Effective reading Teachers are the answer to students' academic failure: The missing Foundation of Teachers' Education
Most reading and spelling problems in schools, the primary cause of the student's academic failure can be prevented through appropriate instruction because their whole language approach to teaching is not effective.
Reading scientists estimate that 95% of students can be taught to read and underprivileged children need not fail. Students regardless of the color of their skin and family backgrounds can be successful in schools with strong leaders who know about and institutions who teach effective teaching instruction as well as well-prepared and supported teachers.
Teaching reading, as well as spelling, is complex and challenging and it requires considerable expertise. Reading teachers must know the knowledge of the language that can only be obtained through focused study. With teachers' proficiency in the structure of spoken and written language and how words are represented in our alphabetic system, students with dyslexia co-morbid with other disabilities and disorders can also learn to read and spell even words they have not seen and can also have better future as other students do.
Although kindergarten, grade one, grade two, and grade three teachers have certification to teach from the government standard, most if not all of them are not well-equipped to teach the English language, particularly to students with moderate or severe learning disabilities because they have little or no background in reading psychology and language structure.
While some reading teachers claim that they teach phonics, they are teaching them inaccurately, unsystematically, and with insufficient reinforcement and practice for the skills in reading and spelling. For example, the sounds of the English language are the foundation for learning to read, and they are teaching the sounds incorrectly, such as they are adding the short vowel a sound to the sounds of the following letters: c, k, f, g, j, l, m, n, r, s, t, and v.
In addition, they do not know how to correct the students' mistakes such as distinguishing the short sounds i for e, o for a, and vice versa. They are quick to move the lessons with no further instruction or explanation why we are reading and spelling those words such as when the letter c becomes the k sound such as cat, and the/s/ sound such as the city.
They teach reading and spelling unstructured. As you have noticed, your child arrived home with a sheet of spelling list to learn but with no instruction except to " practice these words" for the spelling test on Friday. This spelling list is mixed up with simple and long words combined with short vowels, long vowels, and vowel team words such as about, got, day, prey, great, cake, book, something, and everyone. Although your child might score eight out of ten on his spelling test, after a week or just a couple of days, your child has forgotten how to spell those words and if he needs to learn these words again, he will start to practice writing down these words all over again. With close to a million words and counting, your child could only learn a few hundred words at the end of his primary grade.
If you would like to be an accountant, you go to school to study accounting and you will learn almost everything about how to manipulate numbers and how the numbers work: counting, adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying, and so on, but not if you would like to be a reading teacher; you will never learn how the letters of our alphabetic system work: manipulating the letters and the sounds of the letters: counting, adding, subtracting dividing the sounds, etc. at a typical institution- effective teaching in learning to read and spell is the missing foundation in teachers’ education!
Why is that so, as mentioned, teaching how to read and spell is complex; it requires focused and specialized education and expertise to teach everyone to read and spell!
The schools are also not helping the teachers to better themselves. They spend very little of their budget on professional training and most of these developments if not all have nothing to do with how to teach effectively.
Finally, our education system fosters an environment of independence and isolation with no accountability. Most reading teachers do not understand the language system and they teach independently in their classroom and are not held accountable for their actions. They teach reading and spelling the way they want and how they want to students regardless of the outcome: failure or success. They get instructions and make decisions on how to teach reading and spelling from either misleading online resources or printed materials and they are relying on their instincts about how their students learn.
to be continued...