Monday, May 23, 2011

Starting a phonics adventure

Yes, I am quite particular about using proper English whether it’s written or spoken. Call me anal or whatever, but I feel it’s one of the basic requirements. So at home, I’m always peeved by the usage of phrases like ‘bread where?’, ‘you want what?’, ‘daddy do what?’ and so on. You get the idea. No, I don’t think that the whole family has to speak or write proper English. Being in Singapore, where there is a harmonious blend between proper English and Singlish, it is good to expose her to both. Hey! I do get into that ‘do what’ mode myself too! My point is that there needs to be at least one person in the family who uses proper English, and inculcate a sense of pronunciation, grammar and so on in both written and spoken English in the young one from a young age. This I think will help tremendously as EV goes into pre-school and then formal education.

I remember breaking up a word into its various parts and learning the spelling. Only recently, I learnt that this has to do with something called phonics. And it seems it is making a comeback to help children read and spell. I wanted to know how it works, so I can support EV in her learning, whether it is home teaching or supplementing school teaching with home teaching in future.

There are many methods of phonics teaching, eg Zoophonics, Letterland, Fitzroy Phonics and Jolly Phonics. Many of them are used by preschools as a way to teach phonics but only Jolly Phonics and Fitzroy Phonics conduct workshops for teachers and parents. In the end, I signed up for a two-day Jolly Phonics workshop as the method emphases more on letter sounds. Plus, it is used by the British Council for its Young Learners Programme, so it should be quite an effective method, I hope. More on that in another post, when I start my very own phonics adventure in June.  

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