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Phonics at Primary School: Literature Review

Education is one of the primary needs of all people because it is a treasure that cannot be stolen from them. With the emergence of new and high technological gadgets today, computers are already being used in order to teach students of all ages the processes of reading. This is particularly applied in the field of children education. Computers are now programmed to mimic the way words are being pronounced. It has been stated that there are new computer models that have been released that has the capacity and the ability to mimic real children’s manner of learning how to read.

Many studies have already been released concerning this kind of learning and it has been found out that indeed, those who underwent phonics learning possess an advantage in developing skills in reading. The readers who are using phonics to learn sound and proper pronunciation of words are exposed to speedy learning and education. This is primarily because of the fact that phonics does not simply emit and exudes sounds but also teaches the proper relationship of the sounds and the spelling of the words.

Hence, learning is made easier especially to children. Also, attentiveness and perseverance are likewise flourishing among the students which resulted to higher degree of reading. The students of the present day are no longer up to the traditional means of learning and of teaching. Most probably than not, it will take new means and ways to convey knowledge to the students which the latter will find interesting. This is particularly true now that the emergence of new technology is no longer something that can be avoided.

Hence, teachers and school administration must do their best in order to meet up for the challenge and ensure that everything will fall in its proper places concerning teaching especially when the process of learning among the students is concerned. All around the world, English is the only language that is acceptable in terms of communicating in a cross-cultural manner. It is an international language that enables people from different races, background and culture to understand each other without much struggling because of the presence of differences.

But more than that, it cannot be denied that the English language is a source of knowledge for the people. Its role in the lives of many people from all walks of life is indispensible. For example, most books are written in English. Probably, 99% of all publications are in English. It is in this very essence that reading becomes as much as important as breathing. In a classroom setting, Kelly (2004) revealed that the first and foremost learning skills that have to be taught are reading. Hence, with the changing times, teaching from the school administrators and teachers should be given more priority to realize learning.

The responsibility of the teachers is to ensure that the students are able to grasp the principle of reading and the importance to learn the proper usage of words and in reading using the English language in such a very efficient and effective manner that people will understand. It is a known fact that even if teaching, learning and reading are important in the lives of the students, the truth cannot be denied that there are so many problems that are being faced by the teachers and educators alike. The traditional manner of teachers often gets the students bored and uninterested with whatever the educator is teaching.

To realize an effective teaching, the educators must explore and exploit all modernized and possible means of teaching. Learning to read is a very hard to thing to do because a word differs from another. They may all have the same spelling and pronunciation but of different usage. Because of this, students failed and at times get too busy to study the lessons. Hence, there is a need to develop new ways to teach reading and one of it is phonics which is now being used worldwide and to different kinds of students especially with SEN.

Body Although there are many ways in which reading can be taught, many teachers have applied phonics in their teachings in order to ensure that normal students and those with special educational needs can benefit from. Hearing sounds incorporated in every words being taught is more likely to produce greater degree of learning. According to Stevenson (1970), the first thing that is being taught with the students is the sound. Words have different sounds and in order to distinguish one from the other, sound must be learned first.

Then after the sounds have properly been taught, the students will now learn the words such as the definition and the usage of it. Next are the sentences. After the sounds and words have been taught, the students will now incorporate it in various sentences. In order to communicate well with other people either through verbal or written means of communication, one has to learn to utilize sounds, words and sentences properly. In one of the studies conducted, it has been found out that people with learning difficulty as well as an impairment in speech and hearing learn sounds by playing with it.

Such practice has enabled them to learn reading in a very easy way as well as in spelling out words. With this, it cannot be denied that teaching phonics will help the students with special educational needs in their journey to learn. By definition, phonics is being defined as the study of sounds that completes the words. Many educators have believed that in teaching the students, the educators teach first the smallest parts of the language. The littlest component of the English language is being taught first. Then eventually, when the students have already mastered the smallest component, then the larger parts are already given.

To quote M. J Adams (1992) “Proficient reading depends on an automatic capacity to recognize frequent spelling patterns visually and to translate them phonologically. The issue is how best to couch phonic instruction, how to build to it, from it, and around it in ways that best ensure the ease and productivity of its acquisition, the issues is how to make instruction on word recognition skill a self engendering, motivating and meaningful experience for the students (pupils) and a manageable one for their teachers.

Associative behavior that enables children to match print with meaning and letters, letter strings, syllables and words with sounds must be incorporated. This involved memorizing the symbols of print and their particular arrangement. Hence there must be conscious effort on the part of children to memories what amounts eventually to full abstract symbolic code.

Searching behavior that enables children to use their knowledge of the variety in letter-sound correspondences and their increasing awareness of the spelling patterns and pronounceable syllables that form the basis of word recognition in reading, to search for appropriate responses to unfamiliar words. Both these forms of behavior involve experimentation and flexibility on the part of the learners and it is the teacher’s task to show children how to experiment, how to try various alternatives, and how to arrive at a decision” Teaching Phonics Native languages are being learned at an early stage of one’s life.

The process seems simple but in the reality of learning, students associate the words they learned from school in the English language then transmit it into written forms which will be later on be decoded in order to enhance the development of the intellect, emotions and even the social aspects of the lives of the students in particular and people in general. Hence, in teaching, it is important that laughter, freedom, tactile manipulation, touch, visual stimulation, cooperative play, environmental variety and motor simulation be incorporated in learning.

In the words of Gammage (1999) “At birth, there are far more potential connections than the child can use and by the age of three or so pruning has already advanced systems of connection that are seldom or never used are being slowly eliminated. We are born, for instance, capable of learning phonemic combinations not common in our native language, but will lose that capability relatively soon…. by about five (or earlier) many predictive and casual social, as well as physical/location attributions, have become quite set led.

In a real way the brain is then almost cooked. ” In the same manner, Ehri (2000) stated that “phonics instruction teaches beginners the major grapheme-phoneme correspondences and how to use these to decode and spell words. Also it teaches phonemic awareness which is the ability to analyze and manipulate phonemes in speech, for example, how to break the spoken word teach into three phonemes, /t/-/e/-/ch/, or how to blend these phonemes to say the whole word.

”Hence, there is really a need for the teaching of phonics for the students to learn. Apparently, the most complicated task for the children to do is to learn how to read. This is because of the fact that there are so many cognitive process that are being used in order to provide an accurate recognition of words, decoding of meanings and the process of retaining the information in the brain for future and daily use.

According to Harris and Hodges (1995) “Phonics instruction is designed for beginners in the primary grades and for children having difficulty learning to read. ” This has been proven true with the words of Underwood and Batt (1996) “Phonics method of teaching reading attempts to use the child’s existing knowledge of spoken language as a bridge between sight and meaning, a word that is known in its spoken form, but unfamiliar when written, can be recognized by first converting the letters into sound.

” Hence, Davies and Pearse (2000) quoted “Phonics method of teaching reading attempts to use the child’s existing knowledge of spoken language as a bridge between sight and meaning, a word that is known in its spoken form, but unfamiliar when written, can be recognized by first converting the letters into sound. 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.

Knowing this relationship helps early readers recognize familiar words accurately and automatically. ” In the words of Strickland and Morrow (1989) and to quote “The third type of behavior involves the formulation of ideas, information and story lines from the printed text. Again, young children cannot be expected to obtain clear messages from texts unless they are practiced in this form of activity. If they become accustomed to reading aloud word by word, giving equal emphasis, tone and pace to each word, then it is not difficult to imagine their difficulties in recalling what has been read.

Children must be encouraged to search for meaningful strings of words within a given text, so that they proceed quickly to reading in phrases of variable length. ” Children should also be expected to reflect what they read, even at the earliest stages, so that they become thoughtful appreciative readers and develop the habit of reviewing. With the foregoing, it cannot be denied that phonics is really important in order to show that even students with special educational needs can easily learn the language and the process of reading effectively.

To quote Roberts (1999) “The beauty of the model is that you can test out many different ways of teaching how to read word. You can see what happens if you give the model a phonics-type experience, or if you just emphasize the connections between spelling and meaning. By training the model to become an efficient, skilled reader that learned to read as most children do, the researchers could determine what methods – ones that include or exclude phonics – produce better readers. The model ultimately learned to read 6,000 words, correctly pronouncing and computing the meaning of almost all of them.

Based on the results, it accomplished this not by relying solely on one approach to reading, but by combining the two to hone in on meaning much more rapidly. This balance, however, shifts as a reader becomes more skilled. It’s very clear that in the early stages of beginning to read, the model – and child – learns more rapidly if the connections among spelling and sound and meaning are established says. In explaining that the spellings are written representations for sounds young readers already know.

Once the model learns more words and spellings, including ones like “plain” and “plane” that sound alike but carry different meanings, it begins to rely more on the visual method, which requires one less step than the phonics-based approach, says Roberts. But, as he explains, you can’t go straight to that end point. Learning to read words visually is hard – it takes a lot of practice because the mapping between spelling and meaning is almost arbitrary. Sounding things out gradually strengthens the visual process until it becomes more efficient and does more of the work. ” Conclusion

With all the foregoing, it can be concluded that phonics is simply being used in order to teach the students proper sounding of words and the usage of English language to communicate with other people. Especially in dealing with the students with special educational needs; it is a known fact that special children have a short span of attention as compared to normal students. Hence, if the traditional methods of teachings such as reading books alone, pen and paper, whiteboards are utilized, they will eventually lose their attention and fail to learn the lessons being taught by the teachers.

Nowadays, it cannot be denied that with the emergence of new technology such as computers and other gadgets, teaching the English language has been so easy. With the use of phonics with the utilization of computers, the students will simply hear the sound and mimic the same. Therefore, listening is at far more exciting as a way of learning the English language. It is the most preferable ways of teaching now as compared to traditional teaching methods of the English language. Bibliography Adams, M. 1998. Phonemics awareness in Young children a classroom curriculum. Baltimore, Maryland : Paul. H. Brookes Publishing. Davies, P. & Pearse, E..

2000. Success in English teaching. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press Ehri, L. 1999. The emergence of word reading in beginning reading. London UK. Gammage, P. 1999. After five Your brain is cooked. Education Now News And Review. Number 24. Summer Kelly, G. 2004. How to teach pronunciation England: Person Education Ltd. Roberts, G. 1999. ” Learning to teach reading. London UK: Paul chapman publishing. Stevenson, N. 1974. The natural way top reading. USA. Boston-Toronto. Little, Brown and Company. Strickland, D. & Morrow, L. 1989. Emerging Literacy: Young children learn to read and write. International Reading Association.

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