----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerry Reinhart-Waller" <waluk@...>
To: <phoNet@egroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2000 5:31 PM
Subject: [phonet] Re: Introduction

Karen and Gerry,

I wouldn't recommend anything as boring as a course in
phonetics, but just elements of phonetic transcription,
treated for example as some sort of secret alphabet that a
kid could play with. It need not be IPA (though it's a
useful thing to know), but any code that makes a child
analyse speech into segments. The point is to get the child
INTERESTED in the relation between sound and written
language; children can be incredibly inventive when they
discover something new and exciting. If they consciously
reflect on this relation, play with sounds and learn to
represent them, they develop new skills and habits that
partly replace or "patch" the impaired ones. The brain is
quite easy to re-program!

If it's no secret, Karen -- in your profile you say you're
from Eunice. Is it Eunice, Louisiana? I just want to make
sure if your child's first language is English.

I've taught general phonetics and English pronunciation to
first-year students; it's part of the tradition of our
department (no matter if it's reasonable or not) that
students are expected to imitate a British or American model
of pronunciation, but not that Mid-Atlantic kind of accent
often used by non-native speakers. With grown-up students
the acquisition of a relatively pure English accent takes
quite a lot of formal instruction. At their age people can't
learn much by imitation only; they must be made aware of
individual allophones and taught to pronounce them in the
right context. Narrow transcription helps them to focus on a
particular sound; that's the chief reason why we need IPA
for our Practical English course. Ɓukasz (on this list) is a
student of mine (I didn't teach him phonetics, but my
colleagues do it the same way); perhaps he would like to
share his impressions with you.

And, Gerry, yes, the ritual of bedtime reading is the very
best linguistic training a child can get.


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: karen rougeau
> To: phoNet@egroups.com
> Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2000 4:34 AM
> Subject: [phoNet] Introduction
> Karen, I read your post and Piotr's answer with much
enthusiasm. I also
> was an English teacher who never had dyslexic students
(the condition
> hadn't been identified) but had numerous students who
couldn't read. In
> the upper grades we did lots of work with oral stories,
drama, brief
> poems etc. When my daughter was born I feared greatly
that she wouldn't
> be able to read so during the first month of her birth, my
husband and I
> began an evening ritual of reading bedtime stories that
continued until
> she was able to read and enjoy stories by herself
(sometime in 2nd or
> 3rd grade). Our evening ritual wasn't only a success
among the three of
> us but extended to include all of our newly married or
> friends. Everyone we knew looked forward to joining our
"reading hour"
> and my daughter's personal library increased
> Now since you haven't mentioned what age your son is, I'm
assuming he
> might be in lower school. Try Piotr's suggestion and
teach him the IPA
> (International Phoenetic Alphabet)-- it's not difficult to
learn and the
> idea of doing transcription can be an exciting task!
Bedsides, each
> symbol represents only ONE sound and each sound has only
ONE symbol.
> And encourage reading aloud. Good luck :-)
> Gerry