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Pop - Ups Teachers Guide

Caleb Gattegno

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.


First American edition published in 19**. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright Š 19**-2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 000-0000-0000 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, N.Y. 10003-4555 www.EducationalSolutions.com


Table of Contents

Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films. .......................................................................... 1 Introduction.............................................................................1  Pop Up Notes .......................................................................... 7  Pop Up #1 .......................................................................... 7  Minute #2 ......................................................................... 8  Minute #3 ....................................................................... 10  Minute #4......................................................................... 11  Minute #5 ........................................................................12  Minute #6 ........................................................................12  Minute #7 ........................................................................13  Minute #8........................................................................14  Minute #9.........................................................................15  Minute #10 ......................................................................16  Minute #11.......................................................................18  Minute #12 ......................................................................19 


Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up� Reading Films.

Introduction Every child who has learned to speak had to start first with a perception of the meaning which underlies the spoken words. After a child has gathered enough meanings, a system of sounds corresponding with these meanings, used by people in the environment, is held in the mind of the child, and soon felt as concrete as the things they refer to. Without a clue to the meanings that underlie the sounds, a language will be nothing but a meaningless jumble of sounds. Before one learns his mother tongue, it is a foreign language. Therefore, everyone who can speak entertains two distinct systems in his mind, but can easily pass from one system to the other, from comprehension to expression, according to the following schematic representation:

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MEANINGS MEANINGS

speaking

WORDS

comprehension

All that happens when we get to reading is that a third system is introduced, that of a system of signs that corresponds to the system of sounds. When this correspondence is understood in such a way that each written word evokes a spoken word, and when a sequence of written words evokes a spoken sentence with all its intonation, stresses, and phrasing, comprehension follows exactly as in spoken communication. The first task in teaching reading, therefore, is to create this new system, that of signs corresponding with sounds, in the student’s mind, so that it connects with the system of sounds and comprehension that the student has already mastered. The pop up films are designed to do just that. All that is required for the mastery of reading is the mastery of speech, sight (although, with Braille, even this is not required), and the mastery of a limited number of conventions. Since most children already start with speech and sight, the only new mastery that has to be learned is the mastery of the conventions of reading. Once mastered, a child will understand in reading as much as he understands in the spoken language. The conventions of reading are: 1 Since spoken speech is in time, writing must also display temporal features in space, linearly.

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

2 Since time is irreversible, a direction has to be chosen to represent this irreversibility. In English this is from left to right, from the top to the bottom of the page. 3 A spoken language uses a limited number of sounds that blended together produce any number of permutations and combinations, the words of the language. This blending of sounds in speech is represented in writing by putting the signs close together in space. 4 Vowels and syllables are the units of speech, not consonants (consonant meaning “sound with”). Through the employment of algebraic principles inherent in the production of speech, all words can be formed from a limited number of sounds by means of four operations: substitution, addition, reversal, and insertion. It is unnecessary to use subtraction, although in some cases it can be implied. 5 Certain signs, that is letters or groups of letters, trigger certain sounds. This is what produces most of the problems people experience in learning to read English: that in English the same sign can trigger different sounds (thought vs. through vs. bough), and that the same sound can be represented by different signs (the sound corresponding to o as in go, can also be represented by ough as in though, eau, as in plateau, ou as in soul, and so on). 6 Reading with proper intonation and emphasis is only possible after the meaning of a phrase has been grasped. In speech proper intonation and reflection are immediately

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introduced when the words are spoken, since in speech the meaning of a phrase exists before the words are selected to convey the meaning. Additionally it has to be known by the reader that the same signs can be written in different ways, e.g. with capitalization. Unless the totality of reading is thrown at the learner all at once, in an unorganized manner, learning to read should be simple for all who can speak, since, after all, it is just the addition of another system that corresponds exactly with the system of speech that has already been mastered by every child by himself, WITHOUT HAVING BEEN TAUGHT BY OTHERS. If speaking, so immensely more difficult than reading, can be mastered by every child by himself, so can reading be mastered by every child himself. Having a child learn the alphabet before he can speak can lead to great, sometimes permanent, confusion. All the alphabet is is a series of drawings that have to be recognized in a certain order, which has no meaning but an historical one (in a number of societies the alphabet was the sequence of numerals for counting), with corresponding names that are attached to the drawings. These “names” sometimes correspond to one of the sounds that the drawing represents, as with the letter a, sometimes not with any sound, as with w: doubleyou and y: why. Add to this that the names of the drawings have other meanings too in some cases (“bee” is also an animal, “sea” a body of water, “tea” a drink like coffee), and the only thing that is remarkable is that not more children become hopelessly

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

confused. Yes, it is true that letters are part of the written words, but so is ink. Nobody studies ink as a prerequisite for reading, though. The pop up films do two things: First of all, reading is presented in an orderly fashion. We start by conveying the conventions of reading without going into the vagaries of spelling, simply by using a “restricted” language of only one sign for one sound, and “words”, albeit not words in the English language, are used to present these conventions to the learner. Then additional sounds, and corresponding signs are gradually introduced, and spelling is conveyed by organizing phoneme-grapheme correspondence by the use of color — each sound has its own color, whether that sound is represented by one letter, as the sound of o in go, or by four letters, as the same sound in though. Secondly, the pop ups were produced for use on television. The nature of the medium, to simultaneously project sound, sight, and motion, has been used to convey the conventions to the learner. To demonstrate the left to right convention, the “action” is from left to right, and so forth. NO TEACHER is shown on the screen, signifying to the learner that whatever he learns by being with what’s happening on the screen, he has learned by HIMSELF. Of course, on TV, the child determines when he watches, and he might therefore see pop up #8 before he sees pop up #1. No matter: he didn’t learn how to speak by listening to the “easy”

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words first. The constant re-exposure that the TV medium affords makes it possible for the child who missed something the first time to pick it up later. In schools, the pop up films can be used to have the children learn reading in a fraction of the time usually allowed for this. Although the 12 pop ups that are available do not contain ALL the different spellings of English, they DO convey all the conventions of English, and all the requirements for reading that generate the confidence we all have for our speech in our native language. Eventually, a complete series of pop ups containing all the spellings of English, except perhaps some of the really unusual ones like colonel will be available. Between 45 and 50 minutes of film will accomplish this. In the meantime, however appropriate use of these 12 pop ups in the classroom will provide a solid basis for reading, on which, in a very short time, the total structure of written English can be built by the teacher. Once the conventions of reading are grasped, and executed by the learner in a “restricted” language, only further practice is required for total mastery. Reading requires that the reader knows what to do. Understanding of the process is not required. The concept of a “restricted” language might sound somewhat limiting at first. It isn’t. Nobody knows the totality of his own language. All one can know is a restricted language, which, in time, becomes less restricted as we learn how to use “new” words in an appropriate manner. The way a restricted language is used to teach reading, therefore, is only to give the learner an opportunity to learn to read by giving him one thing at a time.

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

Following is a description of how each pop up film might be used in the classroom.

Pop Up Notes Pop Up #1 In this minute, viewers are invited to encounter in the case of a very restricted language what we have to do in the act of reading. The “language” has one sound and its corresponding sign. Here we chose a as the sign and for its sound that in as. When we have only one sign or one sound all we can do is repeat it. But as soon as we repeat it we find that time separates the utterances. Hence we can use an awareness of duration of a break between two or more utterances to give meaning to the convention of proximity of signs. If signs look as if they are separated, they are uttered in isolation. If signs are contiguous they are uttered in quick succession. Moreover, a sequence of “words” (sets of contiguous signs) or sentences are placed on a horizontal row starting from the left. If there is not enough room on one line, the next line is parallel to it and under it, and so on. In this first minute three “sentences” are constructed and can be read as they are formed.

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Since the second line is not voiced teachers could ask their pupils from the second viewing on to say the sounds as the signs appear. Similarly towards the end the “words” are being erased one at a time. Teachers could ask that they be voiced for the teacher’s sake. The final second will be the first in the following minute, thus generating continuity. After one or more viewings, all the sound can be turned off and the children can be asked to voice the appropriate sounds. If they can do this, they have mastered what has been taught. This can be done with each of the pop up films. Minute #2 Through animation it is easy to change a into u by cutting off the top part of the a. The shape and the color given to it are different. This will permit us to associate a sound to it, rather than to give it “a name.” The pale yellow sign will trigger the sound at the beginning of up. During that minute u is treated as a was but the sequence is generated from left to right on one line and is made to move to the left to leave room on the screen, stressing the time basis of writing and reading in a new way.

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

At a certain moment a re-appears to be involved in “words” with u. The last part of that minute introduces i (sounding as in it. A deformation of u, leaving only its right side becomes i, when a dot appears on that side, while the other side shrinks away. The dot is is emphasized through the use of animation as if it was the dot’s responsibility to look after the “new” sound, that has been generated. A pink color is given to this sign and will remain a characteristic of that sound whatever the sign (letter or group of letters). A list of “words” involving the three vowels is formed and made to move to the left as in the first part. The speed of the evolvement of material is found congenial after the second viewing if not at once. We have found that children easily adjust to it. Through this minute we have given them opportunities to trigger sounds connected with what they see. In this way the procedure remains consistent and will not conflict ever with subsequent demands of the written speech. Minute #3 In this minute a fourth vowel (e as in pet) is introduced, and used to give a renewed experience of what was shown in the first minute. This time “words” having up to four different sounds are shown.

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The fact that when the order of the vowels is reversed, different sounds must be made will from the start alert children to the existence of an order within every word. This they knew orally from their first contact with their spoken language. Since no child systematically reverses sounds that he hears we are making certain that he transfers this awareness to the written form. Thus we shall eliminate any doubt that children often develop with respect to the orientation of words. With the constant emphasis on the way sounds are uttered, an emphasis that will not diminish throughout the series, we shall ensure that children notice the role of time in reading and that they make sense of how speech is recorded in writing, observing a definite order corresponding to the sequence of the sounds uttered. This minute ends with a “page” of writing, the three lines being formed one after the other and the order of reading being shown to go from top to bottom. Obviously, if children can say correctly all they are shown when the sound is off, we can know that the act of reading is theirs. We have achieved this result in three minutes because we have considered that the first understanding involved is not of the meaning (non-existent here) of “words” but of the rules of the game that shows the act in its barest outlines.

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up� Reading Films.

Minute #4 Because we work with the powers of children and know that young children are very competent observers in general, and of language in particular, we do not devote as much time to the next vowel (o as in pot) as we did to e. If children need to make sure of the same rules they met earlier we hint at them here but we prefer to let them look again at minute #3 and solve that problem with that material. By introducing o in the same way as e, we take advantage of the recurrent availability of the previous minutes to offer variations, this time introducing our first consonant p which appears silently on the screen. The sound is made when the first syllable is formed. Hence and from now on, children will meet consonants as consonants, requiring a vowel to sound with. The difference in sound between a and ap is clearly the result of the addition of the p. The merger of two reverse syllables pa and ap produces an English word pap. From this by substitution (as in the previous minute and a half) pup, pip, pep, pop are formed. From pup we also get the word up. Now we are equipped to produce the first English sentence pop up, which provided the title for the series. Children looking at this film will find that the game they played so far is now more exciting because it calls on abilities they already have, their knowledge of English. In only 4 minutes we have already arrived at reading English!

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Pop - Ups

Minute #5 While serving to introduce the consonant that appears in at, this minute will take viewers to the point where they see how sentences are made by the stringing together of words (utilizing the same means developed since minute #1.) With the five vowels already presented and two consonants, words like at, it, tot, tut, tat, pat, pit, pot, top, etc. can be generated and from these the sentences “top it” “at it” “pat if “top it up” can be formed or suggested. Note that in this minute the voice has been made to come a split second after the written words so as to let the viewer have an opportunity to say them first, and then get confirmation from the voice that their reading is correct. Minute #6 In this unit the purple s is presented, as the consonant in is. From it a substitution will produce is, showing that the sound for the vowel has not been changed and that the change of sound comes from the substitution of the consonant. As soon as the two words it and is are available, it is possible to have two sentences it is and is it. A mere transposition of the words shows how speech can be generated through simple operations, and how emphasis and intonation changes with the change in meaning. Another substitution (that of a for i) produces as and this gives us an opportunity to make more language — as is, as it is, is it as

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

it is — a neat sequence showing much that belongs to language, particularly if we end up with the reply it is! This minute could be used by teachers every time they meet a student who does not seem to start at all on his road to reading. It has the necessary simplicity which does not require much from the viewer and the power to produce a very meaningful set of clear steps towards speech as it is spoken. Minute #7 This is the minute in which the sound for s which is at the begining of the word sit is introduced. On color television sets it looks like the one of the previous minute, but its color is now lime green. (To make this difference clear on black and white sets a system of cross hatching was used for the first s). Placed in front of words already formed in the previous minutes it produces new words, thus showing children how they can generate and read more and more words. The procedure is either addition in front of a word or after or at both ends. Naturally most of the time meanings are radically changed by this procedure as for example pit becomes spit and this becomes pits by placing the new sign at the end instead of the beginning. All along in these minutes the shift is from what is already known to bring an awareness of a new power with words resulting from an increase of material that provides greater freedom as one forges ahead. Here the sentences provided are —

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pat stops us tap at it pat top it up which are at first not said as if they had meaning but only as a decoding exercise. Two of the signs s come together to form the correct spelling of pass, the ss representing the same sound as s. Minute #8 This minute aims at providing two awarenesses: one is that words must be linked in specific ways to become part of speech, in particular that they should be spoken with a certain speed that produces the melody of the language. The other is that intonation must be added to the decoding of words to generate meanings. Different meanings are associated with different intonations, even if the words remain unchanged. The technique used in this minute is to present a whole sentence out of focus which then becomes focused, word by word, starting from the left. Each word is said separately as it becomes focused upon. When the sentence is all clearly visible the associated sounds are repeated at the speed of speech and in a neutral tone. Except for the last sentence stop pat stop, which is said three times, first with the intonation of imitation, then as a supplication, and finally as a warning. Naturally there are other ways of saying that sentence but the one-minute condition for the pop ups did not allow time for this. This could be one of the exercises teachers could take up with their students once this minute has been studied.

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

Let us note that the eight minutes described so far show eight different uses of the screen. This is done deliberately in order to indicate how much latitude the film medium provides us. Since the presentations will keep on being different in the following minutes we shall avoid meeting boredom even from those who do not concentrate on the content. How different this teaching is from the repetitive traditional one?! Minute #9 This minute is devoted to showing how visual dictation number 2 of Words in Color can be fitted to the medium of television and to showing viewers that a temporal sequence can be made evident and end up with a spatial arrangement of words called a sentence that looks like it would when printed. In quick succession, easily read by good readers but too rapid for those who have only had a little practice, a number of words (mostly already met) that include only the sounds and the signs studied in the previous minutes, are shown in smaller size on three lines. An optical device (flickering) calls attention to a word, then another and another or perhaps even one more. These words are sounded by the voice as they are flickered. Then again quite fast and in larger size the successive words appear on top of the list in an empty space that serves as a writing board. The voice says the sentence as if spoken. This minute is important in that it makes viewers aware —

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1

that the same words can produce a number of sentences,

2 that the time sequence can be made obvious by pointing to words in a certain order, 3 that the placing on a line of the selected words from left to right is equivalent to respecting that order, 4 that while the temporal order is remembered the spatial order is visible and becomes a habit, here from left to right. Minute #10 This minute displays another of the new but important techniques of Words in Color, called the game of transformation. In this game two words are given, one being the first and the other the last. Four operations are allowed that can be used in any order, as many times as required, but only one at a time. These are substitution, addition, insertion and reversal. The choice of two examples to put in one minute forces a fast pace. The operations are carried out but not named. The teachers may stop the film after each successive sequence of changes and ask their class to analyze the transformations. They will end up on their board with an array like the following, as those included in the one minute film:

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

for the first example and as —

for the second. This minute may not succeed in conveying all the fun that goes with playing this game and all the diverse dynamics it calls in but it can tell the viewers how varied the powers of the mind are. Minute #11 From this minute on we shall meet larger chunks of the language and encounter the law of the cumulative effect of learning. This tells us that when once we have learned something we are then capable of attacking ever larger tasks in

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the same field and become more competent to forge ahead on our own. A new consonant m makes its appearance as well as the second form for a which in color looks yellow, and on black and white sets striped. Its corresponding sound is that at the end of the word the (in “the box”). This is the sound of the unstressed vowel also known as “schwa.” Let us note that the possessive is represented by two sounds (hence makes use of different ’s) in pat’s and pam’s. This will require attention to the color of the final letter when pointing at the phonic code to form the words by Visual Dictation #1 in Words in Color. Because of the cumulative effect of learning much more material is presented in this minute than say in minute 8 with the expectation that viewers will take it in their stride. We consider it a distinctive feature of the pop up films that they are true to the learning capabilities of viewers of any age who do not yet make sense of reading. We also consider that the pace of the presentation of the material will alert learners and make them benefit from that stage so as to assimilate the content more easily. The pedagogy of teaching through the eye is exemplified in each minute as well as by the set of these minutes.

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Guide For The Teachers Using The “Pop Up” Reading Films.

Minute #12 In the way m was introduced in #11, we can now introduce n. These two forms differ by the number of legs but also by the colors. The three legged one is tangerine and the two legged one is lilac. In the same way as we introduced at, as, and am, which are syllables as well as words of the English language, we can introduce an. In quick succession the three words in, on, and an are presented. With m we had only one one-syllable word am, with t and s two for each as, at, is, it; now we have three. This again can be a distinction of these two shapes that many people find close enough to be confusing. What is new in this minute, besides the lilac sign, is that we want to speed up children’s perception of the words which appear and that we end up with a text made of three statements which together form a very short story which appears at once on the screen. It seems of interest to note that only twelve minutes of animated film material have been needed to take students from scratch to reading a short statement made of three sentences. It is not impossible that some of the viewers do get the content of these minutes after one viewing mainly because they have been presented with material that does, not create confusion and has been practiced over the duration of the show.

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Guide For The Teachers Using Pop - The Ups “Pop Up” Reading Films.

The showing may be varied according to the needs of the students. The most flexible presentation may be when the school owns cassettes for the individual student to select and look at. Teachers can note who uses which cassette when and how often and from these observations propose exercises which take care of the difficulties encountered.

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