Doman Glenn: Children are Linguistic Geniuses

DOMAN GLENN Method (also known as Glenn Doman Method)

In most simple terms, Glenn Doman method is showing babies flashcards in certain speed from certain distance in certain word categories.

  • When Doman, Glenn first published his book “teach your baby to read” in 1964 he caused quite a storm. Today, his method is wildly popular all around the world and the internet in inundated with the testimonials of parents who claim that they taught tehir babies reading with Dr. Doman’s method.
  • Doman, Glenn always emphasized that mothers are the best teachers.
  • According to him, baby brains have extreme plasticity, babies can learn as much as they are taught. If their early learning ability cannot be utilized they are likely to have limited learning skills in the future.
  • Glenn Doman maintains that if 1 year old baby can speak, she/he can very easily read or acquire encyclopedic knowledge.
  • It is presumed that, even though there are more than 500,000 thousand words in English language, 3000 of them cover 90% of the books and if a baby knows only 400, he/she can understand 60-70% of a normal writing.

Doman Glenn Method

  1. Only mothers can effectively teach their babies.
  2. Doman method requires to use large cards (a4 or 12′ x4′) .
  3. Words are written on one side and the pictures correspond to those words should be displayed on the other side of these cards
  4. All of the words and picture batches should be in the same topic.
  5. The pictures and the words should not have any background image.
  6. Words should be written very clearly, in big and bold characters
  7. Mothers show these cards to babies in a rather fast pace (e.g. 1 second intervals or 1 second per card)
  8. The cards should be shown to babies not too close and not more than 1 meter distance.
  9. Glenn and Janet Doman warn that the mothers teach their infants only when the infants are happy or in a good mood. This way, learning becomes more fun and the babies develop better attitudes toward the material.
  10. The words have to be common words that the learner already is familiar with.
  11. The Mothers should start with simple words then continue with couplets and then show simple sentences which include the previously taught words and finally very simple children’s books.
  12. The procedure (rapidly showing the images and corresponding words till the child gets bored) should be repeated 20-30 times a week. (Yes, it is a tedious procedure…)
  13. Doman method has also been applied to math teaching as it is presumed that babies can anturally understand quantity differences. When parents teach babies how to read the numbers they show DOTs intead of any other image. Babies see the same dots in different quantitites and can easily different between the amount thus learning the numbers. This is also called DOT method.

More than 17 years ago this is what Glenn and Janet Doman wrote
“…..Then hundreds wrote to tell what had happened to their children after they had learned to read. Thousands of mothers bought the book and
taught their babies to read. The book was published in British and Australian editions and in Afrikaans, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, egian, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Norwand Swedish.
Tens of thousands of mothers wrote to tell us of what had happened.
What those mothers reported with delight and pride was that
1. Their babies had easily learned to read;
2. Their babies had loved learning;
3. Mother and baby had increased the degree of love between them (which they reported with much pleasure but no surprise);
4. The amount of respect of mother for child and child for mother had
grown by leaps and bounds (this they reported with much joy and a good deal of surprise);
5. As their children’s ability to read grew, their love of learning grew and so did their abilities in many things.
Today that book is in eighteen languages and more than two million in hard How to Teach Your Baby to Read mothers have bought”
(Glenn & Janet Doman , How to multiply your babies intelligence, 1994, p 4-5)
Most of the books of Glenn Doman were co-authored with Janet Doman, Douglas Doman, Bruce Hagey and Susan Aisen
Although there seems to be thousands of individual testimonials on the internet, According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Glenn Doman method has not currently been supported by scientific data. This is perhaps because most of Doman’s academic work was with the autistic or brain injured children not about healthy children. Additionally, A.A.P. does not accept that children’s motor development skills totally depend on previous development phases. (e.g. Dr. Doman proposes that children who learn reading earlier are likely to outperform their peers in the future)

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