Why Teach Phonics?

It is estimated that there are at least a
half million words in the English language.
So, we have a choice when it comes to teaching reading:
emphasize memorization or teach Phonics!

When we emphasize memorization, we attempt to teach children to read by repeatedly exposing them to as many words as possible. ‘Seeing’ words becomes the means by which they learn the words. This ‘sight’ approach means that a child’s success will be largely due to his or her ability to memorize and recall words instantly.

Which one would you choose?

When we emphasize phonics,
we provide a reading foundation for each child that is based on the letters and sounds of the alphabet. Once a child learns the 26 letters with their 44 sounds and 70 common spellings, they have the tools they need to read words-- any words -- whether they have ever seen them or not.

memorize a half million words [give or take a few thousand].
Learn phonics in order to read any words -- known or not.

So, why do we teach phonics?

We teach phonics . . . because Phonics gives us the
TOOLS we need to learn thousands of words without
depending upon memorization!

And the key word here is tools!

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