Phonics Instruction: Why and How A professional development workshop for Caritas CW MF Secondary School
Map of Workshop • What is phonics? • The place of phonics in the L2 curriculum. • Phonics at Caritas CW MF • Resources and Classroom Procedures • Phonics through awareness raising • Phonics through oral language arts
Phonics and Phonics instruction • Phonics is the correspondence between spelling and pronunciation. • Phonics instruction consists of (a) raising students’ phonemic awareness, and (b) teaching specific sound-spelling associations.
Purpose of Phonics Instruction • In L1 contexts, phonics is an important part of teaching beginning reading. The purpose of phonics instruction is to teach beginning readers that printed letters and letter combinations represent speech sounds heard in words. Phonics is a means; the end is that young children will begin to read books on their own.
Cantonese Chan Tai Man Chai Wan Kung Hei Fat Choy Kung Fu Fung Shui Cheongsam Kowtow Chow mein Tofu Japanese Tokyo Nippon Nissan Sushi Sashimi tatami Sayonara Ohayo Gozaiimasu Examples of sound-spelling association
Hanyu Pinyin • Guonei de Dianshi (TV in Mainland China) • Guonei you xuduo dianshitai. Quanguoxing de, guimo zui da de, chengli zui zao de shi Zhongyang Dianshitai, zai Beijing. Ge sheng de shenghui, ge zizhiqu de shoufu yiji Beijing Shi, Shanghai Shi, Tianjin shi, shenzhi yixie zhongdeng chengshi, dou you dianshitai.
Group Activity • Brainstorm words that begin or end with certain spellings and pronunciations • (Worksheet D)
Limitations of Phonics English spelling is not 100% phonetic. The same letter can represent several sounds. The same sound can be represented by several spellings. Furthermore, there are quite a few exceptional cases. All this has to do with the origins of English and its historical development.
Group Activity • Study some words with the letter ‘s’, and decide on its pronunciation. • Analyse some common mispronunciations and their causes. • (Worksheets E and F.)
L1 children have quite a large listening-speaking vocabulary. L1 children have mastered their sound system. L1 children can apply phonics in reading. L2 children have a small vocabulary. L2 children still struggling with pronunciation. Purpose of phonics not always clear to L2 children. Limitations of L2 Phonics
Phonics for Lower Secondary SS: Problems & Prospects • 1. Some Ss may have learnt phonics in primary school already.2. Few resources available for teaching phonics to lower secondary students.3.Drill-type phonics exercises could be demotivating • 4. Lower secondary SS have a better grasp of English pronunciation than primary students.5. Better at deducing rules from examples than primaries.6. Have a larger vocabulary which the teacher can draw on when teaching phonics.
Implications • 1. Phonics may help SS with pronunciation, and spelling. • 2. No need to teach all the sound-spelling relationships; work on the tricky ones only.3. Aim for appropriate cognitive challenge by, for example, using a discovery approach.4. Contextualise, in order to show the role of proper pronunciation and spelling in conveying meaning.
Possible Organisations of Phonics Programme • 1. A separate, independent component that covers selected sound-spelling relationships.2. A phonics component on selected sound-spelling relationships that is integrated into the main teaching programme.3. A separate, independent awareness raising component.4. An awareness raising component that is integrated into the main teaching programme.5. Incidental phonics instruction.6. Phonics through oral language arts.
A Classroom Procedural Model for a Phonics Mini Lesson • Step 1: Present written form of target word in context; draw attention to its pronunciation. • Step 2: Present further example words. Invite SS to read them out loud. • Step 3: Guide SS to deduce the sound-spelling ‘rule’. • Step 4: SS work on further (contextualised) discrimination tasks.
Resources for Learners Most published resources for phonics learning are for young learners.
Issues to Ponder for Designing your own phonics materials • 1. Integrated or Separate? • 2. What is general approach? Specific sound-spelling associations? Awareness-raising? Incidental instruction? Through Oral Language arts? • 3. Your students’ needs and interest.
Awareness Raising • In an awareness raising approach, activities are organised to raise students' senstiivity to sound-spelling relationships. The rationale is that once students are sensitive enough to sound-spelling correspondence generally, they will notice, look for, and deduce the specific relationships themselves. The purpose is phonics as skill, rather than phonics as knowledge.
Group Activity • Try out some awareness raising activities. (Worksheets A, B, C)
Wrap Up • prolonged phonic drills can be boring. Little but often. • aim for an appropriate balance of oral (sounding out words seen) and written practice (spelling out words heard). • There is no need to tackle all the possible letter-sound relationships • In due course, teach the concept of word stress and unstressed syllable.
2 key questions to ask your SS from time to time • 1. “Look at this word. How might it be said?” • 2. “Listen to this word. How might it be spelled?”
How might these words be said? • Zara • Godiva • Samsung • Lenovo • Sinomax • Skype (compare ‘Nike’) • Flickr
Thank you !!!