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ERIC Number: EJ1200223
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Phonics Faux Pas: Avoiding Instructional Missteps in Teaching Letter-Sound Relationships
Duke, Nell K.; Mesmer, Heidi Anne E.
American Educator, v42 n4 p12-16 Win 2018-2019
The need to explicitly teach letter-sound relationships in U.S. classrooms is settled science. However, too often such instruction is not provided in the most efficient or effective way. These instructional missteps mean that fewer children will develop strong word-reading skills. In addition, ineffective phonics instruction is likely to require more class time and/or later compensatory intervention, taking time away from the growth of other important contributors to literacy development. The authors have encountered many dozens, if not hundreds, of phonics faux pas. This article discusses the following seven common missteps in phonics instruction and how to correct them: (1) spending too little or too much time on phonics instruction; (2) neglecting the alphabetic principle, concept of word in print, and other concepts of print; (3) teaching letter names without letter sounds; (4) using inappropriate alphabet key words; (5) lacking a scope and sequence; (6) using a problematic approach to teaching sight words; and (7) missing essential elements of phonics instruction.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A