Thursday, 30 June 2016


Over recent months Holistics Phonics has been accepted in the Morobe Province by the Provincial Department of Education and Catholic and Lutheran Education. 

All see that this program is something quite magnificent in teaching young children to listen, speak, read and write. The program proceeds from known to unknown and simple to complex. We focus on known words as much as possible removing the need for phonic symbols.

There is no need to phonically sound Big Roos-ter Chic-ken, Di-gi-cel, Co-ca Co-la, Pep-si-Co-la, Pa-pu-a New Gui-nea and choc-o-late ice-cream. But the children recognize the syllables and stress patterns.

These are slipped into the occasional sentence together with village names O-mi-li, O-kap-a, Tam-i-gi-du and Kai-a-pit. 

To stay among known words is to introduce a hnndred or more easy to speak and read words and sentences. Kids love it. Big words are not a problem if the students already know the words.

I will go to Tam-i- gi-du.
My dad was born in Kai-a-pit.
I like to live in E-ri-ku.
We will go to Big Roo-ster Chic-ken.
I would like some chic-ken and Co-ca-Cola
I bought my phone at Di-gi-cel.
Would you like a straw-ber-ry ice-cream?

What impresses teachers most is that the focus is on sentences not just words. They are impressed by the lack of theory and the speed by which students learn the basic sentences by chanting. 

We must never underestimate the skill of many small children. In the elementary school that I support with charts of patterns, small children try to outdo one another with speed chanting. They have memorized basic charts in a few weeks. What skill they will have after after memorizing the entire course. It will happen.

Some teachers are a little afraid of the phonic symbol approach to teaching only words. Small children must be afraid too. The approach proceeds from complex to simple and breaks a basic rule of teaching.

In the last month or two, I have been invited to visit elementary and primary schools of the Catholic Church in Morobe Province. I support the Emmanuel Lutheran School with Mastery Writing. I have given presentations at Christ the King School and St Martins School.

But the heavy support is now coming from the Provincial Department of Education. I was recently invited to address a meeting of Headmasters of provincial schools. The response was inspiring. 

Now we are in a two week term break when schools conduct in-service programs. I have been asked to contribute to as many sessions as I can in elementary and primary schools around Lae. 

I am working across the town. Next week I will revisit Milford Haven Elementary School and address an in-service at Omili Primary School on Monday. I am receiving phone calls from schools to book my services. I expect to be busy visiting schools for at least two more months.

There has been a completely positive response at all levels. The teachers are very impressed that that focus is on rhythmic simple sentences. The Holistic Phonics program will go national within 12 months. Over 800 teachers have attended the in-service sessions in Provincial, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist and Lutheran primary and elementary schools.

The subjects in the 2 hour sessions have been (1) phonics (2) Mastery Writing and (3) words from Latin and Greek roots. Very successful. These have been first time experiences for most young teachers. Windows have opened wide. Morobe Education leads the nation. 

We have taken the literacy program from elementary school to Grade 12. Derivation from Latin and Greek has been presented as word building and phonics for the upper grades. This study was removed from curriculum in the USA and Australia some 50 years ago. The heart of English was stolen by fools.

Teachers were shown that older students need to learn a more complex form of writing than what students learn in elementary school. So Latin based words and simple complex sweet English will lift the standard of students into adulthood. Please click:

latin for png students - family positive living - aids holistics
Sep 4, 2011 - In the years up to the 1960s, Australian students were educated in word 
building through Latin and Greek roots. Then with the change

Jun 29, 2011 - WRITE SWEET ENGLISH ... stop baby talk. In Papua New Guinea schools,

Monday, 27 June 2016


A useful way to teach phonics to children is to use the names in the country which they know already. 

They do not need phonic symbols as the words have been in patterns that have been chanted many times by the students. They know many of the names from their family lives.

They are seeing in writing the names they already know. The stressed syllables are in yellow

a-lo-tau, bu-ka-vu, mi-si-ma, yan-go-ru, e-ri-ku,  kam-ku-mung

Now the place names can be a routine part of chanting patterns.

I will go to A-lo-tau

He was born in Bu-ka-vu

My father works in Mi-si-ma

Let us go to Yan-go-ru.

I go to school in E-ri-ku.

My family lives at Kam-ku-mung.

I might get a job working for Michael Learns to Rock. They came out to PNG recently and were amazed that whole audiences knew the words of all their songs. Rock groups like the rhythm and rhyming of simple words.

Names of places in the world have been found in songs because of the music and rhythm of the words:

Think of the rhythm of West Vir-gi-nia, She-nan-do- ah Val-ley and So-we-to.
I am going back to Min-ne-so-ta
I goin to leave old Dur-ham town.

There is only one song I know of that has no weak stresses. That is the British national anthem. 

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save our Queen

One day an African writer will compose a song with the line:

I'm goin back to Tan-gan-yi-ka.

Or a Russian will write about the spring coming to Vla-di-vos-tok.

No not Vla-di-vos-tok. Barbarian.

I would not dare write a song about love in C-zech-o-slo-va-ki-a.

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Modern phonics programs are not academically valid. Focus is now placed on pronunciation of words through phonic symbols and blending. Small children are now being forced to understand theory. There is no group work except chanting the alphabet.

Our Holistics Phonics is far above all modern phonics programs as it appeals to students listening, speaking, chanting, dancing, reciting, clapping and singing. They are developing their rhythm memory of sentences.

In the Holistics Phonics program, every new word is supported by a sentence to be chanted over and over with the words developed through many sentences. Small children do not have to work out how words are pronounced. They just hear the rest of the class chanting. 

It will only take a day or two for new words to be recognized by students and used in rhythmic sentences. Having small children work out the word through phonic symbols is cruel, inhumane and unnecessary. Small children are being forced to work alone.

We only deal with language through sentences specially designed for rhythm. As the sentences and words become more complex, the importance of rhythm drops but the basic sentence pattern has already become part of rhythm memory of the children. They will never forget.

Our program inspires immediate acceptance by teachers in schools. Many say they want to get away from phonic symbols and go back to developing the elegance and simplicity of rhythmic sentences. 

Phonics symbols forces students to work alone. Group work is the only suitable strategy for small children. Chanting of patterns is loved by children. 

We start with enough words to set up basic sentences upon which we hang other more complex words and structures when the time comes, Many young children memorize the patterns with exponential speed.

We go
We go

We go to town with you
We go to town with you

We go to buy some food
We go to buy some food

Don't go
Don't go

Don't go into the house with them
Don't go into the house with them

Friday, 24 June 2016


For the first time in the history of the world, there has been a commercial focus on phonics for young children. There is money to be made in text books. It is a move being made to repair the damage done to the education of students over 40 years ago.

Who knows what was the cause of the destruction of the traditional curriculum? Was it the anti-Vietnam teachers seeking to destroy all authority over children who were now to be free.

There was to be no more enforced study. Focus was to be on the intellect not the memory claimed a large gaggle of half-educated educators. 

Was it the communist teachers seeking to destroy the US capacity to overtake the Soviets in the technological race? Perhaps the anti-communist senators in the US should have looked for communists among teachers not actors and film producers. 

The US education system may have suffered extensive sabotage at the hands of communist teachers which extended around the world. 

The US senators helped the success of sabotage by throwing out literacy. Now the sabotage has moved to gay and lesbian sexuality in school curriculum. The US curriculum is being dumbed down and overtaken by Asian education systems.

The Soviets had put a satellite Sputnik into space in 1957 that resulted in massive trauma in the corridors of power of the USA and questioning of the education standards of the US nation.  

Students were not to chant their multiplication tables. Today there would be large numbers of teachers who do not know their tables having never learned as children when their minds were blank slates waiting to be written upon.

There would be no more memorization of facts. Students were to intellectualize not memorize. Incorrect spelling was not to require writing out the words 50 times. Students were not to learn and chant poetry.

It became even worse in Papua New Guinea when a group of fool expatriate so-called educators decreed that for the first two years of school, the children were to learn only their vernacular tongue. 

Students and teachers learned in a language separate from English leaving many students illiterate. 

Even today, we have only to visit church drop-out school centres in Papua New Guinea to hear the view expressed that many students did not make it because they did not understand English written or spoken. 

I have visited Catholic and Lutheran centres in Lae. Many students may well sit in class and think in Tok Pisin then translate into English. That is why they can not pass their Written Expression exams in grade 10.

But now we are back to teaching English in elementary school. But many elementary teachers do not understand English well enough to teach the basics to children. First we have to teach phonics to teachers before they can teach the children.

But all phonics is good in that it is an improvement on teaching Tok Pisin or other vernacular. Teachers are to teach words to students starting off with the alphabet. Students learn the symbols of language, then the language.

They learn words which opens the door to reading charts and then books. Many students in Papua New Guinea never read anything not even newspapers. How can they do that if they do not even know words?

But many students have no desire to know anything. How can they learn if they do not ever want to open a newspaper or read any document? Many just want to leave school and drink beer or home brew.

All phonics is good if it helps the students to read words, sentences, thoughts, plans and ideas. It does not stop in elementary school but takes the students through life

They master the skills of complex writing. How do they pass exams if they can not understand the English of school textbooks and even the exam papers? 

In early time, students learned hundreds of words based on Latin and Greek roots. Students have to learn English to the standard written in the media by journalists. Those who can will have a chance. Those who can not will drop by the wayside.

Today the technological race is being won in mathematics and science in schools by the Asian nations like Singapore and South Korea. 

Let us hope that the advanced nations do not throw out literacy again. It all comes down to discipline in learning in all subjects. If we are illiterate, we can not read books on mathematics and science. 

But then who cares what the dummos can not do? It is the top students who need to go far, say the experts.

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Europe was under the control of the Roman Empire 2000 years ago. The empire spread out to England, France, Italy, Spain and Romania. The Romans introduced into affairs of empire the language of the village of Latium south of Rome. Please click:

Romanian Language

Romanian is actually easier for English speakers to understand than it is assumed. 
If you've studied other Romance language, such as Italian, Spanish, French ...

The language of Latium later known as Latin became the basis of the Romance languages of the empire. The colonies of empire used Latin as the basis of their own vernacular language. Over the centuries hundreds of English words were derived from the Latin.

In times gone past, English students had to learn to speak Latin which may have made the study unpopular. But there was another use of Latin too in study of the origins of English words. 

This died out 40 years ago except for many church schools that maintained the standard. The International Education Agency in Papua New Guinea included Latin and Greek derivation in their curriculum. Please click:

Study of Latin and Greek in English words will simplify understanding for students. Most Latin words consist of a prefix, root and suffix that simplifies spelling for young students. How could they spell and know nothing of the derivation of the words?

From a phonics standpoint, the derivation of Latin based words becomes simplified. Most words consisting of prefix, latin root and suffix are weak-strong-weak in stress. The strong stress is usually on the root but not always:

tran script ion        scribo ( scriptus) I write

intro duct ion         duco (ductus) I lead
pro cess ion            cedo (cessus) I go
trans port ation     porto (portus) I carry
re volv er               volvo ( volvus) I roll
e ject ion                jacio (jectus) I throw
de pend ent           pendeo (pendus) I hang

Phonics dies a natural death in early primary school and there is nothing to replace it. Most teachers have no idea of Latin and Greek. With this study being killed in the 1960s and 1970s, a key tool for meaning, spelling and phonics was lost.

If the phonics experts in the higher grade studies are writing text books and ignoring prefixes, roots and suffixes they are reinventing the wheel with something less historically valid. 

I learned Latin and Greek roots in the 1960s as a primary and secondary student. But some fool teachers decided that it was all too academic. It was blocked in world curricula. The standard of English dropped accordingly. Teachers thought we are not supposed to know the roots of our language. Fools.

The study of Greek brings the derivation of many later English words that were coined often in the name of science - 

biology,                     bios life, logos a study
zoology,                    zoon an animal , logos a study
barometer,               baros weight, metron a measure
thermometer,          therme heat, metron a measure
phosphorus,            phos light
democracy,             demos the people
police,                      polis a city
politician,                polis a city
telescope,                tele afar, skopeo I view
Micronesia,            micros small, nesia an island
Polynesia,               poly many, nesia an island
Indonesia               Indo an Indian, nesia an island
microscope,            micros small, skopeo I view
telephone,               tele afar, phonos sound
telegraph                tele afar, grapho I write

In all the years I have spent as a teacher of English in Australia and Papua New Guinea, I have introduced students mainly grades 8-12 to hundreds of Latin based words. Please click:

test knowledge of latin-based english words - family positive living ...

Jun 6, 2014 - TEST KNOWLEDGE OF LATIN-BASED ENGLISH WORDS. What is the word that means.....? a place with houses (villa - a house villa, village).


Chanting story patterns strengthens rhythm memory and fluency.

Teachers have to teach young students the rhythm patterns in our phonic stories. These have been designed to have perfect stress patterns of weak and strong stresses. The class is to clap and chant which means that the teacher has to get the stress patterns right to lead the class.

The teachers should practise the rhythm and clap on the strong stresses. They should do so before the lesson to have the rhythm perfect, The words or syllables in strong stress are highlighted below in yellow.

There is great value in chanting patterns. The students absorb the rhythm memory of sentences which helps their fluency in language. 

As well, the chanting is done as a group which means that the slower students can chant along with the class and catch up. No-one is left behind. Every student gets every pattern right. They just follow the class chant and do it right every time.


My name is Jenny
My name is Jenny

I am 8 years old
I am 8 years old

I was born in Yangoru
I was born in Yangoru

Now I live in Kubkain
Now I live in Kubkain

It is on the Sepik River
It is on the Sepik River

I go to school in the village
I go to school in the village

I like to go to school each day
I like to go to school each day

I am in grade 2
I am in grade 2

Mosquitoes live on the Sepik River
Mosquitoes live on the Sepik River

They bite us every day and night
They bite us every day and night


What is her name?
What is her name?

How old is she?
How old is she?

Where was she born?
Where was she born?

Where does she live now?
Where does she live now?

Where is the village?
Where is the village?

Where is the school?
Where is the school?

Does she like to go to school?
Does she like to go to school?

Where do mosquitoes live?
Where do mosquitoes live?

When do they bite us?
When do they bite us?


What is her name?
Her name is Jenny
Her name is Jenny

How old is she?
She is 8 years old
She is 8 years old

Where was she born?
She was born in Yangoru
She was born in Yangoru

Where does she live now?
She lives in Kubkain

She lives in Kubkain

Where is the village?
It is on the Sepik River
It is on the Sepik River

Where is the school?
It is in the village
It is in the village

Does she like to go to school?
Yes. She likes to go to school
Yes. She likes to go to school

Where do mosquitoes live?
Mosquitoes live on the Sepik River
Mosquitoes live on the Sepik River

When do mosquitoes bite them?
They bite them every day and night
They bite them every day and night


Wednesday, 22 June 2016


Strengthening rhythm memory of young students

Our holistic phonics program is to have two parts. There will be the basic program for kindergarten students and an advanced program for grade 2 or any student below that level who has advanced in mastery and completed the basics.

All patterns in the program have weak strong rhythm. This is to develop the rhythm memories of young children. Rhythm is the key to absorbing and retaining information. 

Those of us who memorized the multiplication tables will never forget. So too those who memorized the nursery rhymes. Why not turn all exercises into rhythmic patterns? 

Children will take the patterns into their souls for life. What if the patterns are based on sentences with simple, complex and compound structures?

Even stories can be chanting patterns for the small children who love to scream out responses and memorize quickly. 

There is grammar in the patterns below but we do not tell the children for a year or two yet. Let them master the patterns first and learn any theory later. We move from concrete to abstract. Remember teachers?


My name is John
My name is John

I am 9 years old
I am 9 years old

I was born in Bukavu
I was born in Bukavu

I go to school in Eriku
I go to school in Eriku

I am in Grade 2
I am in Grade 2


My name is John
My name is John

I am 9 years old
I am 9 years old

I was born in Bukavu
I was born in Bukavu

I go to school in Eriku
I go to school in Eriku

I am in Grade 2
I am in Grade 2

Chant questions

What is his name?
What is his name?

How old is he?

How old is he?

Where was he born?
Where was he born?

Where does he go to school?
Where does he go to school?

What grade is he in?
What grade is he in?

Chant responses

What is his name?
His name is John
What is his name?
His name is John

How old is he?

He is 9 years old
How old is he?
He is 9 years old

Where was he born?
He was born in Bukavu
Where was he born?
He was born in Bukavu

Where does he go to school?
He goes to school in Eriku
Where does he go to school?
He goes to school in Eriku

What grade is he in?
He is in grade 2
What grade is he in?
He is in grade 2

Again from the start - clap and chant louder.

(Not if the teacher has a headache)

Our basic program will have at least 30 such stories becoming more complex and exploring all the question forms of how, when, where, why, who, what, did, will, can, was, were and more.

Sunday, 19 June 2016


The National 20 June 2017 Page 20

There is no clear understanding of the scope of phonics in teaching language to elementary school children. The focus of the American based programs is on teaching words. But that is only part of the picture. 

The key to teaching phonics is to teach language particularly to those with English as a foreign language. The young person learning language has a memory that will absorb words and sentence formats. 

A key faculty in the mind is the rhythm memory that comes in all words, sentences, rhymes, dances and songs. In teaching language we must develop the rhythm memory. 

Once absorbed in the rhythm memory the pattern is never forgotten. Many of us recall the songs and rhymes of our childhood. It is all locked away in our rhythm memory.
There is a report in the media of a program in phonics being promoted in Papua New Guinea. The focus is on phonics, vocabulary development, spelling and word study. It is being promoted by Bilum Books.

Bilum Books focuses on the early grades with no focus on how the early grades fit into the .next level of grades in middle and upper primary school. There is focus on words with no work on putting the English words into English simple and complex sentences.

Our Holistic Phonics teaches students to read, write and understand how the English sentence patterns work. We base our work on our Tok Pisin program that follows the same basic patterns as simple sentence English. Please click:

DUK Tours: Tok Pisin Tree (Pidgin English)

By Bruce CopelandTok Pisin Tree (64 patterns). I came to PNG to serve at Igam Barracks during 1976-1977. I had just completed a Bahasa Indonesia course at ..

The American phonics programs are next to useless in helping the students to put their words into a language, particularly for those with English as a foreign language. 

Students are being taught to study trees not forests. They need to learn the rhythm of sentences that make up basic English and learn to put words and sentences together.

There are 50 sets of basic patterns in our program with 15 sets on this blog below. Each sentence in the sequences is to be chanted in rhythm twice. Each sentence is in weak strong weak strong rhythm. 

This is phonics for small children not an academic study of words. Young students love to chant patterns that become part of their permanent rhythm memory. They can learn hundreds of words on the way. Theory is for later.

Early sentences are based on a restricted range of simple words. Later sentences will focus on more complex and abstract words in more complex and abstract sentences.

I go
I go to town
I go to buy some food
I go to school
I go to learn to read and write
I go to bed
I go to bed to sleep at night
I wake up in the morning light
I go to church
I go to pray to God

He goes
He goes with me
He goes into the house
He goes to swim in the sea
He goes to buy some food
He goes to the market
He goes to sell his fruit
He goes at 6 o'clock

She goes
She goes with me
She goes each day
She comes back every night
She waits for me
She waits for me each day
She sells her food
She goes back home
She goes to sleep each night
She comes back every day

I have come
I have come to town
I have come to see you
I have come to talk to you
I have come to buy some food
I have come and will go back
I have come to see my friend
I have come with my two friends
I have come to talk with you.

I want to come with you
I want to eat some rice
I want to see my father
I want to do my work
I want to watch a movie
I want to go to sleep
I want to rest my feet
I want to cook the food
I want to sweep the floor

I will come
I will come with you
I will catch a bus
I will go
I will go and talk to him
I will come to town
I will come back at night
I will walk across the road
I will sit under the tree

Will he come?
Will he buy some food?
Will he shut the door?
Will he talk to us?
Will he look for food?
Will he light a fire?
Will he cook the food?
Will he eat the fruit?
Will he look for us?
Will he go back to school?

I would like to go with you
I would like to see you
I would like to sit with you
I would like to read a book
I would like to watch TV
I would like to follow them
I would like to pray to God
I would like to go back home
I would like to swim in the sea

Would you like to come with me?
Would you like to eat some food?
Would you like to watch TV?
Would you like to read a book?
Would you like to go back home?
Would you like to sit with us?
Would you like to come to town?
Would you like to sing a song?
Would you like to go to sleep?
Would you like to come with me?

I can come
I can come with you
I can come to Lae with him
I can not come with you today
I can not come with you 
I can wait and come next week
I can go by bus
I can buy the food
I can take the food with me
I can cook the food tonight
I can give some food to you

Have you seen my bag?
Have you locked the door?
Have you washed your hands?
Have you eaten your food?
Have you gone to town before?
Have you read this book?
Have you found your bag?
Have you been sick before?

Where are you?
Where are you going?
Where is my bag?
Where did you lose your money?
Where will you go?
Where will you live?
Where can we go?
Where is your house?
Where are we?
Where are we now?

Why have you come?
Why are you so sad?
Why is she sad?
Why are you so sick?
Why is there no power?
Why are you so happy?
Why don't you come with me?
Why did you not come?
Why am I sick?
Why did you not open the door?

There is a man at the house
There are two men at the store
There are no men
There are no men at all
There is no water
There is no water at all
There is no power
There is no food at all
There is no food at the store
There is plenty of food in town
There is a hole in the tank

Friday, 17 June 2016


The world has just come through an intellectual desert that started in the 1960s and 1970s at the hands of young teachers who had grown up in families with discipline of World War 2 fathers. They were anti-discipline, anti-Vietnam and wanted to make love not war. 

Discipline was to be removed from schools particularly the discipline of learning. There was to be no memorization of any kind. Students were not even to memorize their multiplication tables. Spelling was to be caught not taught. That became the catch cry. 

The result was that the standards of education dropped slowly in the law of diminishing returns. Children were not trained with discipline and became teachers who did not train with discipline. And it went on. 

On the other hand there was another stream of teachers who obeyed the dictates of the US Government and threw out all that would not support the US catching up to the USSR in the space race. The Soviet launching of the satellite Sputnik in 1957 caused trauma in the US corridors of power.

So mathematics and science were in. Literacy, poetry, literature were out. So too the skills of reading and writing disappeared not to resurface again for 40 years. 

But at last the world has come to understand that Outcome Based Education was destined to failure  because it ignored the basics of all studies.

Now in the new milleneum, there has been a new broom to sweep out all the educational rubbish that has dropped standards  over 40 years. But the teachers do not have the knowledge to achieve this. They are still tied up with the dictate of the past that memorization was an inferior way of learning.

Children could not memorize poetry, multiplication tables, spelling and facts from a history book. It had to be caught not taught. Many students learned nothing. They caught nothing.

It was even worse in the developing world like Papua New Guinea where fool expatriates 20 years ago decided that students were to learn vernacular in elementary school. Please click:

expatriate idiots spoil png education - family positive living - aids ...

Apr 17, 2016 - I have a story to tell as the only person involved 
who is still alive. It is about expatriate idiots of PNG Linguistic Society ...

So Papua New Guinea children came to high school many of whom were illiterate. They had learned vernacular when they should have been learning English as the foundation for study. They were taught nothing and learned very little.

So now the Papua New Guinea education has gone back half way to old times. Phonics is to be taught in elementary school by a generation of teachers with no academic background in learning language. The older teachers remember the days of memorization and sadly recall how it has all died even now.

But there is an expatriate teacher in the country whose memory goes back to school in the 1960s. Tis I, I humbly reply. I have been teaching writing skills to high school students in ways unknown in this country. Please click:


Students master the basics by mastery learning of pattern after pattern after pattern. This has captured the interest of several high schools in Papua New Guinea.

But then I came to Lae a few months ago and was asked to promote phonics to elementary schools. I was amazed to find that I was the most experienced teacher of phonics in this country having spent 14 years at the RAAF School of Languages near Melbourne teaching Tok Pisin to over 4000 soldiers on posting to Papua New Guinea. 

There was 100% carry over to teaching phonics in English. The Catholic Education Department in Lae has taken on the rhythm and rhyme approach and I now find myself conducting workshops in Catholic Schools around Lae and taking demonstration classes. 

In the last month, I have conducted workshops at Christ the King school on the Markham Road and St Martins in the Papuan Compound. I conducted a session for Catholic headmasters.  

I help a family of Catholic friends in a school in Eriku. The walls of classrooms are covered in phonics charts. Every morning the school rings to the sound of chanting of 6 classes. It is like being in a large cage of cockatoos. 

But that is OK. It is better than silence. Kids love screaming out the sentence patterns. Teachers say that many students have taken only a week to memorize all charts. They scream patterns without reading the charts. They are learning the music of sentence structure that is being implanted on their rhythm memory forever.

There are large flip top charts available at a stationary store Theodist in Lae for K16.50. I will start to make charts for classes to be chanted in rhythm every morning: Many of these students in elementary school and been learning English for only 18 months. They are doing well.

We go
We go
We go with you
We go with you
We go to town with him
We go to town with him
Don't go
Don't go
Don't go into the house
Don't go into the house
I would like to go with you
I would like to go with you
Would you like to go?
Would you like to go?
Would you like to come with me?
Would you like to come with me?
Would you like to go to town with him?
Would you like to go to town with him?
I would like to come
I would like to come
I will come
I will come
I will come with you
I will come with you.

There has been 100% acceptance and enthusiasm among teachers, particularly the older teachers who still remember early days. There is an American phonics program being used in this country too. But it is quite limited and leaves too much to the teachers to fill in the gaps.

Phonics is about teaching words in sentences designed to open up the panorama of the English language structure. That is what our program does. There is no need for focus on phonic symbols and blending. 

The basic program focuses on simple words. Complex words come later as the children mature into complex discussion in reading and writing. Teachers in the workshops state that poetry, rhyming, rhythm and singing have to go back into the curriculum.

Monday, 13 June 2016


Dictionary: A limerick is a nonsense verse.

The school has started to use rhymes in the limerick format with the basic rhyme scheme aabbc. The key to phonics learning is the use of rhythm and rhyme. Young students will learn to chant limerick type rhymes quickly and never forget.


There was 
a fat frog
that sat on 
a log
and waited 
so long 
for his dinner.
He caught 
a big fly 
as it flew 
on by
and thought
that he was 
a winner.


There was 
an old dog
named Joe
that never 
would get up 
and go.
He'd lie 
on the ground, 
not making 
a sound
and not even 
his toe.


There was a 
young man 
from Lae
who went 
for a walk 
every day.
He went 
down a track
and did not 
come back
He may have 
got lost
on the way.
He was found 
on the ground
the next day.
He was OK.
He had kicked 
his toe
on a stone
and broken 
a bone.


There was 
an old horse 
named Clyde
that took 
all the kids
for a ride.
But he galloped 
and stamped 
on the ground
and made 
all the kids
run and hide

It is amazing in this school that that teachers have stopped the sounding and blending of words in the early elementary grades. 

The words are so simple that students read and recall quickly. They can move on to more complex words in the higher grades in upper primary and high schools based on the simple words. 

Complex words are to match the complex discussion. Rocket science phonics is not needed. We start simple and concrete then move to the complex and abstract.

at, cat, mat, fat. bat, rat, sat
an, man, pan, ran, fan, ban, van, can
car, far, bar, star, 
tall, ball, fall, small

moving on to:

cattle, battle, rattle, battery, mattress, maternal, maternity, rate, 
banner, candle, handle, manage, management, incandescent, candid
carrot, farm, farmer, barrel, barrister, barter, start, stare, barracks, 
balloon, ballet, ballistic

Friday, 10 June 2016


Teachers work in big boxes and many do not think outside of the box. There used to be the primary and secondary school boxes and never the two groups of teachers would ever meet to get their act together.

Now there is the elementary school box that is trying to turn literacy into rocket science. But the answer to modern teaching lies in the past. There is little new to be learned. 

Small children have a limited view of the world with self focus. They know about their parents, brothers and sisters, going to school, their teacher, going to town, swimming in the river, helping parents at home, their best friend and playing games.

Their learning of vocabulary follows the same path. They only need about 60 basic words in elementary study. 

All are centred on their self focused lives - to, from, with, and, mummy, daddy, brothers, parents, house, school, food, swim. river, dog, cat, bird, frog, hat, open, door, walk, school, friend, teacher and more. Children tend to absorb and retain such words like sponges.

They can learn these by chanting, word recognition and reading patterns of sentences. As the child becomes adolescent, their view of life expands to wider fields. So too the words they need to know. 

The elementary students focus mainly on single syllable words leading into two syllable words but now the primary school students have to read and write more complex words on wider subjects.

Then the child becomes a senior primary or high school student and has an expanded  view of life moving into other focus. They have to become more theoretical in their knowledge with ability to discuss the economic problems of the nation, domestic violence, values, alcoholism, terrorism, honesty and sexuality.

Their knowledge of words has to increase year by year. The answer was provided in past decades by derivation of words from the Latin and Greek. 

Porto - portus (I carry)

Carry across - transport
Carry in  - import
Carry out - export
Carry down - deport
Carry back - report

Jacio -jectus  (I throw)

Throw in - inject
Throw back - reject
Throw down - deject
Throw out - eject, ejaculate
Throw forward - project

Pello - pulsus ( I drive)

Drive out - expel
Drive back - repel, repulse
Drive forward - propel

Please click:


They learned to spell by understanding prefixes, roots and suffixes - trans-port-ation, de- script-ion, pro-pell- or. The blending from elementary school has been left far behind. They have to express more complex ideas in sentences which takes them out of a focus on simple sentences. There are hundreds of words based on Latin and Greek.

Teachers of the past learned the big picture of student learning from psychology. The psychologist Jean Piaget set out how students moved from childhood to adolescence and adulthood through concrete concepts moving to abstract concepts and abstract words. Please click:

Jean Piaget - Biologist, Psychologist, Scientist -

7 days ago - Learn more about scholar Jean Piaget's four stages of childhood mental development and his other groundbreaking contributions to the field of ...

In the past, teachers applied the basic axioms of learning that teachers should proceed from (1) simple to complex (2) known to unknown, (3) concrete to abstract and (4) part to whole.

This is still the very basis of learning. Elementary teachers must not turn phonics into a rocket science study that still leaves the slower students behind. 

There is no need to blend words with fancy symbols for early elementary students if most of the words are single syllable - house, car, dog, cat, mat, sat, fat, bat, rat, tall, small, wall, ball, hall, school, pool, tool, fish, dish, mad, sad, bad, van, ran, can, pan, man and many more. 

Thursday, 9 June 2016


There is a misunderstanding in this country being perpetuated as late as The National today that Tok Pisin is derived from German. This is completely false. 

The assumption was that the Germans came to New Guinea first before World War 1 which made German the basis of Tok Pisin.

There are words that derive from German. The Tok Pisin word "maski" means "It matters not". This comes from the German "macht nicht".  We all know the meaning of the tok pisin word "raus" if we remember the Nazi slogan "Juden raus" or "Jews get out".

The word (h)amamas seems to have come from the Latin and brought to the country by the Catholic Church. It would be related to the words of the romance languages to mean love - amo (Italian) amour (French) amorous, amiable, amicable (English).

If we check out the old dictionaries we find German words mainly related to ship building tools. The word meisel comes to mind. But these terms have become extinct like the dinosaurs.

The structure of Tok Pisin comes from English. As a teacher of Tok Pisin for many years, I found that it was a simple task to teach Tok Pisin to Australians because they spoke English. 

I once tried to teach a group of Koreans which was like teaching language to brick walls. The Korean language allowed no direct transfer to Tok Pisin. 

Australians just flowed along in the same basic patterns as English. Some Tok Pisin still had the flavour of uneducated Australians of a century ago.

That is why there is a direct transfer of structures in the elementary school phonics program on this blog. There is straight transfer from the Tok Pisin course at the RAAF School of Languages to the present English phonics program.

Yumi go
Yumi go
Yumi go long taun
Yumi go long taun
Yumi go insait long haus
Yumi go insait long haus
Yumi go kisim wara
Yumi go kisim wara 
Yumi go wantaim em
Yumi go wantaim em
Yumi go insait long haus wantaim ol
Yumi go insait long haus wantaim ol

Of course there are complex English patterns but there is direct transfer from simple sentence English to Tok Pisin. Tok Pisin can be used to explain detailed and complex concepts but at times there has to be a short narrative to get around the topic.  Please click:

DUK Tours: Tok Pisin Tree (Pidgin English)

By Bruce CopelandTok Pisin Tree (64 patterns). I came to PNG to serve at Igam Barracks during 1976-1977. I had just completed a Bahasa Indonesia course at ...