Phonics Vs Whole word method

Discussions on tuition centres/enrichment services that specialise in English.

Which method worked for your kid? If not, which method you think is best to start?

Poll ended at Sun May 17, 2009 12:13 am

Synthetic Phonics
1
17%
Whole Word method
3
50%
Analytical Phonics
2
33%
 
Total votes : 6

Phonics Vs Whole word method

Postby quixation » Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:13 am

Hi,

I just want some feedback from parents out there about phonics and whole world recgonition method.

There has been alot of argument on the above so I just want to ask the experienced parents who has good and bad thing to say about the methods.

I understand and strongly believe that as long as the kid loves reading, their command of the language should not be problem but as KS parents, surely we need to know how to nurture our kids progressively.

My gal is whole word trained and because she started school, they are starting to teach phonics. I am still considering to start teaching her phonics too but keep delaying because I am worried I will confuse her.
Someone selling phonics reading books says I am better off delaying phonics till my gal is 4 years old. Hence I would appreciate parents here in Singapore to share your experiences and comments.

Here are some comments and stories I heard

1. Kids who are phonics trained may be able to read really well but they have difficulties with understanding the meaning of the words.
2. Kids who are phonics trained can read aloud better than whole word trained kids.
3. Phonics trained kids have difficulties with grammer and comprehension.
4. Whole word trained kids lack the ability to build words which may be difficult when comes to spelling.

What i am doing now is whole word (flashcards, sight words with phonics book reading) and plan to teach her phonics too to build her word building (ie. spelling and reading aloud abilities.

So any parents to adv me if I should delay phonics? If start phonics, which method i.e. synthetic or analytical phonics is better since she is already whole word trained? I am more pro-synthetic phonics and I want the make use of the best of both methods.

Most importantly, it must not kill the joy of reading!

Parents, pls share!

quixation
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Postby foreverj » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:38 pm

hi quixation

no worries on the phonics! my daughter picked up reading the whole-word method thru GD cards and Your Baby Can Read VCD. I also thought by teaching alphabets she will be confused (as advised by the advisor from GD). But as I wanted her to start on some music lessons and they said useful to know A to G, I started teaching her the alphabets. It was real easy for her since she could already read. (dun ask me when she could read becos i seriously dunno, perhaps abt one plus?)

after that, i showed her the leapfrog dvd my friend lent me. she quickly learnt the sounds too. then her school started teaching her phonics and i realised its a much better way to teach her to decipher words on her own. remember the whole word method requires a child to have seen the word before and so she could never have read a difficult word without your help. so overall i feel for young babies, start with whole word. then progress to teach phonics when u feel she's ready for it, abt 18mths to 2 years.

my daughter is 3 now and reads books. but i find she stil doesn't do chapter books well (as in she gets intimidated by too many words on a page) mainly becos of the gap in her understanding of the world.

by all means, teach if she's ready but dun force her and the learning will come by itself, sometimes quite effortlessly. :celebrate:

foreverj
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Postby curious_mom » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:19 pm

My older kid had problems reading even when she is in K1. I started her on phonics program and she is able to read comfortably after a few months. It helps her in her spelling too; most of the time she she breeze through her spelling because she is able to 'blend' and then to spell out the words just by hearing.

The downside to starting her on phonics is ... although she is able to read very well but recently I noticed that she tends to read without really understanding the content. :stupid:

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Postby foreverj » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:42 pm

could it be becos the content is not targeted at her level of comprehension? also, i believe the love for reading is more impt than the ability to read. if a child loves to read, there wil be a greater attempt to understand the content rather than just being able to read the words. therefore suggest to select age-appropriate books.

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Postby kiasu_pig » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:53 pm

curious_mom wrote:..The downside to starting her on phonics is ... although she is able to read very well but recently I noticed that she tends to read without really understanding the content. :stupid:

i don't quite understand on this logic that by starting kid on phonics, they may read well but may don't quite understand what he/she's reading. Does it mean that kid who do "word recognition" are able to read and understanding better? :roll:
i was of the impression that phonics helps a kid to prounce a word easily so that he/she would have no problem vocal out his/her speech.
:?

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Postby foreverj » Fri May 01, 2009 9:51 am

i think this is possible given that phonics allow a child to sound out a word phonetically on an individual basis but the child may not understand all the words which collectively make up the story. eg. if laypeople try to read a legal document, we may be able to read each word correctly but may not understand the full meaning/ intention of the document given we do not have the legal training for it. that's why most of the time, we need to read, re-read, and re-read again to make sense of the legal document. that's why experience of the world (which is very much dependent on age) is so impt for a child to understand the book he/she is reading.

hope the above makes sense.

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Postby kiasu_pig » Fri May 01, 2009 3:32 pm

What is the difference between "phonics method" taught in Leapfrog, Zoophonics, Letterland, and the "International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)" used in dictionaries?
:?

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Postby curious_mom » Sun May 03, 2009 10:15 pm

foreverj,

Yes; it's true what you have mentioned. I only realised this problem when I stop her when she is happily reading aloud and ask her to explain to me what the paragraph meant. Now I made a effort to read 1 or 2 chapters (min) each week with her (when she completes all her school homework :cry: ). It's a slow process but I guess it will help her in her comprehension :D Well; no choice I guess just have to invest the time.

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Postby curious_mom » Sun May 03, 2009 10:20 pm

Kiasu_pig;

My kid has been exposed to Letterland since she is in N2. She learns the phonics sound via songs ... like 'annie apple she says a' etc. Zoophnoics is similar 'aligator a a a'.

I guess different methods work for different kids. This method didn't quite work for mine. We introduce her phonics in the most basic way when she is in K1. Basically just teach her the sound of each letters; follow by blends e.g. when she knows the sound of c, a and t, she will know how to read cat. The list can go on once you master the 26 alphabet e.g. cat, bat, rat etc.

Can't comment about 'internation phonetic alphabet'

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Postby foreverj » Sun May 03, 2009 11:19 pm

curious_mom wrote:foreverj,

Yes; it's true what you have mentioned. I only realised this problem when I stop her when she is happily reading aloud and ask her to explain to me what the paragraph meant. Now I made a effort to read 1 or 2 chapters (min) each week with her (when she completes all her school homework :cry: ). It's a slow process but I guess it will help her in her comprehension :D Well; no choice I guess just have to invest the time.


hi curious_mum, its great u have the right attitude! no shortcut to the learning for our kids. we parents definitely stil have to invest the time and effort no matter what they teach in school or enrichment class. But trust that its worthwhile and that success comes sweeter when its achieved by both the child and the parents! Parents, school and child need to work hand-in-hand for the child to blossom :love: Am sure your daughter will catch on the understanding with your loving guidance very soon :celebrate:

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