Using Phonics to Teach Reading
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You might not think that teaching reading is part of an English as a Foreign Language teacher’s job description, but when you think about it, it must be. There are the teachers who are teaching illiterate learners and so really are teaching them how to read. But then there are the teachers who are teaching their learners how to read in English. This blog discusses the EFL approach to teaching reading using phonics.
Of course teaching reading in the EFL classroom is different to teaching reading in the first language classroom. We tend to do things differently in the EFL classroom anyway and now new research has shown that the way we teach reading in the EFL classroom is the way it should be done.
The EFL approach to teaching reading
In the EFL classroom, we utilise phonics to teach reading. Phonics is a method of teaching reading by correlating sounds with letters.
Now science supports this method. Studies have shown that learners need to focus on letter-sound correspondences. Learners learn to identify letters and letter combinations and the sounds they make. It is in contrast to the whole-language approach which advocates that learners learn words by sight. Learners must also use context and situational cues to take guesses on words they are not familiar with.
While these practices may help learners when it comes to reading, they should not form the basis of learning to read. Rather teachers should help learners focus on bottom-up processes through phonics instructions to help them build the foundations of reading.
Phonics is especially important in the EFL classroom to introduce learners to the sounds of English. English is not a phonetic language, like Spanish for example. It is not possible to read most English words by sounding out their letters. Phonics will thus help our students learn how to say the different letter combinations which make English so tricky.
How to use phonics to teach reading in the EFL classroom
- Introduce the different letter sounds. Remember that letter sounds are not the same as letter names. The letter A, for example, has the sound /a/ as in /cat/ not as in /day/. Sounds are not taught alphabetically but in a specific order which facilitates the early spelling of words.
- Demonstrate the pronunciation of the sounds. This is done through repetition, gestures and movements.
- Show examples of the letter sounds in stories or songs. Break down the stories or songs into their sentences and focus clearly on the particular sounds.
- Practice how to form the letter sounds. Again this is done through gestures and movements.
- Move on to reading short words made up of familiar letter sounds.
- Focus on common tricky words with irregular spellings.
Teaching reading is often a necessary part of the EFL curriculum. Using phonics can make reading in English easy for your learners, as well as making teaching reading easier for the teacher!
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- 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.