Children need someone to teach them how to read. True or False?
The elements of written English are the 26 letters of the alphabet. True or False?
Learning how to read means memorizing how thousands of words are spelled. True or False?
Remembering a bunch of rules is essential to understanding phonics. True or False?
For each of these questions, the correct answer is False, and we have created an app that proves it. In fact, iReadBetter provides children with a fresh, new entry into the demands of written English.
Back in the middle of the 20th century, a brilliant mathematician and educator, Dr. Caleb Gattegno, invented an approach to literacy, through which learners quickly become aware of four amazing facts:
1. You can teach yourself how to read.
2. The elements of written English are actually “signs,” which correspond to the forty or so spoken sounds of English, and those signs are often represented by surprising letters or combinations of letters. For example, you sound the /oo/ in flood like the /u/ in “up,” the /i/ in “onion” like the /y/ in “yes,” and the /ch/ in “chorus” like the /k/ in “kite.”
3. By combining in various ways just a handful of “signs,” color-coded according to how you sound them (so, for example, the /t/ at the end of “past” is colored the same as the /ed/ at the end of “passed”), you can read and correctly spell almost a thousand words, with only a minimal need for memorization.
4. By noticing consistencies and inconsistencies (e.g., “stove,” “cove,” “wove” and “grove,” but not “move” or “love”), you can learn rapidly, while avoiding overly simplified and often misleading phonics rules.
With this second edition of iReadBetter, children everywhere have access the world’s first digital version of Gattegno’s Words in Color program, including his Word Transformer, Gap Game, Transformation Game and Infused Reading. Those innovations provide a unique opportunity to enter the world of reading and spelling with self-assurance and clarity about the true nature of the challenge. Watch for future, more complete versions of iReadBetter, coming soon!