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Phonics as Supersonics?

Earlier this year, we held a highly interactive, weeklong discussion on phonics instruction, Let's Talk Phonics.
Our Resource Collection has a friendly tool on the topic, devoted to Analogy Phonics one of three preferred methods (synthetic, analytic, and analogy) for teaching phonics: Teaching Analogy Phonics, developed (by Marn Frank, 2016). This resource is designed to equip ABE/ESL reading teachers with (1) an explanation of why analogy phonics instruction is recommended and (2) a "toolkit" that includes lesson plans, instructions, models, a variety of engaging student handouts for use in the classroom,  and lists of word family relatives for ready access in designing analogy instruction.
Do you include phonics instruction in your practice? What do you think of analogy phonics? Do you agree that learners, as the resource states, "find it psychologically easier to divide words into onsets and rimes rather than individual letters and sounds?"
If you want to know more about phonics instruction, drop in with a question! Let's talk! Leecy


Paul Rogers's picture

Hellow everybody ...Hi Leecy! It has been a while since I participated in LINCS, nice to “see” you again. I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion on Phonics.

Briefly - I teach phonics from day 1 and integrate pronunciation into nearly all my lessons due to the simple fact that adults need time to learn how to pronounce English comfortably.

The key ingredient to my phonics lessons is ...Humor!!

By making faces and looking ridiculous, I get the students to relax a bit so that they do not feel too shy about repeating after me.

I begin with teaching the sounds of the letters, especially G/J, and V, and W. Then on to the numbers to practice TH, the short i, and the difference between 13 and 30, 14 and 40, etc.

I explain to my students that learning how to pronounce English is a matter of training the muscles of the throat, tongue and jaw...and has nothing to do with intelligence. To illustrate I show them how I use to pronounce my RRs!!!

Learning how to pronounce English is not only important for speaking it, but also for hearing it (listening comprehension) and for reading it. I believe that students who learn phonics early in their English classes will learn faster and more easily than those who have not.

In any case, most of my students are very concerned about learning English pronunciation and I assure them that that is my “job”.


Leecy's picture

Greetings, Paul, and welcome back! I totally agree that humor goes a long way to teaching nearly everything! :) I believe that there is research that says that when we are laughing, we are learning! 

As you alluded to in describing differences between 40 and 14, 30 and 13 and others among non-native English speakers, pronunciation also relates a lot to rhythms, rhymes, and stresses in addition to decoding individual sounds and blends. Thanks for sharing. Leecy

Paul Rogers's picture

Leecy, I agree that rhythms, stresses etc. are important, but we have to put things in an order of priorities, step by step. As I mentioned, I teach from the first day...and focus on what is most essential or basic until the students are "comfortable" pronouncing English. Then I introduce these other elements when it is appropriate. For example, I show them the "trick" of dividing words into sylables at first. At a certain point I begin to teach fluency with poetry and the lyrics to songs.  The most important issue at first is the students' level of confidence. You can see my lessons on and within, especially lessons 1, 2, 3 and 15. 

I shouild mention that students always read out loud in my classes and I usually do not "correct" them, but wait until after the session to review various problem areas as a class.