What is wrong with ‘look and say’?

Here is an excerpt from Mike Lloyd’s book ‘Phonics and the Resistance to Reading’ (page 42):

“Recognising whole words by memorising the appearance of the word (sometimes known as the ‘look-and-say’ approach) is highly problematic.  The capacity to remember words as whole-patterns is highly limited and in any case highly inefficient.  As Professor Martin Kozloff points out, a child who makes the effort to learn ten words in this way is left recognising just the ten words.  But a child who learns ten grapheme-phoneme correspondences is able to read hundreds of words, including of course words that the child has never met in print before – let alone had to commit to visual memory.”



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