The phonics debate in primary schools

Essay by sahmed10University, Bachelor's January 2008

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The phonics debate in primary schools"At one time the question was: 'Shall we teach reading through phonics or through some other method?' Then it became: "Given that phonics has been proven to be the best method, which is the best phonics method?" Now research has shown incontrovertibly which is the best method, and this method is being successfully applied." How true is the picture presented above?My assignment is an attempt at answering the above question as I seek to examine the debates concerning the best method to teach reading. My main aim in particular, is to investigate the reading method known as 'phonics' and to compare its pros and cons as well as inspecting to see if the research which seems to have found the best phonics method justifiable. I will analyze all the contemporary debates regarding phonics and detail the significant effects of its recent studies.

The methods used in the teaching of reading have been highly controversial and long debated.

In particular, the phonics method of teaching reading has caught plenty of attention over the years and seems to be the central issue at the present time. So, what is phonics? In describing phonics Cloudworld Ltd (2005) in 'Synthetic phonics FAQ' say "phonics is a method of teaching how spoken words are composed of sounds called phonemes, and how the letters of words correspond to those phonemes. The process of reading involves 'decoding' words into their sounds, so that meaning can be extracted from the speech made up of these sounds."The sudden renewed interest in phonics currently is following a recent phonics study in Clackmannanshire along with the findings of The Education and Skills Committee's inquiry. The debate previously was whether or not phonics should be taught but at present the debate is more so about which...