We’ve probably all heard the rule: “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” Unfortunately, this rule only works 27% of the time when you hold it up to the English language as a whole. Why do we teach rules like this if it’s so incompetent? Wouldn’t we want to teach rules for the language that actually work?
A typical approach to teaching “phonics” is to take a small pool of “beginner” words, establish rules that will fit THOSE words, and then get the kids decoding quickly (initial reading process). The problem is that the rules do not hold up to the language as a whole. It sets the children up for a faulty expectation of how the written code will work, and it opens the door for thousands of “exceptions.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we taught rules that actually work? Great news! The spelling rules found in the Spell to Write and Read program are highly reliable. A first grader trained with SWR has almost all the tools to unlock a language with over a million words. While he may not understand the vocabulary, that beginning reader could unlock the code to post-graduate level words. The SWR phonograms and rules work for English!
Wanda Sanseri discussed different kinds of “faulty phonics” such as Phony Phonics, Pokey Phonics, and Fickle Phonics in her Senate Speech before the Oregon Senate. Have you read it lately?
You can read Part 2 here.Share