How Teaching Phonics Can Lead to Better Readers
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Reading is an essential skill in any language. Consequently, teaching reading is a very important aspect of teaching a language. There are a number of different theories on the best way to teach reading but recent research suggests that teaching phonics may be the best option.
What is phonics?
Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing in a language by creating an awareness of phonemes, or sounds. Teaching phonics essentially means teaching learners the relationships between letters (or groups of letters) and their sounds. Learning these relationships helps new readers decode new words by sounding them out. This is in contrast to the whole word approach, which advocates learning to read words by sight.
Why should we use phonics?
New research shows that learning to read through phonics leads to more accurate reading aloud and better comprehension than focusing on whole words. Studies have shown that learners who are taught using the whole-word approach are no better off at comprehension than those taught using phonics. What’s more, learners who were taught to read using phonics were better at reading aloud. Not only that, but those who were taught using the whole-word method actually had to work harder than those taught using phonics.
How can we teach phonics in the EFL classroom?
- Understand that teaching phonics will become part and parcel of every single lesson. This isn’t as bad as it sounds because this approach will only be used with Beginner students. Students at any higher level should be able to read already.
- Decide which sound-spelling correspondence you will teach in the lesson, and make sure you understand it thoroughly.
- Start with the simple relationships and move on to the more complex ones later.
- Make sure your explanations are clear and simple.
- Involve the student in the lesson by encouraging speaking, repetition and imitation.
- Model the sound clearly and repetitively.
- Test understanding throughout the lesson.
- Use creative examples.
Problems teaching phonics in the EFL classroom
As with any teaching method, there are a few difficulties with this one.
Teaching phonics has been proven effective with first language speakers and bilingual learners. However, similar research into the effect of phonics instruction on EFL learners has not been done extensively.
Many teachers are not equipped to teach phonics. As with other pronunciation issues, they are reluctant to teach it. They are not familiar with the teaching methodology and so are hesitant to incorporate it into their lessons.
There is a shortage of teaching materials. Though there are various options for teaching phonics to children, there aren’t many resources that cater for teaching adults. In EFL, teaching adults is commonplace. Teaching adults to read is a tricky situation and using the same materials as those used with children is not satisfactory or effective.
Having said all that, teaching phonics has been shown to be a good idea and should not be ignored. If you find yourself having to teach reading and writing, do your research into teaching phonics and implement it into your lessons.
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In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.