Profound misunderstandings of the implications of rhyme and analogy research (sometimes called ‘new phonics’) for classroom teaching still appear regularly in the reading literature. It has been argued that ‘rhyme and analogy’ researchers do not believe in teaching children grapheme‐phoneme correspondences (Chew, 1997). Rhyme and analogy has also been branded as ‘analytic phonics’, which is argued to be inferior to ‘synthetic’ phonics (Watson and Johnston, 1999). Such misconceptions are confusing the debate over how best to teach ‘phonics’, following the publication of the National Literacy Framework (DfEE, 1998). For example, some authors are suggesting that teachers should replace an emphasis on phonological awareness and onset‐rime with a teaching programme based on ‘synthetic’ phonics (Deavers and Solity, 1998; Watson and Johnston, 1999). This paper discusses the implications of Goswami and Bryant’s (1990) theory about important causal connections in reading for classroom teaching, and reviews more recent ‘rhyme and analogy’ research within this framework. New research on the nature of the English spelling system and the representation of linguistic knowledge is also discussed. The importance of taking a balanced approach to phonics instruction and teaching children correspondences between letters and phonemes and letter sequences and rimes is emphasised.
Journal of Research in Reading – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1999
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