Published in the Los Angeles Times July 28, 2021.
Reaction to: Op-Ed by Jeremy Adams: The rise of the Zoombies: Lifeless, detached students have returned to my classroom (https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-07-24/zoom-classroom-detached-students)
“… This fall it will likely become obvious that the calculus student who halfheartedly learned pre-calculus behind an anonymous screen for an entire year won’t be able to soar. Nor will the second-grader who’s asked to read passages when vowels weren’t mastered in first grade.”
Response by Susan Ohanian, published in LA Times, 7/28/21
I share many of the concerns expressed by Adams, but the absence of vowel instruction definitely isn't one of them.Young children in my classes demonstrated that what literacy experts said was true: Phonics instruction plays a very small role in reading comprehension. What matters is reading aloud to children — a lot — and surrounding children with many books that they want to read. People who worry about those children who arrive in second grade without phonics instruction should know that in Finland, reading instruction doesn’t even begin until age 7 or 8. The Finns, whose children score at the top of international tests, are much more concerned that children have lots of time to play together.
Susan Ohanian, Charlotte, Vt.