--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "Nicholas Bodley" <nbodley@...> wrote:
> On Tue, 08 Jun 2004 16:02:36 -0000, suzmccarth <suzmccarth@...>
> wrote:
> > My own children learned to read from French syllable charts 10
> > ago in Vancouver.
> >
> > I will have to consult some cognitive psychologists on how
> > linearity and sequence are as well as visual versus phonetic.
> I'm almost passionate about this general topic; I learned
> and perhaps with some syllabic help, from my mother (who was born
> 1904). I probably had an aptitude, because I have been able to
spell so
> well that it's impolite to give details.
> It wasn't until the appearance of "Why Johnny Can't Read", by
> Flesch, that I truly became aware of what is sometimes called
the "whole
> word" method. In high school, I was amazed to see a month
misspelled as
> "Octember", but that, alone, didn't awaken me.
> Especially after reading Flesch, I became fanatically opposed to
> "whole word" method, because people taught by that method are
> sub-literate when required to read aloud an unfamiliar word with
more than
> two or three letters.

I find it quite interestikng that my questions about the facility of
phonetic input have lead into the phonetic vs sight word reading
controversy. I work in a climate where it is not so polarized. I
use a method designed in the 70's by Lindamood for auditory
discrimination in depth . ADD. The goal is to train a child to
recognize, segment, identify, label, and sequence phonemes in a
word. This kit has been used consistently in Canada for 30 years in
remedial reading programs.

You must see the nicely coloured blocks, tiles and posters that we
use to understand what an investment we make in this training. Some
children need 2 or 3 years of repeated work in this area. I fully
support it. However, these same children can also happily google,
powerpoint, email and generally feel at home on the computer by
using input in order of visual sequence before they have mastered
phonemic segmenting and sequencing. I am guessing that order of
visual sequence offers a more concrete model which can be more
easily manipulated by the less literate.

I am not saying that I recommend input in order of visual sequence,
I am simply theorizing that it might present a more accessible
model. I prefer the idea of syllable input to visual linearity but
am now open to stand back and consider all methods and who they
would suit.

I have heard that there has been talk about creating Unicode to
legacy mapping for Tamil. I am still in the process of trying to
make the connections necessary to find out what native speakers use
and what is their culturally preferred method of keyboard input.

Suzanne McCarthy