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Summary No. 854— Reading: Marks to Marx, December 16, 2017
  2017-12-16 16:24:00
  

We learned a lot today during Reading: Marks to Marx, including these ideas:

1. English is foremost a spoken language, contrary to the way it’s taught and tested in China.

2. Learning English differs from learning Chinese in that English learners have no “helper language” to learn pronunciation as do Chinese students using Pinyin. Creative teachers will devise a helper language to assist their students learning spoken English.

3. Native English speakers can distinguish new words from fake words based on letter arrangement and coupling, showing that native speakers have a storehouse of sounds they recognize to be English sounds. This is evidence that English is foremost a spoken language.

4. Perfect spelling is a reward in itself, but is not required to write in English.

5. Knowing the dictionary definition of a word does not mean a foreign speaker knows how to use the word.

6. The standard meaning of a word in written English is modified by the text’s voice (see #7), context in the sentence and paragraph, and extrinsic information.

7. When you read in English do you hear Morgan Freeman, Tiny Tim, Calamity Jane, Abraham Lincoln, Cheng Nien, and Huck Finn speaking in your head? You do if you are an experienced reader in English.

8. How do you regard reading? Remember how Oprah Winfrey regards reading? Your attitude toward reading determines why and how you read.


 

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