258.  Is the ELLA alphabet chart good or bad?

ANSWER:

It is my understanding that the ELLA alphabet chart shows the letters of the alphabet while students NAME each letter and SOUND each letter in an isolated form or fashion.   This type of NAMING and --in an isolated fashion-- SOUNDING each letter is done with little children who, probably, have NEVER heard anyone who speaks English verbalize isolated English sounds.  I know of no one who, in their regular life, their regular everyday activities, has the opportunity to verbalize isolated English sounds –only teachers teaching the ELLA alphabet do that once a day in the morning.

Is it good or bad?   I would say it is “INDIFERENT.”   It is neither good, nor bad; it is neither harmful, nor beneficial; it is neither detrimental, nor advantageous.

It may be fun, it may be a routine with as little meaning for many students as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance when the meanings of the words are not known.   It is like singing a song with meaningless words because you do not know what they mean; it is like singing a song in a language you have never heard before.

Now, the key idea here is:  Is it effective and efficient for students who speak a language other than English to spend time reciting the ELLA alphabet?   IT IS NOT effective or efficient.  Children who speak a language other than English do not hear the English sounds in isolated enunciations.  They do NOT hear English sounds in complete words either, especially as they begin to learn English. 

I see no problem learning the NAMES of the letters.   We ALL have names, objects have names, and different types of animals have different names.   Letters have names.   To say that letters have names and we need to learn to name them is effective and efficient.   To say anything else is ineffective and inefficient.   Other activities could be substituted for the uttering of isolated sounds in English.

 

 


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