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9780023530654

Phonics in Proper Perspective

Heilman, Arthur W. Author

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As the most successful methods book for phonics ever published, this new edition continues to focus on keeping phonics and a total reading program in proper perspective. It promotes the philosophy that reading depends on growth in three skill areas: 1) identifying printed words, 2) expanding sight vocabulary, and 3) using context as the compass for arriving at meaning. By outlining the purpose and limitations of phonics instruction, it cautions teachers that beginning reading methods should not mislead children into thinking that reading is sounding out letters, learning sight words or using context clues—it involves all these skills in the right combination. Topics include: Phonics: Purpose and Limitations; Phonics: History and Controversy; Prerequisites for Phonics Instruction; Moving into Reading; Consonant Letter-Sound Relationships; Vowel Letter-Sound Relationships; and Structural Analysis Skills. For teachers of reading.

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The most successful phonics methods book ever published--now in an updated Seventh Edition with a new emphasis on using "the reading process" to isolate and identify problem phonics tasks, and help pupils master them.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The purpose of this book is to provide both the experienced and the prospective teacher with materials that will lead to better understanding of the following:

  • The purpose and limitations of phonics instruction as it relates to teaching reading
  • Concrete practices to follow in teaching the various steps in phonics analysis
  • The rationale that underlies particular instructional practices

The material in this book reflects several premises:

  • Phonics is an important part of teaching beginning reading.
  • Teachers should be knowledgeable about the purpose of phonics instruction and its limitations.
  • For children to make normal progress in learning to read, they must learn to associate printed letter forms with the speech sounds they represent.
  • Beginning reading instruction must not mislead children into thinking that reading is sounding out letters, or learning sight words, or using context clues.

Learning to read involves all these skills in the right combination. The optimum amount of phonics instruction for each child is the absolute minimum the child needs to become an independent reader. Excessive phonics instruction will usurp time that should be devoted to reading, can destroy children's interest in reading, and may lead critics to attack phonics instruction rather than bad phonics instruction.

For the ninth edition, I would like to thank the following reviewers who provided valuable comments and suggestions: Martha Cocchiarella, Arizona State University; Wanda Hedrick, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Rosie Webb Joels, The University of Central Florida; Stephanie Steffey, San Jose State University; Karen R. Travis, Southwestern Oklahoma State University; and Bonita F. Williams, Columbus State University.

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