Decoding Skill Teaching Methods
Systematic phonics instructions
Phonics studies the sound-symbol relationships to use them when learning to read and write. There are several approaches to the implementation of phonics in the classroom. A teacher can use direct, systematic instructions, integrated instructions, or embedded phonics.
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Systematic instructions are based on alphabetical principles involving the teaching of sound-symbol relations, “Children learn to blend individual sound-symbols relationships into syllables and words” (Savage, p.1). The main purpose of the systematic instructions is to make the decoding skills automatic. This approach is considered to be the most effective when teaching children to read and write. There have been designed many phonics teaching programs based on a systematic approach, among them are analytic phonics, synthetic phonics, and embedded phonics. The common feature of all these approaches is that the sets of phonic elements are taught sequentially. (Graaff, Bosman et al, 2009, p. 2).
Intrinsic and Embedded Phonics
Another approach presupposes the teaching with the usage of the intrinsic and embedded phonics. The intrinsic phonics is the types of phonics that are generally used as the supplementary (supportive) aids during the learning process. They are not included in the reading instructions. They are not an obligatory part of the educational process, but rather met in separate (from the educational program) workbooks. They can be learned during certain activities, for example, when training an authentic reading.
The embedded phonics is introduced into the teaching program and phonic instructions. They are part of the complete language-learning program. The children are taught these phonics as various relations between sounds and letters during the reading activities, “children learn phonics as they engage in ongoing reading and writing into the classroom” (Savage, p.2).
Developing reading comprehension is one of the tasks of a teacher. There can be different approaches to the instructional techniques when developing reading comprehension, from webbing to semantic analysis. But one thing is certain, the memorizing and comprehension of vocabulary will have a better result if to replace the memorizing definitions with building concepts (Smith, 1997, n. p.). The author offers several instructional techniques for reading comprehension. They are the direct involvement in constructing meaning, it is far better than simply memorizing; involvement of the personal experience of students when learning new vocabulary units:
“Through informal activities such as semantic association students brainstorm a list of words associated with a familiar word, pooling their knowledge of pertinent vocabulary as they discuss the less familiar words on the list.” (Smith, 1997, n. p.).
Arranging of the visual “semantic” maps of related words and building analogies and grouping words according to common features.
Vocabulary instructions have great meaning when learning a language. A multidimensional approach to vocabulary instruction is one of the most functional and promotes the better acquisition of new material and support the vocabulary development, “the principles of the MVP curriculum hold promise for supporting the vocabulary development of all learners, especially English language learners” (Silverman, 2007, p. 365). This approach presupposes such techniques as:
- Explanation of new words to children.
- Thinking about the example of words in a different context.
- Comparison and contrast of new words.
- Illustration of words. The introduction of physical activity in the memorizing of new vocabulary units.
- Multiple pronunciations.
- Working out of the spelling of words.
- Multiple repetitions of words.
De Graaff, S., Bosman, A. T., Hasselman, F., & Verhoeven, L. (2009). Benefits of Systematic Phonics Instruction. Scientific Studies of Reading, 13(4), 318-333. Web.
Savage, J. Three approaches to Phonics. Education Publishing Service. Web.
Silverman, R. (2007). Vocabulary development of English language and English only learners in kindergarten. Elementary School Journal, 107 (4), 365-383. Web.
Smith, C. B. (1997). Vocabulary Instruction and Reading Comprehension. ERIC Digest. ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading English and Communication. Web.