Teaching ESL
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the importance of reading / role of phonics
http://www.mes-english.com:443/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2344
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Author:  funwithstories [ Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:19 am ]
Post subject:  the importance of reading / role of phonics

This is definitely food for thought. Phonics is important but it in and of itself is not enough to motivate students to read.

http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/rah-ch1-pg2.html

Author:  patrick [ Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:51 am ]
Post subject: 

I'm heading off to work so I didn't get to fully read through the article you posted but I don't think you'll find a lot of people saying that ONLY using phonics is enough in the classroom. It only works about 60% of the time. Anybody stating that phonics is the end all to learning English would be foolish.

That being said, briefly skimming through the article, I'm not confident I would agree with one thing in it. They said, "Drill and skill don't motivate." They were saying that when studying phonics, the only way to teach it is through repetitive and boring means. I think there are a handful of ESL/EFL websites (including MES) that have effectively demonstrated that teaching phonics in the classroom doesn't have to be mundane.

I'll have a better read through that article later...it looks pretty interesting.

Author:  funwithstories [ Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Patrick,
I don't believe the author, Jim Trelease, wrote that the only way to teach phonics was through drill and skill. It also doesn't appear that he is against phonics at all. Instead he is pointing out that teaching the rules does not MOTIVATE students to read. He is one of the well-known proponents for reading aloud to children and has lots of research to back his theory that the best way to get students to read is to read to them as early and as often as possible and then to get them reading for pleasure.

If you use his analogy to baseball, children must know the rules to play baseball BUT you don't get them interested in playing by first teaching them the rules. You do that by showing them the game, the players, and the drama involved. Then they learn the rules because they are interested in baseball.

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