How to Read (and How to Fail at Reading)

For the sake of this discussion, let us suppose you know nothing about reading, so we can start with the absolute basics. In phonetic language, letters stand for sounds.  B is always a buh-sound.  A is always an ahh-sound (or close). So the first thing you do in learning to read is to memorize the alphabet, the 26 letters, with instant recall.  This is an easy thing to do at the age of three or four.  Then you learn the sounds. Now, let's suppose you take the B sound and the A sound, and you say them very quickly -- buh, ahh -- so they run together and you get "bah." That is the magic moment, right there.  That is the essence of phonetic reading.  Sounds.  Phonics is just a fancy word for sounds. One sound is married to another sound, so you get a third sound.  BA is pronounced "bah."  It is a blend, and whether it is a syllable or a word, it's pronounced "bah." The moment when the buh-sound plus the ahh-sound becomes "bah" is...(Read Full Article)