ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Phonics vs. Word Association

Updated on February 20, 2012

Which One Is Best?

Phonics is a method of teaching reading whereby the one who is learning is taught to piece words together by saying the sounds of each letter individually, also known as "sounding out the word." After the student correctly pronouces each sound in order, he or she says them together and reads the word.

Though some educators are convinced phonics is the best way to teach reading, others disagree. There are those who are in a hurry to hear the word without all the sounding out, and who are not willing to wait through the process.

I would like to point out that if a student sounds out words often enough, e.g. is allowed and encouraged to practice, the words will, in time, begin to be recognized and read more quickly. Students who have been taught to use phonics correctly will begin to memorize words on their own, and after a while will only sound out those words with which they are unfamiliar.

There is, however, a drawback to the phonics method: how do you sound out laugh or rough or faux pas? This is where memorization and word association can be useful. They make good supplementary methods for those words that do not and can not fit into the phonetic method.

The benefit of knowing phonics and not just word association is that kids can read words they've never encountered because they are able to sound them out. However, for those words that defy the rules of English pronunciation, memorization and word association make great supplements, as well as does a complete course in spelling later on.

Circle the Blends

If you are using a book that can be written on or are able to print out material for early readers, here's a tip that helps them remember and recognize the sounds of letter combinations: circle blends and dipthongs.

If you can draw pictures or find and use clip art, make and post a chart where they can see it. Place something like cherries by the ch, a ship by the sh, a bandage by the ou (ouch is pretty easy to remember), or a cow by the ow. Also include sight words, especially ones that don't follow the normal rules, on your chart. (A good example of a commonly used, rule breaking word is the.)

Gray the Silent Letters

It also helps to use your word processor's capabilities to gray out the silent letters in a word. This should only be done for very early readers, for sooner or later they must learn to recognize which letters are silent by observing the rules for vowels. However, beginners gain confidence and learn to like reading more if you give them things they can read independently.

Have Fun!

Find as many ways as you can to make reading fun for your child. Create a treasure hunt by hiding notes as clues to follow. Promise a pizza after a stack of books gets read. Buy the book of the latest release BEFORE you buy the movie. Promise the movie upon completion of the book.

Keep all lessons short. Children do not possess our adult mental powers of concentration, and can quickly become frustrated if their lessons are too long. You want them to keep a positive mental attitude toward reading, so always leave them wanting more.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • savanahl profile image

      savanahl 

      6 years ago

      Great information. I taught my daughter to read through word association when she was only 5 months old. As she got older we started to incorporate phonics. A 2 years old she now reads over 500 words but we've been a little stuck with blends and silent letters so this is going to help a lot. Thanks for sharing.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      An excellent very informative hub. I teach EFL in Thailand, and sadly very little phonics supplemented with word association is used when teaching young learners English.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)