Taught, then Self-Taught
IMPLICIT BIAS (Stanford School of Medicine definition): A positive or negative mental attitude towards something which a person holds at an unconscious level.
WordsAhead intends to disrupt institutional wisdom by influencing parents, tutors and educators to teach speech sounds – rather than ABCs or any alphabet-based notion – as the default infrastructure for both spoken and written language.
WA wants to create an implicit bias favoring sound-parsing (phonemic awareness) but avoid muddling its focus with commingled phonics jargon (Long-A, Short-A, B-Sound, Hard-C, Soft-C, etc.). WA uses *new* names for English speech sounds, V01-C39.
EXPLICIT BIAS is an attitude a person is consciously aware of.
*CloudSpelling* is an example of explicitly biased sound-based instruction. WA urges ubiquitous opportunities for vocabulary instruction – including pronunciation and spelling – ahead of all formal so-called “content” instruction so that students can be completely primed to meet teacher expectations. WA waits for demonstrable evidence that learners are actually being taught to spell-out speech sound units, not to sound-out ABCs.
Tools for this new paradigm have not yet been built because research and development remains incomplete. Ironically, research and development remains incomplete because tools for this new approach are not yet built.
Nonetheless, biases will be automatically fostered from very early ages. Our brains are naturally hard-wired to hear first, read second, but formal curriculum changes the flow. Many brains obviously compensate around distortions or blatant misinformation to simply carry on.
In her January 26, 2015 article for The New Yorker [The Cobweb: Can the Internet be Archived?], Jill Lepore explores many organizational and ethical issues related to internet information. WA alleges that relevance is the linchpin to successful learning. Deep language analysis is a righteous intrusion if it means that every person’s underpinnings for both granular and global language study can be explicitly correct.
Time being, many people are functionally deaf and remain unsure about how language actually works. Sounds are sounds, period. Spoken language may or may not get letter-representations, period. But all vocabulary can be heard, said, spelled and read… exclamation mark!
Doing research in a paper archive is to
doing research in a Web archive as
going to a fish market is to
being thrown in the middle of the ocean;
the important thing they have in common is that both involve fish.
One’s study of any particular lesson (whether in a classroom or virtually on an electronic device) will be more focused than simply living one’s day-to-day life surrounded by swimming speech sounds. One must become confident to catch any cluster of relevant sound-fish and enjoy a delicious and nutritious word-meal with friends!