"Ayo why phonics?"
"Don't teach a b c first? Cannot laa, Year 1 must teach abc. If not how to write?"
"Teach sounds only? How children going to spell?"
" Funnyla, /s-ɪ-t/, (ss-ih-tuh), sit; /p-e-t/, (puh-eh-tuh), pet."
These are common comments from parents, teachers, Guru Besars, education officers, & others who are not FAMILIAR with phonics.
Let's open up our horizons. If you surf the net on synthetic phonics you will realise that it is a proven method. For the last few years, phonics practitioners(me too) are celebrating their success in teaching reading to kids. Those who are still doubtful, give yourselves 2 weeks to follow step-by-step Readeasy Phonics Early Reading Series. Are you game? Find yourself a 5-7 year old to teach.
Tips for parents:
1. Do NOT teach the names of the alphabet. STRICTLY NO a(ay), b(bee), c(cee)!
Why? Simply because the brain reads by breaking the words into sounds(speech sounds), not letters names. For example, when you see the word 'book', you don't read it as 'bee-o-o-kay' but as /bʊk/.
2. *Keep the reading session short, 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Teach reading everyday.
3. Find a suitable spot for your reading session.
4. Be cool(because I know our patience is easily stretched when teaching kids) & make your lessons fun.
5. Praise/Reward your child for any achievements, however small it is.
NOTE:* If you are a preschool teacher, you can have 15-20 students in a group. Reading lesson should be at least 30minutes per day.
In primary school classrooms, you will have more students. Lessons should be 1 hour everyday. I would suggest students are grouped according to their reading abilities & slow learners be given 1-1 help.