December 7, 2009 10:52pm CST
Hi dear friends, there is a question about Phonics: Is Phonics essential in your primary school or basic education in your country? Have you ever been taught Phonics in your school time? And in which period? This question comes from a discussion of English learning in China this morning. Chinese students are tortured by English Pronunciations. They are used to (yes, really be used and bored) to remembering every single word with a whole sound by rote. one by one ... Our teachers always encourage us to remember 10 words a day so that we can remember 10,000 words in 1000 days...I think that is not reasonable at all and makes no sense. Millions learn pronunciation word by word, but nobody ask why. The result of this additive method is that we cannot speak strange words until we bear that in mind. I heard that Phonics is a very useful method to understand English Phonetics. If you could master around 200 Phonics Modules like "p b sh ch ph ar er ir or ur ai ea ee ou ol oo...", you could spell any word with that. ...almost all words are composed of these Phonics Modules. Further more, the pronunciations and the spelling are consistent. Some ESL teachers (native / Chinese) told us Phonics is an essential course in English speaking Countries. Is that true? Thanks a lot.
• United States
8 Dec 09
Phonics is absolutly important in learning to read. In my stae a few years ago they changed the curriculum and took phonics out of the equation. It only took about 2 year for them to figure out thaat kids were falling way behind in learning to read. Needless to say phonics was restored and has been part of the program since.
9 Dec 09
Good point! Not only pronunciation but also reading, Phonics is very useful for. Rightly, in China, some highschool students who want to take the SAT for learning abroad complain theirs poor reading ability. Maybe the absence of Phonics learning is one of the reasons. yep, that's true. There is few schools teaching phonics in China. Dear jewels49, BTW, what is your nationality?
9 Dec 09
Thank you! "Gotcha!" from your profile and have been browsing your comments to other threads...good points always! Another question: if a Chinese highschool student had been learning English in the wrong way-every word bear in mind by rote/can read probably but cannot speak correctly. How could i persuade him/her to restart: to push over all have learned and refresh a new learning system ? It is a real misery to find out our core/basic English learning system is wrong...
• United States
22 Dec 09
In the American education system there have been a few trends in learning to spell and read. Originally the emphasis was on memorization, only. Students were given a certain number of words to memorize each week. Then entered the trend of phonics and memorization was removed from the curriculum. The problem with this was that English is an extremely tricky language and not all words can be spelled or pronounced correctly with phonics. Currently, most schools are using a combination of phonics and memorization, which provides each student with a way to learn and covers more words. This combination of phonics and memorization seems to provide the most complete education. In terms of when these are taught my son in first grade has been taught phonics and memorization for two years now.
8 Dec 09
Hi xiangfaganbei, I am a native english speaker, teaching english in japan and phonics is an essential part of most english classrooms here. Thinking back to my school days in australia, tho. I don't remember ever being taught phonics during my school days, but after speaking to my sister, she informed me that her kids (my nephews) are learning about phonics at their elementary school in australia. When it comes to learning english as a second language, phonics is a very important part of the learning cycle. If you see a small infant everyday during their first years of life and see how their language development progresses over time, you can see and understand the importance of phonetics.
8 Dec 09
Dear Lukespook, Thank you. Your comments helps a lot. And I've shown your post to some of my friends in our English class and they really appreciate it. BTW, one of our Austalian Teacher told us: Phonics is not a secret at all in English speaking Countries, but in China, it does. Maybe our English Teaching drops behind a lot. No wonder the whole spoon-feed Education in China. again,Gracias!