Rus Articles Journal

What prevents the child to learn to read

to the Adult difficult to believe in it, but the most great difficulty when training in reading is created to the child by us, adults. Or rather, our statement that the letter and a sound are almost same. Actually it absolutely not so. So it happened that for a long time in science about sounds there was one big, serious theoretical mistake. It would seem, the question concerns first of all theoretical phonetics, and the child this theory first and should not concern. However in practice it is about perception of the child, that is about how he hears oral speech and that he respectively understands (or does not understand!) about written language .

When we, adults, speak with the child about sounds, we and the child under the word “sound“ mean absolutely different things. All small children from the very beginning claim that the word, for example, of the MASK begins with a sound of MA , and the word FLY begins with a sound of MU .

We, adults, right there rush to explain to the child that both of these words begin with the same sound M , we tell it that a sound this concordant and that to it it is necessary to add vowels A or U that the syllable of MA turned out or of MU. That is we right there begin to theorize, spread the most abstract generalizations before the kid, and the child completely gets confused. It is simply obliged to get confused because our generalizations are initially wrong.

Actually the child is right

: the word FLY really begins with a sound of MU , and in the word MASK really is not present no sound M and any sound A . As if we, adults, argued with it.

The matter is that each sound of the speech has two main characteristics: articulation and vocal. These two characteristics register letters, but not sounds. The articulation characteristic shows what organs of speech (lips, language, a back uvula, a throat) create an obstacle in a way of the exhaled air. In Latin this articulation characteristic is called “konsonant“, in Russian we call its “consonant“. Other characteristic, vocal, shows what “rotundity“ is accepted by the said sound. The Latin word “vocal“ in Russian we call “vowel“.

you Notice a mistake? Whether the difference between the words “characteristic of a sound“ and “sound“ is clear to you?

the Characteristic is always a certain conditional generalization, a characteristic sign, abstract concept. The characteristic cannot be uttered aloud, it can only be given the name. The name of conditional concept can be any - “em“, or “me“, or “think“ (the letter M in the Middle Ages so was called) - call this characteristic, and together with it and the corresponding letter though “bowl“, only in it do not pour water - the real sound from the name of its conditional characteristic cannot change.


hundred years ago in Russia to write down the M sound in the word, for example, of the HOUSE , at the end of this word wrote a vowel “er“ ( of DOM ). Now it at us is called “hard sign“ and is applied only as a sign dividing. And hundred years ago it was considered as a vowel and to write a sound of M without this “a zero oglasovka“ was considered as illiteracy top. Thus, the fact that we present to children today as “the consonant M “, actually is only a sound half, its concordant part.

After October revolution in Russia reform of writing and, respectively, reform of grammar happened. Someone from the new editors appointed in science from Narkompros did not understand the Latin word “phoneme“ - the characteristic of a sound. At the same time it seemed to it too difficult for children`s perception. Without having understood, it began to replace in all textbooks and reference books this unclear word with seemingly clear Russian word “sound“. Who specifically it was - it is not important, we will not begin to remember the Soviet pedagogical figures now by name. Another is important. Modern experts of education are methodologists, teachers, logopedists - today sincerely and seriously believe in many silly dogmas acquired by them in the Soviet and Post-Soviet textbooks. Tell logopedists, for example, now that the child cannot develop phonemic hearing because the phoneme is convention which it is impossible neither to say, nor to hear - many logopedists will apprehend such statement as a personal insult! And they will be, will develop to the child nonexistent phonemic hearing, spoiling at the same time hearing usual - because so recommend to do programs and textbooks of Soviet period. And they will not want to agree for anything with the statement that they force the child to find instead of sounds in words only from their half.

- But it is absurdity, - you will tell, - the half of a sound does not happen, the half of a sound cannot be uttered!

That`s it. For this reason children cannot long understand in what way we, adults, in the word MASK or the FLY suddenly found out a sound of M .

the Whole armies of methodologists, logopedists, teachers are engaged in the fact that they teach the child in the word FLY to extend lips a tubule forward only after he utters a sound M - to teach the child to divide M and U . And then so long learn to connect back.

- Here look, look at my lips attentively! In the word FLY at first we tell a sound ÌÌÌÌÌÌ , and only then we say a sound ÓÓÓÓÓÓÓÓÓ . And this first sound which ÌÌÌÌÌÌÌ , is called concordant because it short, it does not last. And vowels - they last long, ring as if gold. ÓÓÓÓÓÓÓÓÓ . You feel a difference?

Well as the child can understand all this absurdity? And how the teacher at the same time does not understand that he absolutely frankly substitutes one sounds for others? How he does not hear that he pulls ÌÌÌÌÌÌÌ exactly as well as ÓÓÓÓÓÓÓÓÓ ? Probably it also is manifestation of the spoiled usual hearing, result of long-term development of hearing phonemic.

Should be told

, our children quite clever if they eventually understand us. The western children understand similar theoretical quirks much worse. Among Americans, British, French and Germans there is approximately every fifteenth adult (!) did not learn to read is an official statistics of the West.

we Will notice

that according to the approved program all these explanations about vowels and consonants are presented to the child still before he learned to read that is when he does not understand yet that the letter designates, and does not know how many letters this or that word registers. And each sound except two main characteristics “articulation“ and “voice“ could give still additional characteristics, for example “sound length“, “sound height“, “volume of sound“, and all these characteristics could be written down special badges, that is letters. What, and these letters it is advisable to call “sound“?

we Will also notice

that sounds A or U , taken separately or at the beginning of the word ( AH, the EAR, the DUCK, the STORK ), also have the concordant characteristic. We say these sounds or freely exhaling air, or with silent short click in a throat. The free exhalation or guttural click is two different concordant characteristics, and in some countries of the East they are designated by two different consonants. And though our Russian kid is not obliged to get acquainted with east letters - but he - that does not know about it yet! He does not know yet that his Russian teachers agreed to do without these letters. And he cannot even guess that adults do not consider guttural click as a speech sound at all. He, the kid, very distinctly says this click, and so distinctly hears in the speech of adults.

And therefore for the small child it is full absurdity when we, adults, claim that a sound A - public. It is no more public, than a sound Ya beginning with concordant “half“ Y , or a sound of MA beginning with concordant “half“ M .

There now, will be told by you and how to teach the child to reading? How not to explain to the child about vowels and concordants? How to do without drawing of krasnenky - zelenenky - blue circles? How not to roar with gold - iron - wooden cubes?

Yes it is very simple! It is not necessary to argue with the child when he says that the word MASK begins with a sound of MA . It is necessary at last to learn to listen to the child and to learn to trust him, but not textbooks, written by the cook in years when she operated the state. It is necessary just to agree with the child that there is a sound of MA and that this sound cannot be divided orally into two halves. Also it is necessary to explain right there to the child that one sound of MA registers two letters - M and A .

you Feel a difference?

P. S: there is no
, we do not urge to refuse from traditional a phoneme - the alphabetic analysis. The child really has to pass this stage surely after already learned to read and after he already understood what is letters and as they are applied by the letter. But we urge to correct textbooks and reference books in which a phoneme - the alphabetic analysis mistakenly is called sound. We call even before training in reading, before the alphabetic analysis, to do with the child the analysis sound, real.
In the word MOTHER two sounds - of MA, MA
In the word MASK three sounds - of MA, C, KA
In the word CHAIR three sounds - C, TU, L
I we urge not to forget at the same time that the sound of MA is smallest sound unit of the speech which to divide into M and A is possible only in writing, on letters, but in any way not orally.