English is an international linguistic communication. Here in Taiwan, English is used as a foreign linguistic communication and has been considered an of import topic in schools. Many parents send their kids to linguistic communication establishments or cram schools before their kids enter junior high school. The authorities decided to implement English instruction in simple school from the twelvemonth of 1999. Phonicss evidently has been adopted as a complement in primary school in Taiwan since 1998. Many phonics material interior decorators claim phonics is the easiest and the least time-consuming manner to assist kids “ speak ” English and therefore open the door to reading. In short, phonics can assist kids more easy happen out the connexion between “ sound ” and “ reading. ”

Harmonizing to Lin ( 1999 ) , a high per centum of pupils he taught were afraid of English. He discovered that such pupils were unable to read English or did non even have the purpose to read because they were non able to talk out. Hu ( 1999 ) besides noticed that pupils of this sort tended to be labeled as “ non hardworking adequate ” , but she claimed that this job could be investigated by analyzing pupils ‘ phonological consciousness and happen the existent cause. Huang ( 1999 ) indicates non all junior high school instructors understand what phonics is. Based on the research worker ‘s twenty-year instruction experience, pupils lose their involvement in English rapidly one time they have trouble and neglect to articulate English words or sentences right. Besides, one thesis by Chang in 2000 about mensurating junior college pupils ‘ phonological processing in English said they were n’t provided with adequate phonics information. Therefore, the research worker was eager to give herself a opportunity to cognize what phonics is and whether phonics direction can assist develop the 7th graders ‘ phonological consciousness and whether pupils can profit in their English acquisition if their phonological consciousness is fostered.


Table of Contentss

2.1 Concepts of Phonicss

2.2 The Nature of English Orthography

2.3 Review of Research Studies of Phonics Instruction

2,4 Concepts of Phonological Awareness

2.5 Phonological Awareness in Word Recognition

2.6 The Relation of Phonics Instruction and Phonological Awareness

2.7 Undertakings for Measuring Phonological Awareness — — Phonicss Workbook ( edited by

National Institute Compilation and Translation )

2.7.1 Phonemic Cleavage

2.7.2 Invented Spelling

2.7.3 Pseudo-word/ Nonsense Word Reading

2.7.4 Awareness of Rimes

2.7.5 Letter Sound & A ; Name Knowledge

2.7.6 Phonemic Manipulation

2.7.7 Cleavage of Words Into Syllables

2.7.8 Segmental Identity


2.1 Concepts of Phonicss

As we read books about reading and expression at instructional stuffs for kids, we will meet several footings that mean about the same things as the word “ phonics. ” These footings include “ decrypting ” , “ sounding out ” , “ unlocking ” and “ checking the codification. ” Whatever term is used, we prefer “ phonics. ” The end is to learn kids:

The forms of letter-sound relationship.

The “ regulations ” which describe the forms.

The schemes for utilizing both forms and regulations so that unrecognised printed words may be sounded out and marked ( Johnson & A ; Pearson, 1978:60 )

Johnson & A ; Pearson so provided illustrations to demo the differences among forms, regulations, and schemes:

Form: The missive c about ever represents the sound of /k/ as in cup or /s/ as in


Rule: The missive degree Celsius is pronounced /s/ before vitamin E, I, y, as in cent, cyder, rhythm.

Scheme: One instructional scheme is to learn the kids several words with the

missive degree Celsius in them. Then the kids are asked to look carefully at the words to

discover the form and the regulation ( for illustration, degree Celsius is /s/ before vitamin E, I, Y in cell,

metropolis, cyst ) . A different instructional scheme is to learn the regulation straight and

hold kids utilize it to articulate unfamiliar words incorporating degree Celsius ( Cyclops,

graveyard, cypher ) .

Therefore, the content of phonics has to make with regulations which explain how the address codification of our linguistic communication is represented by the written codification. Phonicss refers to a organic structure information about connexions between letters and sounds which are designed to assist readers calculate out the pronunciation of words unknown in their written signifier ( Durkin, 1993: 190 ) . The intent of phonics, so, is to assist readers articulate words they ca n’t acknowledge in their written signifier, with the outlook that one time they hear the word, they will detect that they know its significance.

Hsu ( 2000 ) in her thesis besides considers phonics to the cognition about the letter-sound correspondence relationship. However, Gunning ( 1995:484 ) indicates that there was besides limited usage of the phonics regulations, except the final-e generalisation. As a consequence, we have to look at the nature of the English writing system to happen the grounds.

2.2 The Nature of English Orthography

The English linguistic communication is a system for human communicating. There are many incompatibilities between its written and unwritten signifiers in English. The English alphabet and writing system autumn far short of being ideal-grapheme-phoneme noncorrespondence ( Johnson & A ; Pearson, 1978 ; Waller, 1981 ; B & A ; Treiman, 1992 ) . No admiration phonics is so confusing to many immature kids!

What are the jobs in the English writing system? Due to the historical and lingual factors, the English linguistic communication has been made complicated and therefore the sound and missive correspondences are slightly irregular. Harmonizing to O’Grady & A ; Dobrovosky ( 1988: 401 ) , there are five jobs. The first job is that some letters do non stand for any sound in a peculiar word, e.g. : through, sigh. The 2nd 1 is that a group of two or more letters are used together to stand for a sound, e.g. : think, bit, ship, ticker. The 3rd one is that a individual missive can stand for a bunch of two or more sounds, e.g. : saxophone, expatriate. The 4th one is that the same sound can stand for different sounds in different words, e.g. : on, bone, one. The 5th one is that the same sound can be represented by different letters in different words, e.g. : rude, cringle, soup, Sue, to, two.

Huang ( 1982: 9-10 ) explains the historical and lingual alterations in the English writing system. He divided the history of the English linguistic communication development into three periods. The first period is Old English period ( 450-1150 ) . The 2nd period is In-between English period ( 1150-1500 ) . The 3rd period is Modern English period ( 1500- now ) aˆ¦..

The incompatibility in English letter-sound relationship is the chief job of phonics direction. English being a phonic linguistic communication, it is easy to sound out a word from its spelling. However, with so much historical and lingual influence, the incompatibility in the letter-sound relationship makes it difficult to read all the English words right. Fortunately, approximately 75 % to 80 % of the English vocabulary contains regular missive and sound relationship ( Huang, 1999: 24 ) . That is to state, it is predictable.

2.3 Review of Research Studies on Phonics Direction

Since at least about 75 % to 80 % of the English vocabulary contains regular missive and sound relationship, it is necessary to learn letter-sound relationship in learning English word acknowledgment in order that kids can go adept readers and authors. However, the necessity of phonics knowledge as a requirement to reading has long been a point of het argument. Rudolf Flesch, with the publication of his book in 1955 What Johnny ca n’t read? , initiated the great argument. Flesch made a historical research on get downing reading far into colonial times in America and challenged the prevalent positions on get downing reading direction, which emphasized learning kids by a sight method. He advocated a return to a phonic attack as the lone method to utilize in get downing direction ( Chall, 1967: 3 ) .

In the preface of the book Why Johnny Still Ca n’t Read? By Rudolf Flesch in 1981, Burkhardt mentioned:

Any instructor who has of all time taught kids utilizing p phonics-first plan

can explicate the grounds for the high success rate to you.

Here, “ phonics-first ” method is the term used by Flesch to mention to one of the two schools of ideas about how to learn kids to read. The other school is “ look-and-say ” method. Flesch attacked the predominating look-and-say method and accused it for take downing rate of literacy in America. In 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, the “ look and-say ” attack was being promoted in most of the “ radical reader series ” so widely used for reading direction, and it was based of the thought that whole words, in the reading act, were much more of import than letters. In fact, look-and-say advocators claimed that readers rarely notice the letters as separate entities ; they see them as “ whole words. ” But the research done in the sixtiess demonstrated that readers do analyze the letters during the reading procedure ( May, 1998: 88 ) . Therefore, he demanded that phonics-first should be used in all schools because the look-and-say method could ne’er learn a kid to read independently and extensively. He discussed the differences between phonics-first and lool-and-say by comparing larning to read to larning to drive a auto. He said:

Learning to read is like larning to drive a auto. You take lessons and larn the mechanics and the regulations of the roadaˆ¦ . When you ‘re ready, you take a route trial, and if you pass, you can drive ” ( Flesch, 1981: 3 )

He farther explained that phonics-first helps a kid learn the mechanics of reading, but, if, on the contrary, a kid is taught to read before he or she has learned the mechanics — – the sounds of the letters — – so this is how look-and-say method works otherwise. How do the two methods work with reading? Equally far as phonics-first is concerned, a kid is first taught the letters of the alphabet and what sounds these letters stand for. A kid can see merely words whose missive sounds they have already learned. Butt look-and-say method plants on the rule that a kid learns to read by reading ( Flesch, 1981: 4 ) . It bit by bit builds up a “ sight vocabulary. ” A kid learns to read by seeing those words over and over once more. Children who use look-and-say method acknowledge far less words than those who receive phonics direction. Though look-and-say readers presents follow a lower limit of phonics, Flesch still feels sorry because they regard phonics as “ a look-and-say sauce of context hints and guessing ” , and this does the kids no good at all. He suggested that instructors should supply plentifulness of words for pupils to pattern over and over once more and parents should pass clip reading fairy narratives, nursery rhymes, authoritative literature and other stimulation texts to their kids to cultivate kids ‘s literary competency.

However, Flesch ‘s sentiments were non accepted but rejected nem con by the referees in educational periodicals because of propagandistic statement and deficiency o research grounds. Heilman ( 1985: 7 ) mentioned that Flesch ‘s suggestions for learning were rather crude, dwelling chiefly of lists of words, each presention different letter-sound forms. Therefore, Flesch did non really supply learning stuffs that schools and instructors could utilize. In order to look deeper into the argument whether to include phonics in learning reading, Jeanne Chall offered a well-established and scientific research and conducted a landmark survey of reading — – Learning to Read: The Great Debate ( 1967 ) by questioning taking advocates of reading plans and detecting the pattern in usage, and shed visible radiation on the dissension about whether phonics should be taught to kids or whether they should be taught to read words as whole. In an effort to compare the two methods ( look-and-say vs. phonics-first ) , Chall ( 1967: 161 ) cited the following reading methods presented by Nila B. Smith ( 1963, 1965 ) for the period from 1890 to 1955:

1890-1920: Elaborate, man-made phonics systems were used, in which the kid was started out instantly with pattern on sounds of stray letters and ‘family words ‘ ( e.g. , hall, ball, tall, etc. )

1920- 1935: The new accent became that of reading mutely to acquire the idea and the usage of phonics was looked upon as an antique process.

1935-1955: Phonicss began to come back graduallyaˆ¦ supplemented with the usage of image hints, context hints, structural analysis and dictionary accomplishments.

In add-on, Chall reviewed relevant research surveies and came to a surprising decision. In the beginning, Chall herself did non anticipate that phonics method would work better than look-and-say method, but her findings suggested that systemic phonics was a valuable constituent of get downing reading direction and a complement to connected and meaningful reading. Chall indicated that after 1930s, people were inquiring how much and what sort of phonics to learn instead than whether to learn it ( 1967: 105 ) and concluded that direct, systematic direction in phonics was necessary for kids to develop word designation accomplishment and reading eloquence in an efficient mode.

Adams reviewed literature of phonics and the nature of reading in her book. She besides focused on the inquiry of why phonics direction, in peculiar, is so frequently seen as the proper remedy for kids ‘s reading ailments. He reviewed some research about the impact of affiliated trial O kids ‘s word acknowledgment accomplishments. Connie Juel and Diane Roper/ Schneider ( 1985, cited in Adams, 1990: 275-278 ) worked with 11 schoolrooms in three schools. There were tow sets of basal stuffs used in reading group activities. One of these radical series emphasized phonics, and the nucleus vocabulary of its three initial texts stressed words with regular, decodable spelling forms. The other series was non phonic oriented, and the word choice in its texts stressed frequent words alternatively. The growing of the kids ‘s decrypting ability at each trial were significantly better able than their equals to read the list of pseudo-words, which was a strong forecaster of nucleus vocabulary acknowledgment. In other words, the kids in the phonic-oriented basal plan developed a more general grasp and trust of spelling-sound dealingss than their equals in the other plan. Adams concluded:

“ In drumhead, deep and thorough cognition of letters, spelling forms, and

words, and of the phonological interlingual renditions of all three, are of ineluctable

importance to both skilled reading and its acquisition. By extension, direction

designed to develop kids ‘s sensitiveness to spellings and their dealingss to

pronunciations should be of overriding importance in the development of

reading accomplishments. This is, of class, exactly what is intended of good phonics

direction ” ( 1990: 416 )

Adams ‘s strong words showed how of import phonics is. However, Adams still held a conservative attitude toward the right sum of phonics direction. She did non province specifically how it should be taught. She even suggested that excess sum of phonics direction would non assist heighten kids ‘s decrypting ability. She found that these surveies kept positive and negative sentiments about the effectivity of phonics direction: Systematic phonics direction led to higher accomplishment in both word acknowledgment and spelling, but these surveies did non place the contributing factors underlying the phonics advantage.

There was negative rating of learning word acknowledgment through phonics. Flesch listed a batch of research workers who held an opposite attitude toward learning get downing reading. Flesch ( 1955: 53 ) found an opposing point of position raised by Huey ( 1908, cited in Flesch, 1955 ) was found in The Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading. Huey contended that the ruling intent of reading was to acquire information and express significances, and he treated phonics as a “ pure, unadulterated immorality that must be destroyed ” , because “ until the insidious idea of reading as word-pronouncing is good worked out of our caputs, it is good to put the accent strongly where it belongs, on reading as thought-getting, independently of look. ” Besides, Anderson and Dearborn ( 1952. cited in Flesch, 1955: 50 ) in The Psychology of Teaching Reading that readers did non normally read missive by missive but by whole-word units. In other words, phonics was against and did non suit the reliable state of affairs and was therefore of small aid in learning reading. Griff ( 1986, cited in Gunning, 1992: 80 ) noted that linguists claimed that it was improper to insulate address sounds and it was contrary to the productive development of kids ‘s word acknowledgment accomplishments, one of whom was Leonard Bloomfield. Bloomfield insisted that learning should get down with words which are spelt on a regular basis. The term analytic phonics has traditionally been used in mention to a method of learning reading developed by Bloomfield ( Bloomfield & A ; Bamhart, 1961, cited in Rieben & A ; Perdetti, 1991: 201 ) . That is, the chance of larning missive sounds will be maximized if the kid is presented with minimally contrasting, phonetically regular words, and so he/ she will be able to bring on the alphabetic rule ( e.g. , cat, rat, fat, fan, etc. ) from minimum braces. He disagreed with learning word acknowledgment by insulating sounds. What he agreed is that the kid can detect the relationship between the corresponding letters and sounds by himself. To sum up, Bloomfield was against learning the letter-sound correspondence.

In add-on to the analytic attack, Gunning ( 1992 ) stated that there is another attack and provided clear account. There are two attacks of learning phonics: analytic and man-made. In the analytic attack, instructors foremost provide a list of words and learn sounds in a word context, such as ch in concatenation, chair, aˆ¦ That is, provide kids with “ mark words ” in context. Ask them what letters are the same in the mark words. Return to the mark words in context and this will non falsify sounds as the man-made attack. In the analytic/ inexplicit attack, consonants are by and large non isolated but are taught within the context of a whole word. For illustration, the sound /b/ in the beginning of ball and male child is non pronounced in isolation because that would falsify it to “ buh. ” In the synthetic/ expressed attack, words are decoded sound by sound, and both harmonic and vowel sounds are pronounced in isolation. For illustration, a kid decrypting cat would state, “ kub-ah-tuh. ” With the man-made method, kids learn foremost to decrypt letters ( called “ sounds ” ) in isolation and so larn how to set them together to do words. Guning considered this attack is really direct but distorts consonants, which can non be pronounced accurately without a vowel. Although it is true that harmonic sounds spoken in isolation are distorted, but after working with underachieving readers, Gunning ( 1992: 79-80 ) found that it is true that some pupils do better with a combined analytic and man-made attack. Hsu ( 2000 ) interviewed several simple and junior high school instructors about learning phonics and found out that although some instructors prefer the inexplicit method to the explicit method, the explicit method will still be employed if the direction clip is limited or the instruction advancement is delayed ( 147 ) .

The current difference among reading direction specializers as to how phonics information is learned best has been flaring since 1973. One side of the contention over whether to learn phonics has contended that phonics is non an indispensable portion of word acknowledgment. Frank Smith and Kenneth Goodman ( 1973, cited in Groff, 1998: 138 ) held a negative point of view and suggested that “ learning kids to get the hang phonics information and use it to reading is one of the 12 easy ways to do acquisition to read hard. ” The other side of this contention points to relevant experimental research findings that suggest phonics cognition is a requirement to novice readers ‘ accurate designation of written words ( Chall, 1983 ; Share & A ; Stanovich, 1995, both cited in Groff, 1998: 138 ) .

Here in Taiwan, harmonizing to the interview with junior high school instructors by Hsu ( 2000 ) , instructors teach phonics non merely harmonizing to their pupils but besides to their instruction clip available. Without excessively much clip available for developing phonics cognition, instructors in junior high Teach phonics with a more direct and expressed method. They will take to state the pupils the sound underlying a character without excessively much exercising on other similar words incorporating the same sound-letter relationship ( 149 ) . That is to state instructors tend to learn older pupils with a direct rule-giving method. To sum up, in schoolrooms, instructors ever have the right to encompass the virtues of these learning methods and the instruction of reading is ne’er limited to any individual method. In malice of the contention, most instructors today agree that kids ‘s acquisition of phonics accomplishments is an indispensable portion of their reading development. They besides agree to the fact that “ kids who start easy in geting decrypting accomplishments seldom become strong readers ” ( Lapp & A ; Flood, 1997: 698, cited in Groff, 1998: 138 ) . May ( 1998: 88 ) indicated that phonics should be taught in a really systematic manner, really straight instead than indirectly, really explicitly instead than implicitly. Teachers, whenever possible, should state kids instead than let them to detect phonic forms on their ain. She considered “ phonics to be far more of import than any other plan constituent — – at least in the first two or three graders ” . A batch of experimental grounds indicates that considerable clip should be devoted in reading lessons to explicit and comprehensive development of get downing readers ‘ phonics accomplishments, because the more phonics information that a kid acquires, and larn to use to decrypt written words, the better. In Taiwan, phonics is treated as an advanced method in learning kids English pronunciation ( Hsu, 2000 ) . Phonics is playing the function of assisting kids sound out unfamiliar printed English words ; hence, we need to look into the procedure how effectual readers recognize words.

2.4 Concepts of Phonological Awareness

Phonological consciousness is a really important component in larning a phonic linguistic communication. Adams ( 1991a ) defined phonological consciousness as the “ acknowledgment that syllables and words can be broken into a comparatively little set or sounds ( i.e. , phonemes ) which correspond to characters. ” Obviously, the relationship between phonological consciousness and acquisition to read is highly of import. However, how do kids go phonemically cognizant? To reply the inquiry, we have to cognize what phonemic consciousness agencies. Phonemic consciousness is the consciousness of phonemes, or sounds, in the address watercourse. It is the consciousness that address consists of a series of sounds. Uhry & A ; Shepherd ( 1993: 231 ) said, “ In our survey, kids needed preparation to go better decipherers ” . Gunning ( 1992: 65 ) defined phonemic consciousness as the consciousness of the sounds in words. It includes the ability to observe rime, separate the sounds in words, and the sounds in words, and detect consonants and vowels. It may be learned through interaction with print, through specific preparation in segmenting and other accomplishments. Surveies reveal that the ability to section and otherwise manipulate sounds in address can be explicitly taught to kids and that those kids who receive developing phonemic consciousness perform at higher degrees on subsequent reading and spelling accomplishment trials than their control opposite numbers ( Cited in Yopp, 1995b: 538 ) . Goldsworthy ( 1998: 1-2 ) explains the nexus between phonological consciousness and reading: During the development of address, the kid processes through a series of phases. Articulatory gestures become incorporate into automatic phonic modus operandis as the kid practiced bring forthing address. Consequently, the phonological codification becomes a more efficient codification for encoding and recovering constructions in verbal on the job memory. As phonemes begin to emerge as definite signifiers, the kid becomes cognizant of them as constructions in and of themselves. Becoming cognizant of these constructions is critical for the linguistic communication scholar to develop strong, efficient phonological representations. Wordss can be broken into parts ; syllables and sounds within syllables can be added, and/ or moved around in words.

For kids, words seem like a continuance of a individual sound and they do non hold to cover with single sounds in their natural environment. However, the ability to section words is perfectly of import for literacy development. The hearer ‘s ability to know apart single phonemes of word sections in address and to retrieve their order is called phonological processing. Phonological processing may play a causal function in subsequent reading success, but larning to read besides changes one ‘s phonological sensitiveness ( Mcguinness, Mcguinness & A ; Donohue, 1995: 830 ) . If kids can non hear the separate sounds in a crude manner. That is, they may larn to cognize a few words by sheer rote memory but will non be able to sound out words ( Guning, 1992: 58 ) . Therefore, phonological consciousness is a necessary factor for larning to read.

2.5 Phonological Awareness in Word Recognition

Written word acknowledgment is an of import portion of reading accomplishments. Phonological recoding involves interpreting letters into sounds by application of the cognition of grapheme-phoneme correspondences and so acknowledging the words from their pronunciations. To the contrary, sight word acknowledgment involves the constitution of direct connexions between the ocular signifiers of written words and their significance in memory. A word is recognized by reading many times. Phonicss knowledge makes decrypting efficient merely when the decryption procedure consumes the least energy and produces the highest reading rate. Readers need to interpret graphemic representations into address codification in order to be successful in reading. Lapp & A ; Flood ( 1997: 689 ) said, “ All readers use a different degree of attending to use their cognition of the codification as they read. At one extreme, when they encounter familiar, well-practiced words, they apply their cognition without any evident attending ; this phenomenon has been labeled word acknowledgment, word designation, and/ or sight word acknowledgment. At the other extreme, readers need to consciously use their cognition, and this happens when they encounter new words they do non cognize and they have to work to bring forth a plausible pronunciation for the new words. ” In order to read fluently, readers start the reading procedure with “ word onslaught ” , which is a system that can assist readers use their cognition of the codification ( phonics ) by assailing an unfamiliar word in order to acquire a plausible pronunciation. That means readers need to phonologically decode graphemic representation.s into address codifications to entree the internal lexical recognitionaˆ¦ .

2.6 The Relation of Phonics Instruction and Phonological Awareness

2.7 Undertakings for Measuring Phonological Awareness — – through Phonicss Workbook

2.7.1 Phonemic Cleavage

2.7.2 Invented Spelling

2.7.3 Pseudo-word/ Nonsense Word Reading

2.7.4 Awareness of Rimes

2.7.5 Letter Sound & A ; Name Knowledge

2.7.6 Phonemic Manipulation

2.7.7 Cleavage of Words Into Syllables

2.7.8 Segmental Identity