Phonics is an important topic in both the study and teaching of written language, but the role of phonics in reading, in learning to read and in reading instruction, is probably the most widely misunderstood and misrepresented aspect of language education today. In Phonics Phacts, Ken Goodman helps teachers and parents understand phonics better so that they can feel more comfortable in evaluating conflicting views about it. The book examines three major topics:
The science of phonics - Goodman argues that phonics is a system of relationships between the patterns and systems of oral and written language, not between individual letters and sounds. Avoiding jargon and technical language, Goodman explains how phonics works in reading and writing and how readers use phonological, orthographic, and phonics information along with morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic information.
The merits of teaching about phonics - Often teachers "do" phonics with a great deal of misinformation. The more central the role assigned to instruction about phonics in reading instruction, the more important it is that the information of what phonics is be accurate. Goodman discusses how the views of learning of Piaget, Vygotsky, Halliday, and others contribute to what is known about phonics.
The politics of phonics - For many people, phonics is a political buzzword, a cause, making it difficult for the education profession and the public to learn much about real phonics. Goodman discusses how phonics is often used to frighten and politicize rural and working-class parents, as well as bully teachers engaged in whole language teaching.
Phonics Phacts is a personal book, based solidly on many years of research. It is an invaluable text for understanding the important role phonics plays in whole language instruction.