Text of Phonics I. Learning Phonics How Students Learn Phonics English spelling has three layers:...
• How Students Learn Phonics• English spelling has three layers: alphabetic,
pattern, and meaning. • Alphabetic refers to spelling words letter by
letter from left to right.
• Pattern refers to understanding the major patterns of letters: CVC (hat), CVCe (hate), CVVC (road), and so on.
• Meaning refers to different spellings for the different forms of words, for example, music and musical.
• Children learn about these three layers through decoding (reading), encoding (writing), and teacher modeling.
• Decoding words• The human brain detects patterns. • Therefore, young readers learn new words
more easily by analyzing onset and rime than by attempting to make letter-phoneme correspondences.
• For example, it is easier for young readers to read Sam, ham, and jam when they recognize the rime am and add the onsets s, h, and j.
• When the rimes become longer than two letters, it is even easier for children because they see two parts instead of four or five.
• Take the ound rime in found, sound, round, and mound as an example.
• Ound is rather complicated to sound out as individual letters; however, if students know ound as one sound, they merely add the onsets-J, s, r, and m-to create the four words.
• Young readers also use analogies to pronounce unknown words.
• For example, if beginning readers know that the letter m makes the /m/ sound in mom, they know they need to make the /m/ sound when they see the word milk for the first time.
• Students learn to read by focusing on onset, rime, and the initial letter, and by considering the length of words.
• Emerging readers can recognize their classmates' names by looking at initial letters.
• When two names begin with the same letter, they can identify which name sounds longer.
• For example, they know that when they pronounce Jill, it is shorter than when they pronounce Jeremy.
• Therefore, when they see Jill and Jeremy in print, they can determine which word is Jill and which one is Jeremy.
Learning Phonics• Students learn decoding skills when the skills are
introduced, taught, practiced, and reinforced within a context that is meaningful to them.
• When a teacher reads a text that interests students, they see "real" words at work and not nonsense words.
• When reading, you can help students discover simple examples of the various phonics concepts.
• Phonics instruction disconnected from texts that children read contributes little to children's use of phonics strategies in recognizing words.
• Encoding words• As students write their own texts, they learn
to listen to the sounds within words when they break up words to encode them.
• They also learn (1) to read/write from left to right, (2) to read/write from top to bottom, and (3) that words have spaces between them.
• During this process students should write meaningful texts, not strings of nonsense words.
• Their words do not need to be spelled correctly; they will make approximations of correct spellings as they develop writing skills.
• Students who listen to sounds and make approximations as they write become better decoders when they read.
• Teacher modeling• Students also learn phonics by observing
teachers model and talk about their writing. • Ask students to talk about the initial sounds,
ending sounds, medial sounds, and the patterns within words as you write the morning message.
• Effective teachers choose texts that use rhyme.
• English Spelling Patterns• English is "a complex system that is basically
phonetic, but also relies upon patterns and meaning to provide an optimal system.
• Consonants• Many struggling readers and English learners
have a difficult time distinguishing consonant sounds because they do not know the proper mouth position for each.
• Teachers who understand the position of the mouth and tongue for each sound can help students who struggle with correct pronunciation and spelling of words.
Nine useful consonant generalizations•1. Only one consonant is heard when two of the same consonants are side by side (merry, ladder).•2. C has the IkI sound when it is followed by a or a (cat, cot).•3. C has the Isl sound when followed bye, I, or y (cent, city, cycle).•4. The digraph ch is usually pronounced /ch/, not Ishl (chair, chocolate).
• 5. When c and h appear next to each other, they always are a digraph.
• 6. When a word ends in ck, it produces the IkI sound (buck, shock).
• 7. When ght appear together, the gh is always silent (light, might).
• 8. When kn appears at the beginning of a word, the k is always silent (knee, know).
• 9. When wr appears at the beginning of a word, the w is always silent (write, wren).
• Vowel diphthongs are two vowels placed together to create a sound different from either of the two vowels.
• When pronouncing a diphthong, the mouth changes positions as the sound is produced.
• Two common diphthongs are loil, spelled oi (oil) or oy (boy), and loul, spelled ou (count) and ow (cow).
• Also classified as diphthongs are the long i, pronounced liel, and the long u, pronounced Iyoo/.
• Many Southerners transform their vowels into diphthongs; hence the Southern drawl.
• Vowel digraphs are two vowels placed together, but only the long sound of one of the vowels is heard.
• Many children are taught that "When two• vowels go a walking, the first one does the
talking."• Some view this rule as not very helpful
because it has so many exceptions.
• When r follows a vowel, the vowel takes on an r-controlled sound.
• All five vowels can be controlled by the r (care, fern, girl, com, turn).
• Common spelling patterns in English words• Because the English language relies upon
regular patterns of letters, it is advantageous for teachers to be familiar with these patterns in order to help read.
Seven generalizations about vowels•1. If a single vowel is followed by one or two consonants, it usually is short (cat, cent, hop, cut).•2. If the letter a comes before l, u, or w, it usually has the /0/ sound (ball, caught, crawl).•3. In the vowel digraphs ai, ay, ee, and oa, the first vowel is long (bait, day, bee, road).
• 4. They usually represents the long /i/ sound in one syllable words (by, fIy).
• 5. They usually represents the long /e/ sound at the end of a two-or-more syllable word (happy, merry, sensibly).
• 6. Some vowel spellings are used to distinguish word meanings (meat-meet, red-read, beet-beat).
• 7. In the word pattern (VCe) the e is often silent (gave, time, cape).
• PRINCIPLES OF PHONICS INSTRUCTION• Four key principles underlie phonics
instruction:• 1. Base instruction on what students know. • 2. Provide systematic instruction.• 3. Use appropriate texts.• 4. Embed instruction in meaningful contexts
• Principle One: Base Instruction on What Students Know
• Effective teachers assess what students already know and build on that knowledge.
• Take the same approach with phonics instruction-begin with what students know.
• Assess students' knowledge during shared reading, interactive writing, and other literacy activities.
• Principle Two: Provide Systematic Phonics Instruction
• Systematic phonics instruction means teaching phonics in a planned sequence, using one of several approaches:
• 1. Analytic phonics. • Teachers begin with students‘ sight words,
known words developed from authentic reading, and then guide the students to analyze patterns and identify the phonics generalizations.
• 2. Synthetic phonies. • Students convert letters into sounds and then
blend the sounds to form a word.
• 3. Phonics-through-spelling. • Students transform sounds into letters as they
write; thus, they are engaged in many writing activities.
• 4. Analogy phonics. • Students use parts of already known words to
identify unknown words.
• 5. Phonics in context. • Students use sound-letter correspondences• along with context cues to identify unknown
words. • This approach relies on students‘ knowledge of
letter-sound relationships and patterns in words.• 6. Onset and rime phonics instruction. • Students recognize rimes and add the onset
when reading new words.
• Principle Three: Use Appropriate Texts• At the earliest stages of reading acquisition-
particularly with students who are first introduced to book reading in school-careful attention needs to be paid to the text of instruction.
• For example, texts used during shared reading events should meet the following criteria:
• Include predictable text.• Have a smaller amount of text on each page.• Use large illustrations that support the text.• Appeal to children.• Are conceptually appropriate (texts that
teachers can use to develop a concept, such as the topic for a unit, author study, or illustrator study).
• In addition, reading researchers have found that during shared reading, it is most effective to use authentic children's literature with text that (1) is predictable, (2) uses phonograms, and (3) includes rhyming words.
Predictable text. •Children enjoy stories with predictable text, such as The Teeny Tiny Woman (1986) by Jane O'Conner and Hattie and the Fox (1987) by Mem Fox. •Students chime in as soon as they know words and refrains.
Phonograms. •Books that emphasize phonograms (rimes following onsets) help students see patterns within words. •As you read and discuss stories, students discover words that have the same letter patterns.
Rhyming words. •Rhyming texts also draw attention to the sounds in words. •Words that rhyme do not necessarily share the same letter pattern as phonograms must (thus, socks and fox are rhyming words with different rimes). •Draw attention to the difference between phonograms and words that rhyme.
• Principle Four: Embed Instruction in Meaningful Contexts
• Reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities that focus on meaningful tasks create meaningful contexts.
• Carefully select texts that children enjoy, have predictable patterns, and use words that help teach phonics concepts.
• 1. Choose a book with predictable text that both the teacher and the students will enjoy.
• 2. Read and enjoy the text!• 3. Act out the story or put on puppet shows.
(Acting caters to kinesthetic learners and develops oral language skills.)
• 4. Have students discuss what they notice about words. (E.g., ask "Which ones begin with same letter?")
• 5. Play word games based on the story.• 6. Add words from the story to the word walls.
• 7. Find rhyming words and words that end with the same spellings.
• 8. Have students write creative extensions of books that use predictable patterns. (For example, "I went walking. What did I see? I saw _ looking at me.")
• Another activity that teaches phonics in a meaningful context is to have students reread favorite predictable texts and then ask them to point to words that begin with certain sounds.
• Next, ask them to create a list of words that begin with that same sound.
• You may also give students words on index cards and ask them to match them with words in the text.
• Informal Assessment• Ideally, phonics assessment is conducted in
natural settings as you observe students making sense of letter-sound relationships as they read and write.
• However, for those who must record growth throughout the school year, a number of informal assessment instruments can help, including checklists, surveys, word sorts, rubrics, running records, miscue analyses, and inventories.
• Checklists• The Checklist of Known Letter Names and Sounds
assesses a student's knowledge of letter names, letter sounds, and words with these sounds.
• The student reads from the Master Card, while the teacher records the responses on the Checklist.
• The student is asked (1) the names of the uppercase letters, (2) the names of the lowercase letters, (3) the names of the script letters, if appropriate, (4) the sound of each letter, (5) a word that begins with that sound, and (6) a word that ends with that sound.