknown word in your head, then no amount of context is going to allow you to actually learn the new word.

Context is a great tool for understanding what a new word means. It is useless for telling you what a new word actually says.


I had a friend who went back to grad school in the late 90s. She decided to become a teacher and got into teachers college at Columbia. Within a month, her English literature degree got her focusing on teaching English to grade school, and somehow almost every conversation we had at the time segued into how stupid phonics were and how whole reading and love of reading was clearly superior and... Well it resembled talking to a cult convert.

It seemed that exclusively at TC in NYC phonics were roundly rejected, and whole reading was the only acceptable approach for future teachers to learn about (vs. friends who attended Hunter/CUNY, and NYU grad schools for education where this exclusivity wasn't taught). I'd love to know that they've stopped this harmful practice at Columbia TC considering how prestigious it is.


According to the article, because teaching them together negates the effects. Phonics seem difficult at first, and given an easier option, the children wouldn't develop this, leading to losing this ability.


It’s more like giving kids a proper, but hard to use tool, plus a crutch.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: