ERIC Number: ED436104
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Phonics in ESL Literacy Instruction: Functional or Not?
Jones, Monica L.
There are compelling reasons for integrating phonics into the adult English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) curriculum. The adult ESL student has the analytical capability to understand phoneme-grapheme relationships and can be taught to use any transferable native-language literacy skills in English spelling. In this essay, the potential of phonics instruction in the teaching of reading and spelling to ESL students with little formal education in the native language or English is considered. The discussion begins with an analysis of the features of English orthography and research on whether English orthography can be taught. A rationale for teaching phonics is outlined, focusing on its utility for native Spanish-speaking immigrants to the United States. A classroom research project using phonics and spelling instruction in an adult intermediate-level ESL literacy class is then reported. Basic English spelling rules are reviewed, and a three-step approach to teaching them (phoneme-grapheme relationships; irregular verb tests; and guided compositions) is described. Results indicate the approach was useful in teaching students to spell and in encouraging writing. (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education) (MSE)
Descriptors: Adult Education, English (Second Language), Instructional Effectiveness, Language Research, Linguistic Theory, Literacy Education, Phoneme Grapheme Correspondence, Phonics, Second Language Instruction, Spanish Speaking, Spelling Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the World Conference on Literacy (Philadelphia, PA, March 1996).