ERIC Number: ED391141
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Why Does Phonics Work?: Process vs. Declaration.
Reading is a skill--learning how the alphabet works by using it. Learning how to do it involves practice in building letters into words. As the decoding process is practiced, phonics moves into long-term storage. Building the skill of reading has the same 4 aspects as developing other skills: (1) the beginner uses the motion of his vocal organs to repeat the sounds the letters represent; (2) once the beginner discovers how to build 3-letter words with the short vowel, succeeding steps are merely variations on the first step; (3) the first early discovery of how to build those 3-letter words may be startlingly rapid; and (4) once the skill has been obtained it is not forgotten. In contrast, there is the look-say or whole word method in which recognition is factual, declarative. While look-say victims turn up in fourth grade unable to read more difficult texts, phonics users have moved on into reading whatever is available. (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A