Jolly Phonics Essay

2033 Words9 Pages
Teaching students to read and learning to read is an intricate task. Most children enter school with a considerable amount of competence in their spoken language but have little knowledge of how to read and write. There are many diverse approaches used to teach language and literacy skills and a lot of debate has arisen on how to best teach beginning reading. Some educators advocate for a phonics based approach, while others support a whole language approach. This paper will briefly look at these two different approaches, discuss some options on how best to deliver an effective reading program, and review a commercial reading program, in this case, Jolly Phonics, and its usefulness in promoting phonological awareness. Phonics based instruction is basically the premise that reading is learned by making sense of the smallest components of language, meaning the letters, then slowly progressing towards the larger components of sounds, words and sentences, teaching the children the relationship between the letters. It is then that they learn to decode language and gain understanding. In essence, they break the code and master the components. This is generally taught through direct instruction, via the use of worksheets and rote exercises. The whole language approach takes a more holistic view, whereby teaching is focused on child centered instruction and natural language experiences. This approach suggests that children learn to decode words by context and build language ability. The theory is that the answer or final product isn’t as important as the process and learning is emphasized more than teaching. Children are expected to learn to read and write as they learned to talk, without a great deal of direct instruction ( Stanovich & Stanovich, 1995). There has been a lot of research around these two different approaches, and the research evidence favours
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