FACTOID # 16: In the 2000 Presidential Election, Texas gave Ralph Nader the 3rd highest popular vote count of any US state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Phonics" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Phonics
For the study of sounds and speech sounds, see Acoustics and Phonetics.

Phonics refers to a instructional design for teaching children to read. Phonics involves teaching children to connect sounds with letters or groups of letters (e.g., that the sound /k/ can be represented by c, k, or ck spellings). Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Acoustics is a branch of physics and is the study of sound, mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Instructional design, also known as instructional systems design, is the analysis of learning needs and systemic development of instruction. ...

Contents

Phonics in English

Phonics is a widely used method of teaching children to read, although it is not without controversy (see "History and Controversy" below). Children begin learning to read using phonics usually around the age of 5 or 6. Teaching English reading using phonics requires children to learn the connections between letter patterns and the sounds they represent. Phonics instruction requires the teacher to provide students with a core body of information about phonics rules, or patterns. A male Caucasian toddler child A child (plural: children) is a young human. ... Reading is a process of retrieving and comprehending some form of stored information or ideas. ...

Note: This article uses General American pronunciation.

Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...

Basic rules

Alphabetic principle

English spelling is based upon the alphabetic principle, the idea that letters represent sounds. For example, the word pat is composed of three letters, p, a, and t, each representing a phoneme, respectively, /p/, /æ/, and /t/.[1] Some letters in English regularly represent one sound, such as b, m, p, and t. However, the alphabetic principle is not sufficient to represent all of the spellings in English. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In human language, a phoneme is a set of phones (speech sounds or sign elements) that are cognitively equivalent. ...


Reading in English also requires understanding of additional patterns that do not follow the "one letter-one sound" principle. For example, the word shirt is composed of five letters which represent only three sounds, /ʃ/, /ɝ/, and /t/. The connections between spellings (also called graphemes) and sounds are called "sound-symbol correspondences" or "sound-spelling correspondences," among other names. A grapheme designates the atomic unit in written language. ...


Sound-symbol correspondences often follow certain conventions, and these conventions are often called "phonics rules" or "phonics patterns." English has many phonics patterns. These vary considerably in the degree to which they follow the stated pattern. For example, the letters ee almost always represent /i/. On the other hand, the grapheme ough represents /ʌf/ as in enough, /oʊ/ as in though, /u/ as in through, /ɔf/ as in cough, and /ɔ/ as in bought. Therefore, teachers generally teach that ee says /i/ but rarely teach a pattern for the letters ough. Because a large body of patterns that constantly conflict is antithetical to students remembering the patterns they are taught, elementary school children often learn a selection of these patterns known to be most consistent. A selection of these is given below, although not all of these are taught by teachers.


Vowel phonics patterns

  • Short vowels are the five single letter vowels, a, e, i, o, and u when they produce the sounds /æ/ as in cat, /ɛ/ as in bet, /ɪ/ as in sit, /ɑ/ as in hot, and / as in cup.
  • Long vowels are the synonymous with the names of the single letter vowels, such as /eɪ/ in baby, /i/ in meter, /ɑɪ/ in tiny, /oʊ/ in broken, and /ju/ in humor.
  • Schwa is the third sound that most of the single vowel spellings can produce. The schwa is an indistinct sound of a vowel in an unstressed syllable, represented by the linguistic symbol ə. /ə/ is the sound made by the o in lesson. Schwa is a vowel pattern that is not always taught to elementary school students because it is difficult to understand. However, some educators make the argument that schwa should be included in primary reading programs because of its importance in reading English words.
  • Closed syllables are syllables in which a single vowel letter is followed by a consonant. In the word button, both syllables are closed syllables because they contain single vowels followed by consonants. Therefore, the letter u' represents the short sound /ʌ/. (The o in the second syllable makes the /ə/ sound because it is an unstressed syllable.)
  • Open syllables are syllables in which a vowel appears at the end of the syllable. The vowel will say its long sound. In the word basin, ba is an open syllable and therefore says /beɪ/.
  • Diphthongs are linguistic elements that fuse to adjacent vowel sounds. English has four common diphthongs. The commonly recognized diphthongs are /aʊ/ as in cow and /ɔɪ/ as in boil. Four of the long vowels are also technically diphthongs, /ei/, /ɑɪ/, /oʊ/, and /ju/, which partly accounts for the reason they are considered "long."
  • Vowel digraphs are those spelling patterns wherein two letters are used to represent the vowel sound. The ai in sail is a vowel digraph. Because the first letter in a vowel digraph sometimes says its long vowel sound, as in sail, some phonics programs once taught that "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." This convention has been almost universally discarded, owing to the many non-examples. The au spelling of the /ɔ/ sound and the oo spelling of the /u/ and /ʊ/ sounds do not follow this pattern.
  • Vowel-consonant-E spellings are those wherein a single vowel letter, followed by a consonant and the letter e makes the long vowel sound. Examples of this include bake, theme, hike, cone, and cute. (The ee spelling, as in meet is sometimes considered part of this pattern.)

In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. ... In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... A syllable (ancient Greek: συλλαβή) is a unit of speech that is made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel) with one or more optional phones (single sounds or phonetic segments). Syllables are often considered the phonological building blocks of words. ... A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of speech that is made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel) with one or more optional phones (single sounds or phonetic segments). Syllables are often considered the phonological building blocks of words. ... In phonetics, a diphthong (in Greek δίφθογγος) is a vowel combination usually involving a quick but smooth movement from one vowel to another, often interpreted by listeners as a single vowel sound or phoneme. ... Digraph has several meanings: Directed graph, or digraph Digraph (orthography) Digraph (computing) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Consonant phonics patterns

  • Consonant digraphs are those spellings wherein two letters are used to represent a consonant phoneme. The most common consonant digraphs are ch for /tʃ/, ng for /ŋ/, ph for /f/, th for /θ/ and /ð/, and wh for /ʍ/ (often pronounced /w/ in American English). Letter combinations like wr for /ɹ/ and kn for /n/ are also consonant digraphs, although these are sometimes considered patterns with "silent letters."
  • Short vowel+consonant patterns involve the spelling of the sounds /k/ as in peek, /dʒ/ as in stage, and /tʃ/ as in speech. These sounds each have two possible spellings at the end of a word, ck and k for /k/, dge and ge for /dʒ/, and tch and ch for /tʃ/. The spelling is determined by the type of vowel that precedes the sound. If a short vowel precedes the sound, the former spelling is used, as in pick, judge, and match. If a short vowel does not precede the sound, the latter spelling is used, as in took, barge, and launch.

The final "short vowel+consonant pattern" is just one example of dozens that can be used to help children unpack the challenging English alphabetic code. This example illustrates that, while complex, English spelling retains order and reason. Digraph has several meanings: Directed graph, or digraph Digraph (orthography) Digraph (computing) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... English language spread in the United States. ...


Sight words and high frequency words

  • There is a body of words that do not follow these rules; they are called "sight words". Sight words must be memorized since the regular rules do not apply, e.g., were, who, you.
  • Teachers who use phonics also often teach students to memorize the most high frequency words in English, such as it, he, them, and when, even though these words are fully decodable. The argument for teaching these "high frequency words" is that knowing them will improve students' reading fluency.

Fluency is the property of a person or of a system which delivers information quickly and with expertise. ...

History and controversy

Because of the complexity of the English alphabetic structure, more than a century of debate has occurred over whether English phonics ought to be taught at all. Beginning in the mid 19th century, some American educators, prominently Horace Mann, argued this point precisely. This led to the commonly used "look-say" approach ensconced in the "Dick and Jane" readers popular in the mid-20th century. Beginning in the 1950's, however, phonics resurfaced as a method of teaching reading. Spurred by Rudolph Flesch's polarizing, bombastic criticism of the absence of phonics instruction--particularly in his popular book, Why Johnny Can't Read--phonics resurfaced, but--owing to Flesch's polemical approach--was considered a product of a politicized way of educational thinking. The popularity of phonics rose, but many educators associated it with "back to basics" pedagogy and eschewed it. Image courtesy of the University of Texas Horace Mann (May 4, 1796 – August 2, 1859) was an American education reformer and abolitionist. ... Dick and Jane were the main characters in popular basal readers written by Zerna Sharp that were used to teach children to read during the 1930s through the 1960s. ... Pedagogy is the art or science of teaching. ...


In the 1980s, the "whole language" approach to reading further polarized the debate in the United States. Whole language instruction was predicated on the principle that children could learn to read given (a) proper motivation, (b) access to quality literature, (c) many reading opportunities, (d) focus on meaning, and (e) instruction to help students use meaning clues to determine the pronunciation of unknown words. For some advocates of whole language, phonics was the antithesis of this emphasis on getting at the meaning. Parsing words into small chunks and reassembling them had no connection to the ideas the author wanted to convey. Much of the whole language theory easily dovetailed with phonics, but the whole language emphasis on understanding words through context and focusing only a little on the sounds (usually the alphabet consonants and the short vowels) could not be reconciled with the phonics emphasis on individual sound-symbol correspondences. Thus, a false dichotomy between the whole language approach and phonics emerged in the United States, leading to intense debate and ultimately to a Congressionally-commissioned book and two government-funded panels focused on phonics. The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A congress is a gathering of people, especially a gathering for a political purpose. ...


The book, Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print (Adams, 1990), argued that phonics was an effective way for students to learn to read. Adams argued strongly that both the phonics and the whole language advocates were right. Phonics was an effective way to teach students the alphabetic code. By learning the alphabetic code early, students could quickly free up mental energy they had used to word analysis and devote this mental effort to meaning, leading to stronger comprehension earlier in elementary education. This result matched the goal of whole language instruction while the means supported the advocates of phonics.


The argument, eventually known as "the Great Debate" continued unabated. The National Research Council re-examined the question of phonics (among other questions in education) and published the results of its Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children (Snow, Burns, and Griffin, 1998). The National Research Council's findings matched those of Adams. Phonics was a very effective way to teach children to read, more effective than what was known as the "embedded phonics" approach of whole language (where phonics was taught opportunistically in the context of literature). They found that phonics must be systematic (following a sequence of increasingly challenging phonics patterns) and explicit (teaching students precisely how the patterns worked, i.e., "this is b, it stands for the /b/ sound"). The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, carrying out most of the studies done in their names. ...


The final attempt to determine what approach made the most sense was undertaken by the National Reading Panel (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2001), which examined quantitative research studies on phonics (as well as other areas of reading instruction). Their meta-analysis of hundreds of studies confirmed the findings of the National Research Council: phonics is a more effective way to teach children to read than is embedded phonics or no phonics instruction. They found that phonics had particularly strong benefits for students of low socio-economic status. From the National Reading Panel About section of their homepage: In 1997, Congress asked the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to convene a national panel to assess the effectiveness of... The National Institutes of Health is an institution of the United States government which focuses on medical research. ...


Different phonics approaches

Synthetic phonics is a method employed to teach phonics to children when learning to read. This method involves examining every spelling within the word individually as an individual sound and then blending those sounds together. For example, shrouds would be read by pronouncing the sounds for each spelling "/ʃ, ɹ, aʊ, d, z/" and then blending those sounds orally to produce a spoken word, "/ʃɹaʊdz/." The goal of synthetic phonics instruction is that students identify the sound-symbol correspondences and blend their phonemes automatically. (see synthetic phonics) Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


Analytic phonics has children analyze sound-symbol correspondences, such as the ou spelling of /aʊ/ in shrouds but students do not blend those elements as they do in synthetic phonics lessons. Furthermore, consonant blends (separate, adjacent consonant phonemes) are taught as units (e.g., in shrouds the shr would be taught as a unit).


Analogy phonics is a particular type of analytic phonics in which the teacher has students analyze phonic elements according to the phonograms in the word. A phonogram, known in linguistics as a rime, is composed of the vowel and all the sounds that follow it. Teachers using the analogy method assist students in memorizing a bank of phonograms, such as -at or -am. Students then use these phonograms to analogize to unknown words. The word rime has several meanings in English: For various forms of frost, see rime (frost). ...


Embedded phonics is the hallmark of traditional whole language phonics programs. Phonics is taught in the context of literature using "mini-lessons," short lessons that emphasize phonic elements with which the teacher has seen students struggle. The focus on meaning is generally maintained, but the mini-lesson provides some time for focus on individual sounds or phonograms. Embedded phonics differs from other methods in that the instruction is always in the context of literature and that separate lessons are not typically taught.


Owing to the shifting debate over time (see "History and Controversy" above), many school systems, such as California's, have made major changes in the method they have used to teach early reading. Today, most teachers combine phonics with the elements of whole language that focus on reading comprehension, as Adams advocated.[2] This combined approach is often called balanced literacy. Proponents of various approaches generally agree that a combined approach is important. A few stalwarts favor isolated synthetic phonics and introduction of intensive reading comprehension only after children have mastered sound-symbol correspondences. On the other side, some whole language supporters are intransigent in arguing that phonics should be taught little, if at all. Generally, however, the balanced literacy approach has settled much of the disagreement in the United States. This article is becoming very long. ... World literacy rates by country The traditional definition of literacy is the ability to use language–to read, write, listen, and speak. ...


There has been a resurgence in interest in synthetic phonics in recent years, particularly in the United Kingdom. The subject has been promoted by a cross-party group of Parliamentarians, particularly Nick Gibb MP. A recent report by the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee called for a review of the phonics content in the National Curriculum. The Department for Education and Skills have since announced a review into early years reading, headed by Jim Rose. Nicolas John Nick Gibb (born September 3, 1960) British politician He is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The Education and Skills Committee is a Select Committee of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The National Curriculum was introduced into England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as a nationwide curriculum for primary and secondary state schools following the Education Reform Act 1988. ... The Department for Education and Skills is a department in the United Kingdom government created in 2001. ...


Jim Rose's group has now reported and the UK Government has decreed that synthetic phonics should be the method of choice for teaching reading in primary schools in England.


Free phonics programs using synthetic phonics can be found at Don Potter’s Education Page and The Phonics Page.


Phonics is the core of beginning reading programs like Hooked on Phonics. Hooked on Phonics is a phonics program for childrens literacy developed in the late 1980s and first marketed widely in the 1990s. ...


References

  1. ^ Phonemes are represented by characters placed between slash marks. Wikipedia uses the International Phonetic Alphabet (see IPA chart for English) to represent phonemes, accounting for the use of the æ character to represent the sound of the letter a in pat. This system is used because it is standardized and precise.
  2. ^ Adams, Marilyn Jager (1990). Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-51076-6.

For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... This is a concise version of the International Phonetic Alphabet for English sounds. ...

See also

Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself Funnix Computer based Reading Programmes - NZ Site Hooked on Phonics Jolly Phonics JumpStart Phonics Letterland Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS) Program, previously known as Auditory Discrimination in Depth, ADD Reading Mastery by SRA/McGraw-Hill, previously known as DISTAR Reading Recovery Smart Way Reading and Spelling... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The Initial Teaching Alphabet was developed by Sir James Pitman (the grandson of Sir Isaac Pitman, the inventor of a system of shorthand, who himself took up the issue of spelling reform with a variant typeface) as a tool for teaching children to read English. ... Allography, from the Greek for other writing, has several meanings which all relate to how words and sounds are written down. ... Phonemic Awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to distinguish phonemes, the smallest units of sound. ... In the often contentious world of beginning reading education, marked by the sharply differing opinions of advocates of intensive phonics instruction and those who support the whole language approach, Reading Recovery (r) appears to be fairly non-controversial. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...

External links

Wikibooks
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of

  Results from FactBites:
 
phonics: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (2775 words)
Much of the whole language theory easily dovetailed with phonics, but the whole language emphasis on understanding words through context and focusing only a little on the sounds (usually the alphabet consonants and the short vowels) could not be reconciled with the phonics emphasis on individual sound-symbol correspondences.
Phonics was a very effective way to teach children to read, more effective than what was known as the "embedded phonics" approach of whole language (where phonics was taught opportunistically in the context of literature).
Phonics is taught in the context of literature using "mini-lessons," short lessons that emphasize phonic elements with which the teacher has seen students struggle.
The Partnership for Reading -- Explore the Research -- Phonics Instruction (392 words)
Phonics instruction teaches children the relationships between the letters (graphemes) of written language and the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language.
The goal of phonics instruction is to help children learn and use the alphabetic principle - the understanding that there are systematic and predictable relationships between written letters and spoken sounds.
The hallmark of systematic phonics instruction is the direct teaching of a set of letter-sound relationships in a clearly defined sequence.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m