Almedilla, Lucio M.
Why should you teach listening
and speaking first before reading and writing?
Listening comes first because this is the first sense that is fully developed even before we are born. It is a fact that the fetus in the womb have already equipped with sense of hearing. According to many psychologists, it is advisable to play music or talk to the fetus because they could actually hear. Speaking comes next. In this connection, we learn our first spoken language by imitating sounds from our caregivers and anyone or anything in the environment. We even associate names of things to their sounds. So meaning if a child is born deaf, he/she will be able to learn to speak or become mute because he/she cannot imitate sounds. Reading comes later after the child masters the ‘look and say’ method of identifying letters and words and begins to read. The child will slowly associate sounds to corresponding texts or letters. In this way, the child can read letters to words to phrases and then sentences and will be a skilled reader or advanced reader later on. Finally, writing should come last after the child is able to hold a pencil or pen. This time the child has many ideas to write for he/she has mastered the language. English should be taught this way. It is unfortunate, that in our country, we seem to place a lot of importance on writing even before the child is thorough with her listening, speaking and reading skills. Further, English becomes a major language for children who attend English schools. In most of the local schools English is not taught in the right order. The order falls in the following way.
*Writing — children start writing ABCD without knowing their link to the vowels.
* Reading — How does a child read a given set of material if she has learnt only the alphabets first without the phonetics of the consonants+vowels?
* Listening — Of course all children have to compulsorily listen to the teachers...
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