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When do they move on from sounding out to reading the words?

(14 Posts)
Canella Wed 28-Sep-11 13:29:01

We're not in the UK and DS2 will not start school till next sept at the earliest. He asked to learn to read so I've been teaching him phonics but since I'm not a teacher then I'm not sure whether I'm doing right or wrong.

He can sound out a whole small story including words like smiled, jumping etc so not just cvc words but he doesnt seem to remember most words from one line to the next apart from maybe 10 of them.

Should I be trying to get him to say them on sight if I think he knows them or is it ok for him to keep sounding them out?

(he's just turned 5 BTW)

IndigoBell Wed 28-Sep-11 13:57:07

Don't try to get him to say them on sight - but do tell him that if he knows the word he doesn't need to sound it out, or that he can sound it out in his head if he wants to............

He might not realise this. smile

bluelaguna Wed 28-Sep-11 14:00:31

My DS learnt to read by sounding c-a-t for example and then one day he just said cat instead of c-a-t. So in your position, I would continue with him sounding out and he will drop it naturally.

Canella Wed 28-Sep-11 14:50:26

Thanks for that. He's so good at sounding the words out but it drives me quietly mad when he sounds out d-o-g for the second time in a sentence but then knows the word "little".

blackeyedsusan Wed 28-Sep-11 14:52:24

teaching your child to read is a good way to drive you utterly completely bonkers.... hth

oh and what indigo said

Canella Wed 28-Sep-11 15:01:16

Too true susan!! Gave up with DS1 who just tested every bit of patience I had and left him to do it at school (in a different language - think English phonics were not his thing!). But ds2 is so keen and for most of the time has been great but now its plateauing, it can really be frustrating.

(that post makes me sound like some crazy mother!)

maizieD Wed 28-Sep-11 17:06:44

Some children are able to take a word into 'sight' memory after very few repetitions of sounding out and blending, some take hundreds and most, I think, fall in between.

So long as you make it clear to him that there is no need to sound out a word if he 'knows' it just let him go on sounding out for as long as he needs to.

Insistence on reading on sight could be damaging; if he thinks that's what you want he may start guessing at words in order to please you with his 'sight' reading, rather than paying close attention to the letters, and their sequence, in the word. This is vital for accurate word recognition.

There are a number of theories about 'sight' reading. It has been pointed out that no-one can possibly know how a word is processed by a skilled reader as the interval between seeing and recognition is a matter of milliseconds and brain research isn't advanced enough to throw any light on the process. One theory posits that when reading a familiar word the process goes straight from seeing to making meaning. The one I favour says that the word is 'internally' decoded and blended but the process is so lightning fast and automatic the reader is not conscious of it. We know that it is impossible to learn the 'look' of every single word so the second theory seems to better explain the fact that skilled readers can instantly discriminate between very similar looking words (trail, trail, dairy, diary) and also rapidly spot incorrect spellings.

'Automatic' reading will come, he won't be sounding out his 'A' level exam questionsgrin

mrz Wed 28-Sep-11 17:07:38

Canella but it drives me quietly mad when he sounds out d-o-g for the second time in a sentence

when he starts to sound out a word he has just read a few words earlier ask him if he remembers what he said ... sometimes children do get stuck in the sounding out stage waiting for permission to stop.

Sidheag Wed 28-Sep-11 17:58:25

"There are a number of theories about 'sight' reading. It has been pointed out that no-one can possibly know how a word is processed by a skilled reader as the interval between seeing and recognition is a matter of milliseconds and brain research isn't advanced enough to throw any light on the process."
This might have been true a few decades ago, but actually, although there are still some controversies, a huge amount is now known about how skilled readers read. Here's one fairly recent survey book on the subject:
www.amazon.com/Neural-Basis-Reading-Piers-Cornelissen/dp/019530036X
Unfortunately, perhaps, what this research reveals is that.... drumroll...it's complicated, and it isn't either phonics or whole word recognition, but a process that includes elements of both. Some of the most impressive experiments, to an outsider, are those done using eyetracking. You can change the text underneath someone's eyes - even in the same word they're looking at - in the most extraordinary ways without them even noticing. When you read fluently, you literally don't see most parts of most words.

maizieD Wed 28-Sep-11 18:26:09

You can change the text underneath someone's eyes - even in the same word they're looking at - in the most extraordinary ways without them even noticing. When you read fluently, you literally don't see most parts of most words.

Maybe that just indicates that the crucial orthographic information in the word has already been processed before the word is changed?

Sidheag Wed 28-Sep-11 21:22:40

It's not just that someone's already looked at certain parts of the word: using eyetracking you can detect very precisely what is looked at throughout the reading process, and most letters are never looked at at any stage. You feel as though you know what they are, and indeed you do, or at least you could back-create that knowledge, but it's not because you've looked, it's because you've inferred what it must have been from your knowledge of the text overall! Of course it makes sense; this is why those "read this even though all the vowels have been deleted" tricks work, and it's why proof-reading is so different from normal reading.

maizieD Wed 28-Sep-11 23:15:16

Without paying 55 quid for the book I can't tell if you are drawing valid conclusions from the research.

It seems, frankly, quite bonkers to assert that 'most letters are never looked at at any stage'; why are they there in the first place? How do you 'know' which ones not to look at? What information tells you what each word 'says' (no, don't tell me, most of the words are never looked at, either..)

Of course it makes sense; this is why those "read this even though all the vowels have been deleted" tricks work,

No it isn't. Those 'tricks' work because a skilled reader is able, to a certain extent, to deduce what the words might be. However, if I were to delete all the vowels from this message I would be extremely surprised if you could tell me, completely accurately, exactly what I have written. And, if you weren't a skilled reader you wouldn't have a cat in hell's chance..

Try this:

thnk tht ny npd wrk s mmrl -whthr, s Hrrs pts t, t s Jcst nd Crspns mkng th t t cty lw frms r pnrs wks ftn spnt t th bttm f th srvc sctr. Th Crspns nd Jcsts my b n pstn t wrk fr nthng n th hp f jb ffr t sm nspcfd tm n th ftr bt tht ds nt mn tht thy shld. trnshps dstrt th lbr mrkt:thy r ftn nt dvrtsd s r nly vlble t ths n th knw nd r jst s mch xplttns xpctng jbskrs llwnc clmnts t wrk fr fr. Th bn f m lf s nvrsty crrs dvsr ws ths stdnts wh, bcs thy cld wrk fr nthng wr lkly t b shhrnd nt th pck f th grdt pprtnts, s cmprd t ths frcd t flp brgrs r pll pnts t rn mny.

The original, with vowels, takes me 22 secs to read.

Tgger Wed 28-Sep-11 23:28:27

Gosh, this got a bit technical! I'd suggest you play a few games like find some "snaps" with words throughout the book- eg find all the "dog"s. Then that will get the different part of his brain that deals with looking at the whole word switched onto seeing the whole thing.

It'll come, be patient. He's doing very well. Not supposed to sound patronising, but I think young brains can get "information overload" rather quickly and rather than struggling best to stay at a level that they enjoy and can manage.

crazygracieuk Thu 29-Sep-11 11:04:06

My son is 5 and reading red band books. I'd say it was 50/50 whether or not he remembers sounding out a word recently. Some of those times he will say it straight away but other tiles he will stop and quickly scan what he's just read to confirm then say the word.

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