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View Diary: Tutoring and Being Frustrated (25 comments)

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  •  Whole language might work, (1+ / 0-)
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    IF you already knew a language with logical spelling rules.

    If English just had a few more exceptions to the rules, vowel shifts, silent letters that are still retained, and other quirks, it could be like Mandarin, where you have to memorize the sound that goes with each ideograph.  

    I have an easier job teaching ESL to foreign (mostly Spanish)  speakers, because they can read a sentence, using the phonics of their native language, and then I point out how far English is from those rules.  There is just no way to use rules and logic to explain the word 'women' is pronounced "wimmen".

    Many other languages do better than English in hewing to the rule, "one unique spelling for each unique phoneme".  Even Polish, with its multifunctional 'z', is much better at having one, and only one, way to write down a sound.  

    Eenglish iz in need ov a graet speling reeform.  But hoo wud karee it owt? Noeuh Webstur tried meny yeers ugo, and ther ar stil peepul hoo spel "colour" for kulor.

    •  "language with logical spelling rules?" - Italian (1+ / 0-)
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      I've heard you can learn to speak Italian simply by reading it since everything is phonetic. Also, they have less problems with dyslexia.

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:48:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Woman is not properly pronounced Wimmen (2+ / 0-)
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      FloridaSNMOM, weck

      Wo is a completely different sound from Wi.

      Perhaps some of the problems you are encountering have more to do with the ESL students being more sensitive to distinct dialects that affect pronunciation.

      Other issues with learning Mandarin is that it is tonal. That is quite a departure from English which by comparison seems bland and unmusical.

      •  I said women, not woman. (1+ / 0-)
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        Which brings up the other point of irregular plurals of nouns.

        English is a tonal language if you've ever spoken the surfer dialect of it.  The word 'dude' has several meanings, depending on which of the eleven tones of surfer you use.

        •  I don't believe that this really has anything to (1+ / 0-)
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          do with the topic of this diary, which is about teaching children the very basics of phonics and reading.

          MAN and MEN the still do not sound like MIN.

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