Author: Henrietta Dombey
Researchers have discovered that traditional phonics, with its emphasis on letters, sounds, and words, ignores the complexity of children's natural learning processes, including children's inclination to focus first on the text, then on whole words, and then on their constituent parts. Whole-to-part phonics offers a concise, accessible introduction to this research and proven strategies for translating it into effective classroom practice. The contributors to Whole-to-part phonics recognize that children need to understand letter-sound relationships in order to become independent and fluent readers. But, they argue, this knowledge is of little value unless children learn how to use it in context. Accordingly, the authors maintain that children's encounters with print lay the groundwork for effective phonics learning. By drawing on children's wider experience and their preferred modes of learning, whole-to-part phonics enables students to focus on the construction of meaning rather than the decoding of text.