Analytical phonics

Analytical Phonics refers to an approach to the teaching of reading in which the phonemes associated with particular graphemes are not pronounced in isolation. Children identify (analyse) the common phoneme in a set of words in which each word contains the phoneme under study. For example, teacher and pupils discuss how the following words are alike: pat, park, push and pen. Analytic phonics for writing similarly relies on inferential learning: realising that the initial phoneme in /p i g/ is the same as that in /p æ t, p a: k, p u ƒ/ and /p e n/, children deduce that they must write that phoneme with grapheme. [ [ National Literacy Trust] ] Today, Analytical phonics is referred to as Implicit phonics. This is because it signifies the analysis (breaking down) of the whole word to its parts (an analysis only necessary when a child cannot read it as a whole word). [ [ Education News] ]

Practice and Approach

Implicit phonics is moving from the whole to the smallest parts; "blending-and-building" is not usually taught. A student will identify new words by its shape, beginning and ending letters, any context clues from the rest of the sentence or any accompanying pictures. [ [ The National Right to Read Foundation] ]

hortcommings of this approach

A major problem with analytical phonic methods is the erroneous assumption that all students will already have the fairly sophisticated phonemic awareness skills needed to enable the comparison of sounds within the various words.Implicit instruction relies on readers "discovering" clues about sound-spelling relationships; good readers can do this, but poor readers are not likely to do so. [ [ Scholastic] ]

Controversy: Analytical vs. Synthetic Approaches

Phonics has become an acceptable practice and approach to teaching children to read. However, one obstacle it has faced is the method in which it was used; Which approach is best?

There are two primary approaches to teaching phonics: analytic phonics and synthetic phonics. Both approaches require the learner to have some phonological awareness (the ability to hear and discriminate sounds in spoken words). Both approaches can also contribute to furthering children's phonological development. Phonological awareness is an essential skill for reading, writing, listening and talking.

Synthetic phonics involves the development of phonemic awareness from the outset. As part of the decoding process, the reader learns up to 44 phonemes (the smallest units of sound) and their related graphemes (the written symbols for the phoneme).In contrast, Analytical Phonics, also known as the Whole Word approach, involves analysis of whole words to detect phonetic or orthographic (spelling) patterns, then splitting them into smaller parts to help with decoding. [ [ Learning and Teaching Scotland] ]

Supporters of Synthetic phonics argue that if the systematic teaching of phonics doesn't take place, analytic learners can fall behind and fail to develop the tools they need for decoding words. [ [ Education World] ]

The majority of experts now contend that neither approach by itself is effective all the time but that both approaches possess merit. Its been concluded that the most efficient approach to teaching children how to read is a carefully designed program that employs both analytical and synthetic approaches, and takes into account each student's learning style and demonstrated strengths and weaknesses.

ee also

*Phonemic awareness
*Synthetic phonics
*Analogy phonics
*Embedded phonics


Additional Information

Synthetic Phonics- Whole Word []

Reading Rockets []

A Short Course on Phonics []

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