Friday, October 2, 2020

Notes for parents and teachers (Part 1)



Is phonics still taught?


The short answer is no or at least in most instances phonics is not taught correctly. The main reason is that very few teachers are trained or equipped to teach phonics. Most schools that teach phonics add extraneous sounds to consonants which leads to about 20 to 30 percent of children predisposed to shutting down to disengage from learning to read.

This book which aims to teach phonics correctly will dramatically reduce the number of children destined to become illiterate.

Since the starting point for reading is sound it is extremely important that the sounds represented by letters are taught correctly from the onset.

Phonics involves the relationship between sounds and their spellings. The goal of phonics instruction is to teach students the most common sound-spelling relationships so that they can decode, or sound out, words. This decoding ability is a crucial element in reading success.

This book is based on teaching children to read using phonics as well as memorising sight words. This approach in teaching children to read is not based on educated guesses but on my successful teaching of children on a one on one basis over 15 years.

The major cause of reading failure over the past decades is not because of whole word or phonics approach. Most of the teachers in schools in USA and Australia today are those who had learned using the whole word approach. Many students who learned to read using the phonics approach have learned to read just as well as those who learned using the whole word approach. As such, what then is the cause of children leaving school as illiterates during the whole word as well as the phonics teaching periods? The answer is this. Many children have left school as illiterate during the ‘whole word period’ as well as the ‘phonics period’ because sounds represented by letters have been and are still being taught wrongly in schools throughout the world.

I do not subscribe to ‘intensive phonics’ which teaches all of the main sound-symbol relationship intensively. Children who have learned their alphabet names can read from day one with the introduction of a few sight words and a few sound symbol relationships.

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