- Couplets in the Doman method: introduction, examples, our cards
- Important information on overlapping of steps in the Doman method
- About revision and memorising of words
- About observing and following your child
Introducing couplets in the Doman method
When we start introducing couplets we go over single words which have already been presented but this time they are together forming logically connected two-word expressions. In the main picture for this article you can see some examples like “clever owl.”
We can view this step of the reading programme as a revision because it is based on the single words we have already used. Maja had already seen both “clever” and “owl” as single words before I presented this particular couplet “clever owl” to her. However, according to Glenn Doman it is not a typical revision. It is just the next step in global reading- couplets because in the Doman method we never revise the words presenting them in the same form. This is meant to be something new for the child.
Following the rules of the second step in reading I present retired single words to Maja but they come together. I have chosen to start with adjectives describing nouns. Dad will soon join us with cards in the Polish language but right now I am doing everything in English with the aim to bring Maja up bilingually.
Just to give you more examples, today Maja has seen the following couplets:
As I have already mentioned, Maja saw all the single words separately some time ago. It is important.
In the ready-made set of cards which I bought from a Polish company there are separate cards with single words and with couplets. It saves time as I do not have to create these phrases. I just take next cards.
In case of the first 15 words, which I have printed myself (they are all listed in the article you will find among the links below this one), I had to print them again with an adjective describing each of them. I used the adjectives Maja has already seen on the cards I bought. As a result we have expressions like the following couplets:
When presenting the cards I follow the same schedule as with single words. Each couplet is shown 3 times daily for 5 consecutive days. Then a given card is retired and replaced with a new one.
I introduced cards with couplets gradually, one by one. Each day I retired a card with a single word from one set and replaced it with a couplet card. After a few days I had a set of couplets only. After some time I hed several sets with couplets only as we had run out of single words.
Update from 01.03.2019: It turned out we should continue presenting single words at every stage. This means that we continue showing new single words simultaneously with introducing couplets. I followed the order of cards in the ready-made set. However, now I know it is recommended to complete about 150 single words before the introduction of couplets.
The Doman method and revision of words
In the book “How to Teach Your Baby to Read” Doman advises against all revision claiming it is boring for a child. Therefore, if a given word appears in our sessions for five consecutive days, three times daily, we have to put it away. We never return to this single word in the same way just to revise it. We need to assume that such a little baby has a really receptive mind and that it learns in a flash.
Well….it is unbelievable but I am trying to follow these suggestions as I don’t want to distort my experiment. I am curious about the results I will have with my baby doing Doman with her. And I have a feeling it will work because there must be a reason the Doman method is so popular around the world.
However, particularly from my standpoint as a teacher, learning without revising doesn’t seem possible. As a language learner I think the same. Nevertheless, my opinion is based on teaching kids aged at least 3, teenagers and adults or on my experience as a student. I have never taught a baby before.
Update from 01.03.2019: With time I learnt it is not about memorisation of all words and couplets etc. we show on cards. Though it may be quite useful in English to memorize sight words, it is not advisable for phonetic languages like our Polish for the child to remember the words. Of course, some will be remembered anyway but this learning them by heart is not our goal. Our goal should be to present as many words as possible. A child will figure out the reading and spelling rules behind the words after seeing lots of examples. They will also be able to read unknown, completely new words.
Follow your child
I advise you to observe your child and finish card presentations before they lose interest. I managed to follow the strict schedule with 11-month-old Maja which meant that each card was shown 15 times. With time (much too late) we reduced the number of repetitions to 0. One card was presented just once.
Update from 01.03.2019: There are children who can’t stand lots of repetitions from the very beginning. It may happen our child will accept just 1-3 repetitions for each cards since very beginning of the program. We, as parents, need to be open and just accept it and believe it works. I know it is a difficult decision for a parent to show words less times than suggested in the Doman book. I experienced it, too. For me, especially that I am a teacher, 15 quick flashings of one card is too little. It turns out, however, it is too much for many kids. When parents push them to look at the same material for more times than they need they get discouraged.