Showing posts with label method. Show all posts
Showing posts with label method. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Learning in English and mother tongue are not mutually exclusive


Kieran Cooke from the Universal Learning Solutions, claims that if a synthetic phonics approach for literacy is taken governments do not need to choose between the mother tongue and e.g. English but can do both simultaniously.

The article on the World Education Blog  describes a Synthetic phonetic approach to reading as :
"This approach teaches pupils letter sounds (for example, mmm not em, sss not es) and how to blend those sounds together to read words (so d-o-g makes ʻdogʼ). At the same time they learn how to write words by segmenting a word into its sounds, and then forming letters for those sounds."

It then gives some examples from Africa which proof that also for non Mothertingue English children this approach gives better results than conventional methods. There is also a reference to India:

"One study using this approach with Kannada-speaking children in India shows that synthetic phonics in English is more effective if it is introduced in the mother tongue first. Teaching in the mother tongue for one term gives the pupils enough time to learn the letter sounds of their mother tongue and read simple words. It provides enough time for pupils to read and write confidently before the language of instruction changes to English, often in upper primary or lower secondary. "

The blog post concludes:
"It is clear, therefore, that there is need for children to read and write confidently in both English and their local language. However perhaps we need not have to choose between whether pupils should learn to read and write in English or their local language"

It is a bit questionable if these claims are really about language or more about a good reading method, but nevertheless the statements are worth some deliberation.

Thanks to Lissa Davies for the tip.