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Implicit Phonics vs. Explicit/Systematic Phonics: The Great Debate

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Jacqueline Ramos

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of Implicit Phonics vs. Explicit/Systematic Phonics: The Great Debate

Implicit Phonics vs. Explicit/Systematic Phonics: THE GREAT DEBATE
Implicit Phonics
- Moving whole to part
- The learner must make their "best guess" as to what the word is by looking at the shape, beginning and ending letters and context clues
-Piaget proposed that children are active learners, and that they construct knowledge themselves
-With implicit phonics the teacher does not have a set plan of what phonemic elements they will be teaching that day.
-They go based off of the opportunities the text presents
- Part to whole
- One letter, one sound
- "I do, we do, you do"
- This type of phonics learning is typically seen in commercial phonics programs
- Teachers have set lessons in which they will teach phonemic elements
- Teachers establish a order for when these lessons would be taught
- The order is usually based from easy to hard, which sounds would be easier for children to learn first
- Believers in systematic phonics feel in necessary that all phonic rules must be learned as a prerequisite for reading
Demo of Systematic Phonics
Instruction of Vowel consonant E
Explicit/Systematic Phonics
Systematic vs. Implicit Phonics
What works?
- Research has shown that explicit phonics instruction tends to be more effective
- The U.S Department of Education, the National Research Council, and the National Reading Panel have all conducted research that support explicit phonics
- Most of the research that I found supports explicit phonics, it seems to be favored amongst most educational researchers and educators.
Who is systematic phonics suited for?
- Conscious knowledge of basic rules can help children learn to read by making texts more comprehensible
- Struggling readers benefit the most from this type of phonics instruction
- The ability to read and spell are enhanced in kindergarten students who recieve systematic instruction
- 1st graders who were taught systematic phonics are better able to decode and spell words
Who is implicit phonics suited for?
- This type of phonics instruction is better suited for non-struggling readers
- In order for a student to be successful with this type of instruction they must be confident in their reading capabilities
- Teachers must be flexible with their schedule for instruction. They need to be able to "roll with the punches" and be ready to teach a phonemic element when the opportunity presents itself in the text.
Explicit Phonics teaches..
Part to Whole: instruction
of letters and their
associated sounds.
Then blending and building: beginning with blending sound into syllables then eventually into words
Implicit Phonics Teaches...
Whole to part: students
analyze words and
look for the common
phoneme in a set
of words
Comparison and identification: the deduce which grapheme to write or which phoneme to read
Explicit vs. Implicit Phonics Instruction. (2012). Retrieved from Reading Horizons website:

Blevins, W. (2012). Understand Phonics. Retrieved from Scholastic website: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/understand-phonics

National Reading Panel. (2011). Phonics Instruction. Retrieved from Reading Rockets website:

Johnston, R., & Watson, J. (2007). Teaching Synthetic Phonics. Learning Matters.

Phonics Versus Whole Language: Why Whole Language Teachers Don't think it is Much of a Debate. (n.d.). Retrieved from Center for Expansion of Language and Thinking website:

Clark, C. S. (1995). Learning to Read: Do Schools and Literacy Groups use the Best Teaching Methods? CQ Researcher, 5(19).

Mesmer, H. A., & Griffith, P. (2005). Everybody's Selling it: But Just What is Explicit, Systematic
Phonics Instruction. The Reading Teacher, 59(4), 366-376.

Balmuth, M. (2009). The Roots of Phonics. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

Hornsby, D., & Wilson, L. (2010). Teaching Phonics in Context. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

Weaver, C. (1990). Understanding Whole Language: From Principles to Practice. Ontario, Canada: Irwin

Villaume, S. K., & Brabham, E. G. (2003). Phonics Instruction: Beyond the Debate. The Reading
Teacher, 56(5), 478-482.

Student Achievement and School Accountability Conference. (2002, October). Research-Based
Instruction in Reading. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Education website: http://www2.ed.gov/
As teachers, which one should we decide to use in our classrooms?
Our students are the deciding factors in this endless debate. We must embrace that there are multiple approaches to phonics and it is our job to conform our classroom to our students and make sure that our students develop into great readers. They are the most important deciding factor in "The Great Debate".
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
- Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
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