Why I am not a fan of phonics

I am not a great lover of phonics for teaching reading. I have been around long enough to have seen so many different methods of teaching reading used..from 44 basic sounds, to look and say, real texts and now back to phonics.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail that just sums it all up for me, here it is:

From the diary of a  Teacher


My five-year old students are learning to read.

Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,

“Look at this! It’s a frickin’ elephant!”

I took a deep breath, then asked…”What did you call it?”

“It’s a frickin’ elephant! It says so on the picture!”


And so it does…

“A f r i c a n Elephant “


I wonder how long it will take and how many children’s reading will be effected until we go further round the never-ending circle and start to give them real texts again and let them make sense of what the marks mean!

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