Thursday, October 16, 2014

Unspeller exercises

https://www.createspace.com/5055383
The 12 exercises, one for each of the 12 lessons in the Unspeller book, are now available as a free download, and also as a print-on-demand book. Thanks to Pleas Lucian Kavanaugh of Atenas, Costa Rica, for suggesting it. This document is designed for easy inkjet or laser printing, in color or black and white.

Also, since many of the people who have ordered Unspeller should have by now received it, and perhaps even given it a try, I want to take this opportunity to start an open thread devoted to your experiences with it, good, bad or confusing. Your experiences in learning and in teaching Unspell are particularly interesting. And, of course, any suggestions for how the book can be improved are always welcome.

10 comments :

survivalchicken said...

This would be cool because I cracked it open for about two minutes and honestly had no idea what to do with it.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Well, that sounds like a waste of two minutes! Next time, go for five. Baby steps...

What you do is learn each of the 12 lessons, and make sure you retain the information by doing the fill-in-the-blanks exercise that follows each lesson. Then you read the three reading selections at the back. And then you pat yourself on the head while rubbing your belly at the same time, which is actually a bit harder to do than to learn Unspell.

sjoh said...

hi,
am holding off till the 'brit/australiasian english' version comes out... any ideas of when? got a couple of rugrats, oldest 2, so probably won't be using it for a year anyway - so, no rush! Any ideas on ideal starting age?
Cheers from Aotearoa/NZ

Dmitry Orlov said...

I am working on the World Edition (everything but North America). It will have Zebbrahs and Girahfs in it, and been will sound like bean and not like bin. Thanks for lighting a fire under my ass, as they say in N. America. Two is definitely two early to start, but once a kid starts learning letters, it's time for an intervention.

Andrew Butt said...

Although we used to homeschool, our children are past this stage of learning. As a result, I've been experimenting on what an old, educated man experiences when trying out unspell.

First, the non-unspeller has to go through quite a phase of unlearning. No more letters but more of iconic representations of sound. This was not easy for me. This leads me to wonder about how the jumpstarting of unspell will occur. I think once a generation of unspellers exists, their experience with transmitting it will be very different than my own. I believe I would need to spend a fair amount of time to gain proficiency if only due to this unlearning step.

Second, I did struggle with the font a bit. It is visually very pleasing, but I do have trouble discerning the narrow versions and long versions of some of the icons. Again this is my own limitation of being mainly exposed to typeset fonts where the width component of a character doesn't change it's nature. I hope to overcome this as well through more exercises.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Andrew -

The unlearning is perhaps the hardest step. Those literate in English treat entire words as icons and do not decompose them into sounds. With Unspell, words and phrases are assembled from phonemes. First you learn to pronounce phonemes, then you form them into syllables, then words, and finally phrases. Not burdened with any such habits, children learn Unspell faster than adults. It seems like you are already far enough along that it will all come to you with a bit of practice.

Simon B said...

I'll be getting the world edition when it's done, but I'm worried about how compatible this will be with the traditional (random?) way of learning to read english. It's fair to say that my parents will want to have some involvement in teaching my son (just turned 3), as will the nursery he attends once a week, and we read him books at bedtime. Is unspeller an exclusive way of learning?

Simon B said...

Dmitry,

I'm fascinated by (what little I understand of) this approach, but am concerned about how exclusive it is.

Will my son, who's just turned 3 and is hence learning letters and words, need to give up on the traditional approach that my partner, me, his grandparents and nursery are already working on with him?

Dmitry Orlov said...

Simon -

The World Edition is almost done. I just need to give it another round of proofing.

The two approaches play along well together. Your son will go on "learning words" for the next 10 years or so. It will be a few years before he can handle a text he would actually find interesting. With Unspell, he might get to that point rather more quickly because there isn't much of a gap between "learning the alphabet" and "learning to read." Also, Unspell will help him learn English spelling because it will help him understand two fundamental principles: the phonemic structure of English and the alphabetic principle of phoneme-grapheme correspondence, which English spelling, in its brokenness, obscures, complicating and delaying learning to read.

survivalchicken said...

Ok I actually flipped through the whole thing but didn't do the exercises. It's a first edition after all and will save my scribbling for the print-outs. So now I'm starting to understand how it works. It's scalable technology so the purpose is not as much communicating as a learning tool, but the communicating can come later if it somehow gains wide acceptance. That was probably super obvious to everyone else but me. It's ok. Not the first time this has happened.