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Glenn Doman method: how to teach reading before 3 years

Glenn Doman method: how to teach reading before 3 years

May 25, 2024

Education is and always has been a fundamental issue for the human being. There have been multiple theories and methods developed with the purpose of favoring learning and improving the educational system and the acquisition of knowledge and skills and the enhancement of exploration, the interests and abilities of each individual.

In addition to the most classic and employed, there are a lot of alternative methods to educate. One of the best known is the Montessori method, but there are other methodologies equally valued and used today, such as the Glenn Doman method to teach children and young girls how to read . In this article, we briefly explain what this method is, specifically in its program for learning to read.

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The Glenn Doman method for reading: definition and objectives

The Glenn Doman method proposes that the human being is capable, is curious and even wants to read at an early age , having potential for said capacity from its first years of life. From its starting point it is considered that in the first six years of life the capacity to learn is much greater than that which will be had during the rest of existence.

Initially It was designed to help favor the learning and development of subjects with disabilities and brain injuries , but with the passage of time it has expanded to childhood at a general level. Although in this article we focus on learning to read, the author also generated programs to stimulate early other skills and abilities such as learning mathematics, music or physical activity.

Some theoretical foundations of the method

The author proposes that it is after two years when the most appropriate and most useful moment begins to learn to read, because it is about a moment in the life of the subject in which there is a great level of curiosity and it has a plasticity that allows you to acquire small information with great ease and in an enthusiastic way. It is suggested that thereafter it will be a bit more complicated to learn to read. It is considered that a child can learn to read words with a year of life, being able to read sentences from two years and simple books from the three.

The original idea is for parents to apply it at home flexibly and trying to make it fun, like a game. The methodology involves the use of cards that will be shown to the child several times a day, in short periods of time and in series of 10 stimuli. It aims to enhance learning by stimulating and optimizing the curiosity and desire to learn from babies. This facilitates teaching and learning, enhancing skills and making difficult or preventing possible difficulties.

Be part of the idea of ​​intelligence bits , basic units of information that the child can understand or understand. It is necessary that this element is representative of a single idea and that it is new for the subject. Based on this idea, the baby can learn to relate the letters without needing to know the alphabet: it is about understanding the concept itself and associating it with the word.

The bits must be chosen carefully, creating five series that each have 5 of these elements. They will briefly introduce themselves, reading the adult aloud each one of them and letting a few seconds pass between one series and another. After finishing it is essential to reinforce the minor's behavior , learning should be celebrated and lived as a fun and communicative game.

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To bear in mind before teaching ...

There are two elements of great importance when using the Glenn Doman method and generate a real learning of reading ability: the attitude of parents / educators and the use of a material appropriate to the child's abilities.

The attitude of parents

One of the most important aspects and that in fact is largely what can allow the acquisition of skills as complex as this is the approach or approach that is taken on the part of those who teach it.

It is fundamental to consider reading as a game, as a rewarding activity that is carried out for pleasure and that is appealing in itself. Reading must be a reward, not a punishment . The child is fundamentally interested in learning and exploring, but he will not do so if he ends up associating it with something aversive.

Another aspect on which the author puts special emphasis is the duration of the learning sessions: they must be short and finish before the child wants to and express what he wants them to finish.The idea is that the child not only does not get tired, but wants and feels called reading, even requesting it.

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We are teaching a child less than three years of age to read : we're not going to start with Don Quixote or a play by Shakespeare. The material we use must always be adequate and take into account the minor's abilities.

It is necessary that we use simple materials: It is recommended to use white cardboard with a certain level of stiffness . In it will be written with clear lines and always with the same type of letter (which should be easily visible) a single word or a phrase (in more advanced stages) by cardboard, in lowercase. The size of each letter must be very large, and maintain a certain separation between letters and with respect to margins.

The author proposes that among these materials we include words such as father and mother, parts of the human body, words about the world or close environment, vocabulary to build sentences and paragraphs, a book with simple vocabulary and a series of cards with the alphabet. The size of the first words is initially recommended to be 12.5 by 10cm, and each card is 15 by 60cm, in red. The size of the letters and the cards will be reduced as we progress in learning, changing the color to black from the words that would correspond to the surrounding environment .

Think of it as a game for children

It is likely that many people are interested in this method in order to make your baby have a precocious learning of reading ability. However, it must be taken into account that however much the baby may have the ability to acquire this ability, it must be assessed to a great extent whether or not it is adequate and how this method is carried out.

And is that It is essential to make learning something fun and enjoyable for the baby and not a imposed and repetitive obligation. The idea is to present it as a game that allows them to experiment, communicate, socialize and have fun. In this way the baby associates the fact of learning with something that produces joy and stimulates it. In fact, if it is posed as a simple imposition, the baby ends up abhorring such learning and may have greater problems in its acquisition.

Proposed phases for learning to read

The Glenn Doman method, in its program for learning to read, proposes the realization of a series of phases to be applied in short batches , manifesting joy and making the process an element of leisure and union between parent and child.

Visual differentiation

Initially, it is essential to teach the child to read with few words, proposing the use of two. Later they will increase. The place is also important, being necessary to look for a point where there are no great distractors.

The procedure is simple: to put the word before the child, and tell him what he says without further explanation. The word is seen around ten seconds , to later remove it from his sight and proceed to show him affection for a minute or two, after which the process will be repeated. And so a third time. The previous session would form a session, which would be repeated five times on the same day separated from each other for at least half an hour.

This process is done the first day. During the second, it begins to carry out the same carrying out two sessions. In the third session of the second day there would be a small modification: The word is presented and asked "What is this?". Wait about ten seconds. If the child responds with the word, a great level of happiness will be shown, congratulations will be expressed and pride and affection will be expressed, even physically through hugs. This reinforcement is only affective, not accompanied by something material.

If the child does not say the word or is wrong, do not reprimand him nor show any kind of disappointment. It proceeds indicating with joy "this is X, right?". As a general rule, learning is fast. No other word is taught until the first one has been learned.

For this, the same method would be used. It is important not to overlap words until the child has learned them separately.

After knowing them, we proceed to show the child the first one and ask him to identify it. After that, the first word is still shown and the second word is taught with the other hand, which he is also asked to identify. Once this is done, the two cards are placed in front of you and the child is asked to point first one and then another . It is about teaching him to visually differentiate stimuli. Generally in this step simple and basic words like mom and dad are used.

The vocabulary of the body

In this second stage it is based on the same principle as the previous one, but adding the sense of touch to the eyes and ears. First of all, take the part of the body of the child we are talking about and what it is. After that, the card with the corresponding name is fastened and it is indicated to him that it is also.

An example: The word hand is first taught by holding the child's hand and saying that it is a hand and then the card is shown and the same is said.

The rest of the procedure is the same as the previous phase. You have to be careful of not present several words at the same time until the child knows them separately , do not consecutively show words that start with the same letter and try to increase the number of letters of each word progressively, starting with short words.

Domestic vocabulary

A third stage, in which words related to elements present in the subject's daily life, usually family objects, family and even actions, will be shown. The size of the letter has been reduced . It is suggested that approximately the child could be learning one word per day in this phase, although this will depend on the child's rhythm. It is important to remember that it must continue to be presented as a game and to be carried out in a brief manner without the child becoming bored.

Read words within sentences

In this phase, a little more complex learning is carried out. It is going to happen of recognizing individual words to try to compose a phrase. The parent must generate a card with each word of the sentence to be learned. The learning of each word is carried out separately. Then they are put together and ordered, and the child is asked to indicate which word is each one of them. It is about learning to read words related to each other.

Reading sentences

After choosing a simple and appropriate book, with few words and large print, phrases are extracted that can work little by little. It begins with short phrases, which are read slowly and clearly while we are pointing out each word separately. Then we ask what the cardboard says, pointing to each word separately. Once read, your activity is celebrated and reinforced. As one learns to read a page, one goes to the next but re-reading the previous ones.

Reading a book

It is about having the child read the book from which we have extracted the sentences. Keep in mind that the size is getting smaller in each phase (In this specific phase it is proposed that the letter be about six millimeters), which means greater difficulty for the child. If there are difficulties we can find and prepare larger letters.

Learning the alphabet

Although it may seem strange and contrary to what happens in formal education, it is possible after learning to read learn the alphabet . The reason for this is that letters are abstract elements, which can be more complex to interpret than bits of information referring to known elements. In short, it is considered in this method that it is much easier to read a word than the elements that compose it.

Is it appropriate to use this method? Criticism to this methodology

The Glenn Doman method is controversial, due to the age at which it is aimed . It is argued that overstimulating children at an early age can generate difficulties and that it makes it easier for many parents to overwhelm the child in order to learn to read as early as possible, making it difficult for them to experiment and play. And we must not forget that at those ages everything is new and is yet to be explored.

Nor should we forget that at that age our nervous system is still immature , and that although we can learn to read early, the comprehension of what is read is going to be complex and difficult to carry out, since we do not yet have the language completely automated.

Likewise, it also raises the fact that when the time comes when they are schooled, these children would go ahead of their peers and could get bored, making their own subsequent learning difficult.

However, many of these criticisms were provided by the author, who stated that part of the problem is an overprotective attitude and anticipating that the child will not understand the process or the content of the reading due to his age. In this way, we would be limiting its potential.

Even though there are no tests or studies that show the effectiveness of the method , the idea of ​​reinforcing behavior and posing learning as an element of leisure in which the child also has the opportunity to bond affectively with their parent makes this method something that can be positive for him.

Bibliographic references:

  • Doman, G.J. (2000) How to teach your baby to read: The Peaceful Revolution. Editorial EDF.

How We Teach Our Baby / Toddler to Read in 3 Languages ! Doman Method (May 2024).

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