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How to Teach Phonics   By: (1877-)

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=How to Teach Phonics=



Primary Supervisor and Instructor of Methods, Northern Normal and Industrial School, ABERDEEN, SOUTH DAKOTA


Copyright 1916, Hall & McCreary Company P 2143 Printed in the U.S.A.


Phonics is not a method of teaching reading, but it is a necessary part of every good, modern method. It is the key to word mastery, and word mastery is one of the first essentials in learning to read. A knowledge of the sounds of letters, and of the effect of the position of the letter upon its sound, is an essential means of mastering the mechanics of reading, and of enabling children to become independent readers.

A knowledge of phonics not only gives power to pronounce new words, but it trains the ear, develops clear articulation and correct enunciation, and aids in spelling. Later, when diacritical marks are introduced, it aids in the use of the dictionary. The habit of attacking and pronouncing words of entirely new form, develops self confidence in the child, and the pleasure he experiences in mastering difficulties without help, constantly leads to new effort.

The little foreigner, greatly handicapped where reading is taught by the word and sentence methods only, begins on an equal basis with his American neighbor, when the "Alphabet by sound" is taught.

In recent years only has the subject of phonics found a place on the daily school program; and there is perhaps, no other subject on the primary program so vaguely outlined in the average teacher's mind and therefore taught with so little system and definite purpose.

The present need is a systematic and comprehensive but simple method of phonics teaching thruout the primary grades, that will enable any teacher, using any good text in reading, to successfully teach the phonetic facts, carefully grading the difficulties by easy and consecutive steps thus preparing the pupils for independent effort in thot getting, and opening for him the door to the literary treasures of the ages.

It is with the hope of aiding the earnest teacher in the accomplishment of this purpose that "How To Teach Phonics" is published.



Every sound and pedagogical method of teaching reading must include two basic principles.

1. Reading must begin in the life of the child, with real thought content. Whether the thought unit be a word, a sentence, or a story, it must represent some idea or image that appeals to the child's interests and adjusts itself to his experience.

2. It must proceed with a mastery of not only words, but of the sound symbols of which words are composed.

The child's love for the story, his desire to satisfy a conscious need, gives him an immediate and compelling motive for mastering the symbols, which in themselves are of incidental and subordinate interest. While he is learning to read, he feels that he is reading to learn and "symbols are turned into habit."

If the child is to understand from the beginning that reading is thot getting, we must begin with the sentence, rhyme or other language unit. If a story is the initial step, a few well chosen sentences that tell the heart of the story will constitute the first black board reading lesson.

The next step is the analysis of the sentence, or the study and recognition of the individual words therein.

Finally the word is separated into its elementary sounds, the study of the sound symbols growing out of the stock of words learned first as purely sight words.

Following this phonic analysis comes the final step, the blending of these phonic elements to produce new words. Thus gradually increasing prominence is given to the discovery of new words by this analytic synthetic process, and less time to sight word drills, until they are entirely omitted, except for the teaching of unphonetic words.

There should be at least two ten minute lessons in phonics each day. These lessons are not reading lessons and should not trespass on the regular reading period, when thot getting and thot giving are uppermost... Continue reading book >>

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