Re: Emergent Learning LO2005

Bernard Girard (
Sun, 9 Jul 1995 12:04:19 +0000

Replying to LO1977 --

Dear Jack,

I knew the story about James Watt and his learning how to read just
following the finger of his father on a Bible (which, by the way, is a way
of teaching reading).

I was so suprised about Doug's children because I made, several years ago,
a study with kindergarden children. They were 5, had never been taught
reading, came from literate families, had normal IG. I thought they might
have some knowledge of reading, they might recognize some letters, some
words as they lived in towns were words are everywhere, where everyone

I showed them pictures in which a word described what they saw (a picture
of a restaurant with, written in it the word restaurant). They kew these
were letters but they could not read them.

Obviously, they did not try to learn how to read by themselves. They had
to be taught reading. Although they were old enough to know that reading
would be good for them.

But, of course, they might exceptions. Doug's children and you, Jack, are
most probably some of these. But before deciding on it, we should make
sure you and them were not taught reading in a non official way (like
James Watt).

Written on a bright sunday morning in Paris.

Bernard Girard