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> -=-I think it was Ren who posted that they wouldn't be able to learn to
> speak and a couple of more people agreed.  This kind of shocked me
> coming from ya'll radical homeschoolers!  ROFL...  Afterall, hey,
> maybe they wouldn't call a tree a tree but who would we be to say
> that "ugh-uh-buga" isn't speaking?  KWIM?  -=-

Well good question. What is "speech"?
A baby unable to make any utterance might be said to be without speech.

An adult who had had a stroke or something and was no longer communicating
verbally would be said to have lost speech.

Language and speech aren't the same thing, exactly. It's easy for it to
seem so among people whose speech capability is used to communicate
linguistically. There they seem the same.

If someone has no larynx left (accident, smoking, cancer, something) but can
still read and write, hear and maybe learns to sign, he still has language,
but not speech.

On a desert island a baby raised by... a coconut or something... would
vocalize, and might make patterns and names to entertain himself, but it wouldn't be
language unless there was another person who understood it and communicated
with him.

Same issues exist with reading. Does sounding out words equal reading? I
can sound out words in some languages I can neither speak nor understand, but
I know the phonics rules. So can I "read"?

Reading is quite complex, and schools like to give people an A in reading, or
say "Oh, yes, her reading is coming along great" of people who cannot
honestly, fully read in the wilds of the the real world, but are doing great with
phonics worksheets and programmed readers.

One reason unschoolers' reports of reading seem shockingly late to some
people is that we aren't dealing with phonics work sheets and programmed readers,
so reading (in the real world) is NOT sounding out three letter words on
lists or doing other reading-readiness exercises. It's picking up real written
communications and understanding what they say.

If reading is sounding out, then silent reading isn't reading. I don't
"sound out" (in my head) more than maybe one word in 10,000 when I'm reading, and
that would be the name of a place or person I've never seen, or a term that's
new to me.

Riding bikes, my recent best analogy: There's riding a bike (a little bike,
with training wheels) and riding a bike (for the first time without training
wheels, when dad lets go, but that doesn't mean turning or stopping) and then
there's going on a twenty-mile ride and keeping up. Which is "riding a


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