Many non-native parents realize that English is very useful for their children, and not only to be able to travel around the world. First of all, English brings countless opportunities, both in career and life. Not by chance, many kids start studying English once they are more or less familiar with the native speech.
In this regard, educators and parents face the question of how to teach a child to read in English. There are two main approaches – phonemic and visual, both with certain difficulties.
Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of these methods and try to understand which of them is better along with Lucy Adams, a BuzzEssay online essay writer.
This method is familiar to all of us. The learning process starts with letters and transcriptions to them, and one letter can have several pronunciations and transcriptions. The reading begins with words, and that’s the greatest disadvantage.
- The point is that these words are often not from an active vocabulary. As a result, the child has to process large amounts of information that it is unlikely to be useful in the nearest future.
Phonemic reading is a longer process than visual. The child, having passed more than half of the textbook, can recall only two lines of words of unrelated meaning, that is, he is still unable to read the text.
The advantage of this method is that at the end of the year, the kid knows the signs of transcription and the rules of reading.
Reading by worlds, or visualization method, can be found in many textbooks of modern authors, and it’s actively implemented in schools. But it’s new, and in this regard, parents accustomed to a classic approach wonder how the child can cope with the text if he doesn’t know the rules of reading and transcriptions?
How to Teach a Child to Read by the Method of Visual Reading?
First of all, a child perceives words by ear and repeats after the teacher. Letters are taught along with the words on which they begin, that is, the child gets a letter and its image in the form of a word and a picture. The point is that the child must remember the way the word pronounced, even if some character in it is spelled differently in the alphabet.
- For example, the baby sees the picture of a bed and remembers the word. He does not particularly go into details of why the English “e” is read here as [æ], not as [e] as in the alphabet. When the child reaches the end, he already knows a word for each letter (that is, as many words as letters in the alphabet).
The advantages of this method are the following:
- Almost immediately after learning the alphabet, the child is given a list of words that he knows and can spell. At this stage, the kid is already able to read simple texts and dialogues. Well, he does it, even not knowing the rules of reading. After all, there are a lot of exceptions in the English language, and sooner or later, the child will have to learn them all.
- Another advantage of this method is meaningful reading. After a couple of weeks of learning English, the child is able to read a dialogue so that he immediately sees the result, which increases motivation. It’s not about those long boring classes!
- By visualizing children learn to read by keywords. That is, the kid can predict what word in the text will be next. He knows that “I” is always followed by “am,” “my name is followed by “is,” etc. Such a skill is very important for speed reading in future.
Many “old school” representatives are against visual reading. They believe that children need to understand why in the specific case this or that sound is used.
Well, the disadvantage of this way of learning is that the child may confuse words that are similar in spelling, but differ, say, by one letter. The kid perceives the word as a whole unit and when comes across new vocabulary, he just doesn’t know how to read it. And since he has no idea about transcription, he can’t use the dictionary. For example, the baby may not understand the task in English if there is no friendly vocabulary.
Which Method to Chose?
Do not go to extremes.
- There’s no need to force your kid to read by one and the same rules for a very long time – rather he should understand that English has many exceptions which he must learn by heart.
- Also, there’s no need to give only the whole image of the word without going into details.
Visual reading shows better results for words-exceptions, especially when the child is still learning the alphabet and can remember a lot of frequently used vocabulary without wasting time on rules.
At the same time, you kid need some practice on alphabetic-phonetic analysis not to confuse words in the future:
- This can be done with the help of certain tasks, for example, inserting of missing letters into words. Here the child will highlight certain letters, not perceiving words as pictures.
- Another task is to connect mixed words correctly. In this case, the child applies a sound-letter analysis.
- Exercises with letter combinations that are pronounced a certain way, for example, “sh,” “ch,” are useful as well.
Is there Sense to Learn Reading Rules?
Yes, there is, but not immediately. The child will need transcription and understanding of the rules, but a bit later — approximately at the age of 9 or 10.
Properly combining both methods, you can get much better results than using only one of them.
Submitted By : – Lucy Adams is a blogger from Buzz Essay. She’s a generalist able to cope with a huge variety of themes.