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Phonics: Restoration of a Valid Instructive Technique

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Phonics:
Restoration of a Valid Instructive Technique Millions of people in the United States suffer in silence to the inability to read. Due to the illiteracy rates today not only do these individuals suffer, but the economy of the country does too. Since the omission of the use of phonics, in exchange for a whole word method of learning, illiteracy rates have risen in high numbers. Restoring the use of phonics will improve the literacy rates in many schools. Phonics is simply the system of relationships between letters and sounds in a language. Learning phonics will help students learn to read and spell. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of letters and letter combinations will help students decode words as they read. Knowing phonics will also help students know which letters to use as they write words. In 1930, John Dewey and Arthur Gates moved society away from the use of phonics when they invented a new method to teach reading called the whole word method. Since the implementation of this method the United States dropped from number one in literacy ratings to nearly last in just a few short years. According to a recent report of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), there are over 33 million K-12 students reading at least two grades below level-over two thirds of all K-12 students (Levine, 2003). Illiteracy in schools leads to many students giving up and dropping out. With these drop outs, many aspects of society are penalized. Unemployment rates skyrocket, government assistance needs rise at an alarming rate, and criminal activities flourish. The development of the No Child Left Behind program has aided in raising funds for early learning development, but does not aid the older students already affected by illiteracy. “The Gates Foundation has taken a serious position on the adolescent education...

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