As future teachers it is very important to make sure that our students understand print. There are students who are fully able to pronounce print but unfortunately aren’t able to comprehend what they are reading. To read I believe means to understand the meaning of words, so therefore it involves much more than pronouncing print. In Beyond Traditional Phonics, (BTP) Margaret Moustafa stated, “pronouncing print is not necessarily comprehending print” pg. 6. Unfortunately, there are many students who are able to pronounce print but are not able to understand the meaning of what they read. Children use many different cueing systems to figure out print. Besides the three cuing systems which I will explain more throughout the essay is the concept of phonics and phonemic awareness.
So what is phonics? Phonics is about how words sound. How you associate the meaning of words with objects, emotions or the ideas they represent. Now while whole language learning emphasizes "memorizing" words, phonics emphasize "visualizing" words. Phonemic awareness is as important as learning to read itself. Be it teaching toddlers to read or teaching children to read content. Phonemic awareness is when children can understand that words are made up of phonemes (sounds) and they understand the phonemes of their language. It's a fundamental yet powerful method that's been around for more than a century and is still one of the first ways a young child begins to understand what words really are some people will agree and some will not. A lot of debate about teaching reading to children focuses on Phonics versus Whole Language. While some of us believe and tend to look at whole language learning as the "real" way of reading to learn others may feel it's also important to understand that the basics of reading (and subsequently writing) begins with teaching phonics to children. In Goodman’s study on what is the most effective beginning reading materials was that, “Children learning to...
References: Moustafa. (1997). Beyond traditional phonics: research discoveries and reading.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
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