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History of Phonics

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Claire Morrow

on 5 September 2012

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Transcript of History of Phonics

1930s - early 2000s History of Phonics 1930s - 1940s In the early 1930s, teachers used strict rules for sounding out words to teach reading. In the mid 1930s, a backlash occurred. Phonics was deemed outdated and was banned from schools. 1950s Phonics was a last resort for students who were struggling. The main approach was teaching students to recognize whole words. Teachers believed that if a student could recognize large words instantly, then they could use the sentence context to find out the meaning of unknown words. Lots of repetition during this time.

See Max, said Jane.
See Max run.
Run, Max, run. Enough repetition of words allowed children to recognize words naturally. Unfamiliar words could be read using one of four strategies proposed by Gray: During the late 1950s, parents grew concerned that their children did not have any strategies for decoding unknown words. Rudolf Flesch wrote Why Johnny Can't Read in 1955. After the book was published, parents and others that were concerned began pushing for phonics to be reintroduced into education. However, publishers kept their stance that whole word instruction was the best, so the whole word approach remained king. 1960s The 1960s were full of controversy. Some basal readers used analytical phonics, which taught letter-sound relationships using words that children knew. Other basals emphasized the linguistics-phonics system. This showed how words were related based on reoccurring patterns. Still others taught children sound-symbol relationships. A federal government study showed that no one approach was best. 1) memory of word form
2) context clues
3) word analysis
4) the dictionary Analytical phonics After many exposures, children could generalize phonics.

"What sound of 'e' do you hear in the middle of pet and met? Long or short e?" Linguistics-phonics Recurring patterns:

A fat man ran.
Fan the fat man.
Dan ran to the fat man Sound-Symbol Relationships The teacher would introduce a sound, then would read stories containing that sound. 1967 Though a study showed no one approach was best, one interpretation determined that a combination of all approaches worked best. Chall determined that phonics was more effective than a meaning-emphasis approach (whole word). 1970s A research study during this time showed that students learned parts of words rather than the whole word. This ended the teaching of only whole words. A misunderstanding of the research seemed to support all sound-symbol relationships and that led to decoding instruction.

Behaviorists also had an influence on reading instruction. They believed that there were small skills students had to learn before they could learn another. For example, some consonants were taught before others. Then the students would blend the sounds together to form words. These rules took away the power of teachers to make decisions about student learning.

Still other teachers used stories dictated by student to teach students to read. The teacher would choose elements from the story to focus the students' learning.

Many ideas were floating around and new ways to teaching were always emerging. Researched focus on making meaning while reading, which supported the whole language movement. Phonics programs and skill instruction decreased, and basal readers had more literature based stories.

In the mid 1980s, Richard Anderson published research that supported the alphabetic principal. While the debate between whole language and phonics continued, whole language was still the approach used in classrooms across the country. Trade books and writing were emphasized. Phonics instruction was believed to happen naturally when using the whole language approach. 1980s Teachers used interactive writing and modeling to show writing conventions, such as phonics, letter formation, and spelling. Reading Recovery became popular during the 1980s. Reading Recovery shows phonemic segmentation and phonemic synthesis through drawings. 1990s Beginning to Read by M. J. Adams was published in 1990 and stressed the importance of phonemic awareness and phonics instruction. The media used this book to reignite the battle between whole language and phonics. Reading professionals began suggesting multiple ways of teaching phonics. Writing, spelling-based approaches, and systematically decoding by analogy were emphasized. This decade ended with an emphasis on struggling readers. Different ways to teach phonics Different ways Whole Language Phonics banned Early The No Child Left Behind Years Grants became available for research based reading instruction for K-3. Students learned to read by sounding out words letter by letter. Now there is some resistance to the one size fits all approach. Writing instruction and the alphabetic principle are becoming more important and allow teachers to differentiate instruction. 2000s Phonics with strict rules to teach phonics Where will the winds of change take phonics next? Phonics is an important tool for learning to read. Phonics is learning how words work- how the sounds and letters work together to make words. However, there were times in education in the United States when phonics was not valued. The following timeline will show how education’s view of phonics has changed since the 1930s. Are you ? Information from:
Fresch, M. J. (2007). An essential history of current reading practices. (pp. 33-51). Newark: International Reading Association.

Hooked on Phonics graphic from http://www.readingfoundation.org/

Music: Kalimba by Mr. Scruff
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