To Metmom and Homeschoolers. There is a second article that ties in with this one. “Is English a Phonetic Language? Of course. 100%.”
Thanks for the links.
I taught my kids phonics and they were all reading at an early age.
Phonics works especially well when you know it thoroughly. There are many odd exceptions to sounds that you need to learn as well as the basics.
Once they were able to sound words out, they could often figure out the word based on context before finishing sounding it out.
That plus many English words are just best plain memorized, and you have to learn those exceptions as well.
That said, I've also been a teacher for 30 years, and the "whole word" is still hooey. Phonics takes the logical leap from an aural set of information to a visual/written set. Once a kid knows the basic rules, he or she can read anything they want. As reading increases, yr brn fls in th gps wth wrds u alrdy knw. But without that foundation, it's harder for kids to read. And as we are less and less a print society, it is becoming increasingly difficult to impress upon kids the importance of reading. ESL kids don't have the vocabulary background, so they are at a disadvantage in learning how to read English, but they can do it. We have two generations of people who have been taught with whole word, and look at the results. They tried to ram this down me in the educational theory (read: boring, stupid, give me practical experience instead!) classes, but I got my grade and tossed the book and the handouts in the trash when it was done. Many of the researchers who come up with these theories haven't been in classrooms in years; Chomsky probably hasn't darkened the door of a real classroom in decades.
Let the revolution begin....