.The Nightmare of Learning to Read [ALOUD]
and [TYPE] Write English
By Kenneth Carter (PhD./psychology) [supports FONIKS-First]==>
[ <Gopnik&Pinker><==UpToDateREsearch]
    Literacy in the English-speaking world doesn’t start out as a nightmare.  First communication steps begin early: neonates can recognize and respond to voices they have been exposed to in the womb.[1]  Infants normally live in a rich verbal environment until one day, their random/imitative vocalizations produce that eagerly-anticipated first word!  With reinforcement from all sides, the baby/child adds words and begins to associate them with the objects and the actions they represent.  By perhaps 18 months we hear two or more words spoken together [a phrase], and before long [age-2] we’re hearing short meaningful sentences—sentences actually following language rules.  Whether these grammatical outpourings spring from osmosis, an inborn grammatical capacity, or elsewhere, is an unsettled issue.  Our point is that the normal, healthy human, exposed to a linguistic environment, seemingly effortlessly develops the ability to hear and understand, and to speak the language he/she is exposed to.

Teacher&Textbook Problems
    One would hope that this smooth progression would continue when the child is expected to learn to move beyond hearing/speaking.toreading/writing.  And indeed speakers of some languages do seem to make this leap effortlessly and near-universally.  But not so with English!  Here it’s a tough task for all, and a nightmare for many.  The dimensions of the problem, which justify our use of the term nightmare, are appalling.  Proportions of English-speakers unable to read and write are far greater than those associated with virtually every other language.[2]  The various forms of dyslexia and other reading/writing-related problems appear to be far more prevalent with our language than with others which have been compared on that dimension.[3]
    So how can a language which some call the world’s most expressive, and one which is being adopted worldwide at a rapid pace be so fraught with peril?  The culprit is plain to see:  SPELLING.  The English repertoire of speech sounds, about 40 in number, are not represented simply and logically by [about] 40 written symbols, but rather by something like 1100![4]  In marshaling an army of foreign words to reinforce this most expressive language, we opted to retain exotic and archaic spellings, at the expense of accessibility and clear communication.  Those of us who have mastered English tend to forget the magnitude of this expense charged to defenseless English-learners.[5]
    Teachers of reading and writing struggle valiantly with this problem.  The whole vs. phonics controversy is only one of the many battlegrounds characterized more by defeats than by victories.  There seems little choice between the prodigious feats of sight-memory required by the former, and the latter’s many rules which more often than not seem inapplicable.
  Why, we must ask, do teachers [educators] not remember and take advantage of the fact that children begin school equipped with a measure of literacy in English?![from parents]  Must we essentially ignore that literacy, and immediately teach exotic spellings which confront kids with what amounts to a new language?

Keyboard Solutions
  FONIKS-First [via TutorU.net] offers a more humane and effective answer to the nightmare described above.  Instead of confronting kids with a jungle of strange symbols, not obviously or clearly related to anything in their past experience, FONIKS-First provides an immediate connection between the sounds of spoken English and a set of 37 dependable and unvaring letter symbols.  Thus it becomes relatively easy for learners to see that reading and writing is just an extension of what they're already comfortable with—hearing and speaking [talking].  That letters on paper and spoken sounds are interchangeable is a fundamental and reward—too often postponed or even denied in school.
   Using 37 letters and letter combinations to represent the basic phonemes (sounds) of English, this system immediately gives the learner the tools to read and to write any English word they can hear and speak.  After learning to vocalize the sounds of these 37 phoneme symbols, they are ready to read [aloud] any word spelled phonemically.  On any standard USA-keyboard, they can also type any word they can say [no diacritic-marked letters]. Development of these skills is an immense accomplishment—tantamount to the whole task of learning to read and write a language which employs sensible (phonemic) spelling.
   Because its spelling makes English essentially a bi-lingual language (the logical spelling described in the above paragraph, and the illogical spelling so characteristic of today’s English), FONIKS-First must forge a relationship between its simplified spelling scheme and the one we are faced with today.  This is accomplished by supplying the learner a 2-line presentation of written material,[ www.TutorU.net/SpeechTest.htm] the top line with  conventional spelling, and the bottom line with words spelled phonemically as described above.  As the learner practices words with the familiar, comfortable  phonemic spellings, he/she is directly presented conventional school spellings which must be learned.  Knowing the pronunciation of the strange-looking word in the upper line, and frequently recognizing it as a friend from ones spoken vocabulary, constitute a significant head start in mastering the strange spelling.

   Though individual learning styles and the mechanisms employed vary, we can be sure that experiencing the two forms together (phonemic and school) forges a connection which facilitates recognition of the most exotically-spelled words.
   Following is more detailed description of FONIKS-First and how it is applied (FONIKS-First means: "learn phonemic-English first").

[1](At 20-weeks, the embryo "hears" Mother talk).
[2] www.TutorU.net/JackSprat.htm (the 3rd-Line has SameMeanings as Lines-1,2).
[3] www.TutorU.net/Dyslexia.htm(Countries with phonemic languages have fewer dyslexic students).
[4] www.TutorU.net/NurseryRhymes.htm  (the 2nd-Line needs only 37 TYPEable phonemes/symbols).
[5] http://www.nrrf.org ("phonics" is the focus). www.TutorU.net/SpeechTest.htm .

Linguist OKs "FONIKS-First" (and m-o-r-e): www.TutorU.net/LDJessop.htm .
KWDees says: Education "Competetion" should not only be between SCHOOLS -- but also.between TextBook USED.
    o For "English, Math, Geometry, ScienceS...."