The Other I

May 24, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — theotheri @ 3:24 pm

There is a delightful and vivacious 8-year old girl in our village whose parents moved here to England from Poland several years ago.  Her ability to speak English is enviable (especially compared to my ability to speak Polish) but she is being held back a grade in school because she cannot grasp reading.

She has learned her phonetic sounds but has difficulty putting the various sounds represented by the letters  into coherent words.  I was discussing her problem with my sister who has taught reading to challenged adults and she pointed out some of the limitations of phonetics.

Take the letters “ough.”  By our last count, it represents potentially at least eight different sounds:

  • ooh as in through
  • uf as in rough
  • aw as in thought
  • uh as in Scarborough
  • off as in cough
  • oh as in dough
  • ow as in bough
Whew!  How did any of us ever learn to read?
Or maybe I should say “wough!”  Do you know what I mean?

1 Comment »

  1. Now that u point out, it’s a wonder!


    Comment by tskraghu — May 24, 2011 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

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