Enthralling, Inspiring, Involving

A Journey of Language Discovery

Presentations and Workshops: please refer to
www.absolutelyLEARNING.de / English
/ Presentations / A Journey of Language Discovery


Absolutely Learning develops the spoken “Expressive Arts” incorporating a wide variety of activities along with organising and planning as a natural part of learning. The highly adaptable “Storyboard” approach for organising and planning can be used by non-writers and by writers up to any level of writing ability.

Fundamental principle:

If a child cannot organise a spoken activity then there is little point in moving to written representation. After all, the written text is the abstract representation of what the child would have otherwise spoken.


Each child can learn to read rapidly using the approach “total text”, which involves full understanding and “word pictures in context”. Children need a matter of minutes to appreciate how to learn to read independently using “total text” however it is also open to them to learn in pairs or with the accompaniment of another person. Learning to read with “total text” also improves the pronunciation and word separation in the spoken language and considerable support is included for children to develop their own intuitive appreciation of phonetics.

Extensive reading then follows on. It is organised to include group-synergy, feedback, presentations and performance.

Phonetic framework first

The conventional approach for learning to read involves having to learn a phonetic framework first in order to enable learning. This has a major flaw. The phonetic framework first approach is the unnatural reverse of intuitive, natural learning. (Pre-school) children would naturally produce intuitively their own frameworks out of their world of chaos.

Progress comparison during the learning-to-read phase

“total text”: From the beginning, children read correctly over 30 words per minute.
Phonetic framework first: A slow and long introductory phase leads to the decoding of words at a rate of under 10 words per minute.


Opportunities for expression in language abound with this approach and writing is merely the culmination of this process. Each child can decide when and how to convert the spoken organised and planned language into text.

As extensive reading has generally preceded this step, the word pictures are well established in the child’s mind, and so spelling is approached successfully with reference to word pictures – the approach of most adults and our goal.

Note: The current rush into writing is often justified with the claim that children need to express themselves. This expressive valve may be necessary for the “instruction” approach. The undesirable consequences however are many. Most notable is the poor spelling in the early written work which is sufficient to disturb the establishment of a reliable “word-picture” reference system in the brain. Thus many children are prevented from developing a satisfactory approach to spelling even after being subjected to spelling drills and tests – which are anyway an extremely odious and unenjoyable practice.

Workshop: On a journey of Language Discovery
Speaking, Reading, Writing