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 differences btw the whole-word & phonics

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Max4u



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PostSubject: differences btw the whole-word & phonics   Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:41 am


Whole Word, it is claimed, can teach children to read 500 sight-words in first grade.

Even if this pace can be achieved, these students know only 6000 words by the end of high school, and are only semi-literate. Judged by its own claims, Whole Word doesn’t work.

Phonics, it is claimed, can teach almost all children to read by the end of first grade.

The reading may be slow and halting at first, but in a few years the child is able to read ordinary books for amusement or education.














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Max4u



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PostSubject: differences btw whole-word & phonics    Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:42 am

In fact, few students can memorize even 300 words per year. This difficulty is confirmed all over the Internet by lists of Sight Words that have THIRD GRADE students learning simple one-syllable words such as: bring, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep.

Imagine nine-year-olds who can’t read such words. Their education is at a standstill. All school books must be dumbed down.
Phonics, phonetics, alphabetic--all point to the same thing: letters represent sounds. Learn which letters represent which sounds, and you can read the vast English vocabulary (nearly 1,000,000 words).

Phonics, phonetics, alphabetic--all are mnemonic devices that make learning to read easier.

Children in third or fourth grade read real books such as Hardy Boys, Landmark Books, and Grimms' Fairy Tales.
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Max4u



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PostSubject: differences btw whole-word & phonics    Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:43 am

Impossible Demands on Memory



Whole Word requires you to memorize words as SHAPES, one by one, as you would remember faces, houses or logos. It’s hard work. The work never ends.
Only the smartest Chinese can memorize 20,000 of their ideograms, but Whole Word promoters expect you to memorize 50,000 or 100,000 English words. In short, Whole Word expects ordinary people to accomplish a feat that's possible only with a photographic memory.
Workable Demands on Memory
Phonics requires you to remember the ABC’s and the sounds associated with each letter, then the combinations, then the exceptions. If this is done rigorously, students memorize several hundred things. A nuisance, to be sure. But defenders claim that children like memorizing these items because each one gives a greater mastery.

In any event, the nuisance ends in five months. (Marva Collins always claimed she taught every first-grader to read by Christmas!)
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Max4u



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PostSubject: differences btw whole-word & phonics    Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:45 am

Many Obstacles



English words are minimal in design and hard to remember. For the child, English words look like this: thmfhg, ldfht, tshxw, htpng. The child has to find VISUAL HOOKS in each of these graphic shapes that will provide instant recall when the child sees the shape in a book.
Another problem is that English letters change from lower to UPPER case. Consider: dale/DALE. Only someone familiar with English would guess that you are seeing the same four letters in both words. (Additionally, English words appear in many type styles.)

Faster, Less Confusion
English WORDS were not designed to be memorized as sight-objects. Anyone who tries to do this will find the job very difficult.

However, as quick indicators of sounds, our LETTERS have just enough individuality to let the brain make an identification on the fly.

When reading, we dip into words only as much as we need to. A little for familiar words; a lot for unfamiliar words. We dip until we have a positive read, or we go to a dictionary. (Guessing is a technique used by people who can't read.)
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Max4u



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PostSubject: differences btw whole-word & phonics    Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:46 am

Success is Rare
Millions of people peak at 1,000-2,000 sight-words, a level of progress called “functionally illiterate.” Some people with powerful memories actually learn to read and reach college; but they always report that reading is hard work.
Routine Success
Phonics is successful because it works with the actual nature of the language, which is alphabetic/phonetic. Letters = sounds. Talk to people who read a lot, or for pleasure, and you will find they can't imagine how reading could be done any other way except phonetically.
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