April 26, 2011

Advantages of Hooked-On Phonics Learn-To-Read System

Teaching young children how to read using phonics is a fairly new method of teaching children to speak English. Many teachers and parents have now got hooked on phonics learn-to-read system. Of course, like with any new teaching method, phonics learn-to-read system is not without its share of criticism.

Those people who are an authority on the English language know that the English language may have just 26 alphabets, but the pronunciation of a letter can vary with the context it is used in. Therefore, rather than confusing a child and getting him/her to mispronounce words, phonics teaches them the correct pronunciation.

There are different approaches that have been adopted in the phonics system to teach children to learn English. The two major approaches used are; synthetic phonics and analytical phonics. Synthetic phonics involves teaching the child how to spell each word and then blend their sounds together to form the word. In analytical phonics, children are not taught how to blend the sound of each alphabet, rather they are taught to blend a group of alphabets in a word to form the sound.

Analytical phonics is further divided into two streams which are; analogy phonics and embedded phonics. Both the methods are used by parents and teachers to teach reading and pronouncing English language words to children.

In phonics methods of language teaching, children are taught to pronounce an alphabet and then the alphabet is used in simple words. From here, the children are taken to an advanced level and taught how to pronounce the alphabets in more complex words; and in the variety of how the sound of an alphabet changes in sound in different words.

There are a number of phonics language teaching methods available on the internet. You have to make a selective choice as each tries to expound how good their system is. But before getting hooked on and investing in any phonics teaching method, it would be best to evaluate them on your own. You can, with the help of audio and video introductions, evaluate each program. Do not get caught in the advertising lingo of the website, as this can be misleading.

The use of phonics as a method of teaching English dates back to the Eighties in America. The debate went to the extent that the US congress had to intervene and get a research conducted on using phonics as a teaching method. It was only after getting positive results from the research team that the government decided to allow its usage as an approved English language teaching method.

Those who stick with the conventional method of teaching English by cognitive reading skills are fighting a lost battle against phonics teaching methods. The correct pronunciation of words in English is quite difficult to comprehend and understand. But the phonics teaching method is helping children understand and learn how to use the different sounds that an alphabet can acquire in different words. Audio- visual aids are a great help, as is the internet in teaching children to read using the phonics method.

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