Pages

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Teaching kids to speak

I shall certainly be quoting John Holt a lot in these pages. As someone who extensively observed children, his writings are a collection of deep insights about the learning process, though they are sometimes hard to digest given how counter they run to our systems of education. I was reminded of the following passage from his classic "How Children Learn" when I posted yesterday on Paul Lockhart's article, which starts in similar vein.
Bill Hull once said to me, “If we taught children to speak, they’d never learn.” I thought at first he was joking. By now I realize that it was a very important truth. Suppose we decided that we had to “teach” children to speak. How would we go about it? First, some committee of experts would analyze speech and break it down into a number of separate “speech skills.” We would probably say that, since speech is made up of sounds, a child must be taught to make all the sounds of his language before he can be taught to speak the language itself. Doubtless we would list these sounds, easiest and commonest ones first, harder and rarer ones next. Then we would begin to teach infants these words, working our way down the list. Perhaps, in order not to “confuse” the child—“confuse” is an evil word to many educators—we would not let the child hear much ordinary speech, but would only expose him to the sounds we were trying to teach.
Along with our sound list, we would have a syllable list and a word list. 
When the child had learned to make all the sounds on the sound list, we would begin to teach him to combine the sounds into syllables. When he could say all the syllables on the syllable list, we would begin to teach him the words on the word list. At the same time, we would teach him the rules of grammar, by means of which he could combine these newly-learned words into sentences. Everything would be planned with nothing left to chance; there would be plenty of drill, review, and tests, to make sure that he had not forgotten anything.
Suppose we tried to do this; what would happen? What would happen, quite simply, is that most children, before they got very far, would become baffled, discouraged, humiliated, and fearful, and would quit trying to do what we asked them. If, outside of our classes, they lived a normal infant’s life, many of them would probably ignore our “teaching” and learn to speak on their own. If not, if our control of their lives was complete (the dream of too many educators), they would take refuge in deliberate failure and silence, as so many of them do when the subject is reading.

5 comments:

Christopher Blevins said...

We may almost certainly declare that will, considering that conversation consist of looks, a youngster have to be coached to generate the many looks involving the words ahead of the guy can always be coached for you to converse your words themselves. Likely we may listing these kind of looks check out this, least complicated along with worst versions 1st, more challenging along with rarer versions up coming.

Qamar said...

There is the new area of the teaching where you can arrange the best time for the kids. You can also click here and can click for the freedom of the academic session. Just maintain the best voice here with the fun.

Loyei said...

With this area of the teaching kids you can find the new system of the speak. Just come here and learn with your new friends. You can find this post more great and can manage the new instructions here.

mikon said...

If you want to learn the new steps for your life then it's your duty to come here and make your life more good with the better standards. You can move with https://www.phdproposal.com/how-to-start-writing-your-doctoral-dissertation/ and can find more sites which can be really helpful.

mikon said...

With the teaching area of the kids, you can find the real help with this zone. You can also find the new help with this area. Just go with https://www.mbaassignmenthelp.org/about-our-mba-assignment-writing-help/ and maintain your life with the new helping area of the success.