Who teaches Phonics in total isolation? No one I know of.

images-3I’m so tired of Critics of Phonics implying that by teaching phonics we ignore all other cuing systems.

What we DO advocate is that those cuing systems are not used or confused with phonic instruction.

You can’t teach phonics ‘in context’.

Like multiplication tables for mathematics, The alphabetic code is a separate set of skill that can be readily applied to words that have never been seen before. 

Word family patterns are OK but limited. So many children know rain train brain main etc but falter on mail, maid, fail, aim, aid, etc … simply teaching the ‘ai’ sound covers ALL of the words that ‘contain’ it.

If a student finds phonics excessively difficult have them tested to eliminate the possibility of a central auditory processing deficit (CAPD)? If they have CAPD, know that in most cases it can be overcome. http://vaslearningcentre.com/page9/page2/page2.html

Know also that there are well meaning but partially or misguidedly trained teachers of phonics that make a mess of it. Teacher training colleges rarely cover phonics as it conflicts with the current philosophy – the same philosophy that is handicapping our students.

Avoid Analytic Phonics like the plague – even average & above average learners find this hard slog & of minimal benefit as it lacks all the tried & true features of Synthetic (Systematic) Phonics – those being ‘sequence’ ‘practice’ & ‘consolidation’.

You can’t teach Phonics piecemeal.

Having said that, this does NOT mean that you leave newly learned phonic skills floating in thin air, as is ridiculously claimed but those who treat phonics as though it was a phobia.

Students need to USE newly learned phonics skills & spelling rules, first in words & sentences, then in stories.

If a code is available we try to crack that code first – yes? According to current infant methodology though, the answer is “No, let them struggle; let them try to reinvent the wheel; let them be distracted by other cuing systems; let them replace the code with an inferior strategy; let them use context inappropriately to ‘guess’ the words. The outcome of this nonsense can be seen in our new video above.

What an utterly ridiculous concept that we withhold the ‘code’ & encourage our children to ‘guess’!


Phonic skills need to be ‘directly taught’, ‘applied’ & ‘practiced’ IN INFANT GRADES. I don’t know a single teachers who simply teaches phonics in total isolation – if I did I would recommend that he/she be certified.