There are many methods of teaching reading which the teacher can use in the teaching and learning process.
Code emphasis approach is the alphabertical method which emphasise on learning letters .Pupils read as consisting of the named letters for example risk.
The phonic method or syllabic method is an improvement from the alphabertic and its main emphsis is on the sound that each sound symbol .The teacher should teach phonic alongside a meaning emphasis approach .The Zimbabwean major dialects chishona and isindebele use syllables which is phonic approach.
The advantages of this approach are that children can tackle decoding of new words ,learn letter sound combination which enabled them to be independent readers.
Phonic method helps to read from left to right and it trains spellings.
The weaknesses associated with this approach are that so many English words don't have a constant letter -sound relationships. But chishona has this relationships throughout. Splitting of English words may encourage habits of slow reading. It therefore requires a carefully graded reading vocabulary. Above all no understanding as there is argument on when to use phonic ,some children appear to have problems of linking words and meaning.
Linking together approach is where the whole word method look and say it. This stresses on the whole word and takes it to be indivisible. The learner reads each word as word picture without giving attention to individual letters. This is very possible to English words as second language than in dialects like chishona in which there is need to combine the syllables to make a word and the reader should read each syllable to make the sound of the word.
Children are taught to perceive in wholes (Gestelt theory of learning)The popular look and say method goes along these lines: The phrase and sentence methods .
The major benefits associated with this method are that through the sentence method the child begins to take a sentence making. There are logical methods that are used to introduce children to reading process.According to Gestelt ,the eye tends to see whole before analysing and build a sight vocabulary.
Drawbacks encountered in this approach are encouragement of guesswork,not providing tool for tackling new words. Children are limited to graded vocabulary .Writing is postponed until the children see the presence of a large sight vocabulary words similar in length might confuse the beginner readers.
When teachers use these methods must analyse the interests of children ,their cognitive level and their experiences as a base to develop the reading skill in children.
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