The role of phonics instruction in reading acquisition





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The capstone focuses on how to provide effective phonics instruction for first grade students. The author was motivated to pursue phonics instruction due to the different philosophies and curriculum changes in reading instruction. A history of reading instruction and an explanation of phonemic awareness and phonics are provided. The two opposing views in teaching phonics, the traditional or explicit versus the whole language or implicit, are researched. The works of Adams, Belvins, Stahl, Pinnell and Fountas were influential to the author. Findings show children will benefit from systematic and explicit teaching in phonics as well as opportunities to practice phonics skills in-context or embedded in actual reading and writing tasks. The author developed a curriculum plan to provide a balance of both the systematic, explicit and in-context, implicit approaches to teaching phonics within a total reading and writing literacy program.

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