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What is Phonics?
WRITTEN BY: Patrick Bickford 
Phonics is a set of mnemonic rules to help children learn how to read and pronounce words they have never seen before. It connects sounds to letters or groups of letters.  It's hard to establish who invented Phonics, but the person famous for embracing it is Noah Webster, the dictionary guy.  In 1828, he published his comprehensive dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language.  It was this dictionary that was responsible for challenging many "unnecessarily complex" English spellings and introduced 'Americanized' spellings.  The three biggest differences between British and American spellings are:
  1. Replacing C with S -- defense vs. defence
  2. Reversing RE and ER -- center vs. centre
  3. Dropping the U -- color vs. colour
After this dictionary was published, little development in the Phonics field was done and it laid dormant for 100+ years, until Rudolf Flesch published a novel in 1955, Why Johnny Can't Read.  This book spurred the ongoing debate, Phonics vs. Whole Language.
The coolest thing about Phonics is that it's not country-specific.  Englishes may have different spellings and accents but all Englishes are bonded by the same spelling rules and the connection between when letters or groups of letters make certain sounds.




This page was last modified on Monday, March 17, 2014 04:18:20 PM