So any kind of counting is bad? Really? I don't think it matters. At all! I can clearly remember learning CW in the RN. No fancy method there. Here's the letters, heres the CW, learn it by monday. It really doesn't make any difference whether you 'count' or not, because within a very short time you'll learn to recognise the sound regardless. I think telling people to not count, may indeed slow up their initial progress because in their attempt to not count they'll simply miss loads of letters or make wild and incorrect guesses. We generally didn't discuss how we learned, we just sort of got on with it, I can't recall anyone having real problems and certainly in all the time I was learning CW I can't recall anyone at all failing to learn. I don't mind admitting that for the 1st few weeks of training I was consistently behind the others in class but after several weeks I caught up with the others and eventually out did many of my class mates. I can certainly remember counting U's & V's and B's & D's when I started just to make sure I'd got the right number of dits before writing the appropriate letter down. S & H coming last to perfect. Once you have been doing it for a short while, the sound differences between the letters just becomes automatic, whether you like it or not. It must be a bit like riding a bike. At first you really, really think about balancing (consciously competent) but it becomes automatic and once learned you never think about balance (unconsciously competent) I not sure telling learners to avoid a natural and automatic stage in their learning actually helps at all. Image telling someone not to think about balance when they start learning a bike for example?