Teacher guides pupils to deduce the relationship between the ch and the sound it represents.
Pupils have learnt the following words from different parts and stages of their English curriculum:
say, bay, lay, tray, day, may, way
Teacher guides pupils to deduce the relationship between the spelling -ay and the pronunciation it represents.
Phonics teaching depends on pupils vocabulary learning; and
Vocabulary learning is generally slow because it has to be contextualised, according to the official English Language curriculum.
Difficult to organise a phonics syllabus.
Rate of phonics learning hindered by vocabulary learning; therefore slow.
Phonics learning becomes haphazard. Pupils knowledge of phonics does not develop systematically.
In recent years, more and more secondary schools have found it necessary to re-teach phonics from S.1.
Direct teaching of sound-spelling relationships (i.e.,graphemes , eg., a, e, i, o, u, ee, ay, ea, ow, f, ce, sh, th, wh, ).
Pupils are given training in blending graphemes into syllables/words, and segmenting syllables/words into graphemes.
Pupils have been taught the vowel grapheme ay, and the consonant graphemes m, b, s.
They are then taught how to blend these graphemes to produce may, bay, say.
Later, when they are taught further graphemes such as d, g, tr, h, l, r, they will be able to sound out: day, gay, tray, hay, lay, etc., from the spelling, and to spell them out from the pronunciation.
If pupils have been taught the grapheme ch, and some common vowel (and consonant) graphemes, they will be able to sound out:
chip, cheap, cheese, choose, chat, chin, chart, chum, cheer (even if some of these words are new to them);
and spell them from their pronunication.
Synthetic phonics isacceleratedphonics.
Pupils spelling greatly improves.
Pupils reading is also accelerated, since they can sound out words in story books, many of which are already in their listening-speaking vocabulary.
In the first term of 2008-09, with the full support of OUP, an independent study was carried out at 3 primary schools in HK. The study covered all the P.1 pupils at the 3 primary schools.
The research question: Does synthetic phonicsworkfor these P.1 children?
This study was the first of its kind in Asia.
A pre-experimental design research adopted.
Pupils given a pre-test on 2 phonics skills in September 2008.
They then followed a three-month programme on synthetic phonics (Stage 1 of OUPsRead, Write, Inc . course). P.1 English teachers at the 3 schools supported by OUP ELT experts and synthetic phonics trainers.
Pupils given a post-test on same 2 phonics skills in January 2009.
The pre-test and post-test had same content and measured 2 phonics skills:
ability to recognise correct spellings of unfamliar words heard; and
ability to sound out unfamiliar words from their spellings
All words used are one-syllable, nonsense words, to control for previous knowledge, and words learnt during the course.
Test 1: Recognising correct spellings of nonsense words (8 items)